Starbucks test products

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photo-10 - Espresso Test March 2014Starbucks is testing offering single-origin espresso for handcrafted espresso beverages. Customers who want an elevated espresso experience can order their espresso beverage with Colombia Nariño Supremo instead of the core Starbucks Espresso Roast.

There are three areas of the country currently testing the single origin espresso: Portland, Oregon; Columbus, Ohio; and areas of Riverside county and inland Southern California. Customers are charged fifty cents for purchasing the single-origin espresso. I’ve heard from people who’ve tried this that their espresso beverage is amazing with the Colombia coffee.

This isn’t the first time that Starbucks has experimented with offering different espresso options for handcrafted drinks. The Starbucks UK/Ireland region has been offering single-origin espresso options for handcrafted drinks for about one year now.

Starbucks Colombia Nariño Supremo will be available in stores as a whole bean coffee on April 1, 2014. You can already order it now at

What do you think? Have you had the chance to try a single-origin coffee as your espresso shots? If you like reading about Starbucks test beverages and lattes, click here.

photo 3 copycolombia on StarbucksStore

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Cane Sugar Sweetened Starbucks Sweet Tea

by Melody on March 9, 2014

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photo-10 Sweet TeaIf you’re in a sun belt state, you might notice that as of March 4, 2014, you have Starbucks sweet tea available to you. Last fall, Starbucks tested their cane sugar sweetened Sweet Tea in a limited number of places, such as North Carolina. It’s now a regional product offered in numerous cities in warmer climates such as Atlanta, Austin, and other sun belt locations. The official Starbucks menu item page for the Sweet Tea is here.

Real cane sugar is added to the black tea as its brewing. There are no pumps of classic syrup added later, as is the case with how Starbucks has traditionally sweetened their iced teas. Because the sugar is added while brewing, the Sweet Tea is available as a black tea only. From what I hear, this has been very popular in the southern areas. I haven’t tried this item because it hasn’t made its way to Seattle. Somehow I see Sweet Tea as more of a regional product offering. I suppose it could be launched nationally but I would assume that there are certain regions where it would sell the best.

A big thank you to the reader in Austin, Texas who emailed me this photo of the large banner sign.

Sweet tea from Starbucks website screen cap on 9 March 2014

If you like reading about Starbucks test items, scroll through this category of articles here.

This is an open thread. Talk about anything Starbucks related.


(PS: As a few readers know, I’ve written a book about Starbucks. Tales of the Siren: A StarbucksMelody. It’s a relatively short book, coming in at about 44,000 words. All the main sections of the book are done but I’m going through and carefully editing. I got some help from a professional editor who suggested both a few developmental changes as well as numerous grammar, typo, and tense changes. It goes without saying, but writing a decent book takes a heck of a lot of work. I realize that’s obvious. I’m getting there. There are still a number of steps involved in this project. I hope that in the next month or two, I’ll have a great book available for sale at It includes many stories that never made it into the blog. If I seem to slow down on updating this blog, I apologize. Finding the time for the blog and the book is a bit of a challenge. I wanted to apologize in advance if articles slow down on this site. Nonetheless, I hope you’ll tell your friends about and check back regularly. Thank you.)


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Starbucks is in the midst of an interesting test in some of their Phoenix and Tucson area stores.  Some stores are offering both the La Boulange loaf and the pre-La-Boulange version of the lemon loaf side by side.  As I understand it, this small lemon loaf test is to figure out which one has the greater customer demand.  So, which one do you like better?  I just thought this was interesting and would share it here.  Every time I write about tests at Starbucks, I include the warning that Starbucks tests many more things than what actually makes it to a national launch.  You can browse some of the other test food and beverage items covered on this website by clicking here.

image-8 Lemon Loaf Starbucks January 2014image-7 Lemon Loaf - Phoenix Arizona - January 2014On the topic of tests, I am hoping someone reading this would email me about some of the current beverage tests happening at Starbucks.  If you’re in a store testing the Tiramisu Latte, I’d love it if you’d email me!  Thank you!

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Starbucks is testing out two new holiday beverages right now: the Chestnut Praline Latte and the Cherries Jubilee Mocha.  If your local Starbucks has one of those beverages, then it’s likely missing either the Gingerbread Latte or the Eggnog Latte.  These are just “test” beverages, meaning that they are not available nationwide!

The Cherries Jubilee Mocha appears to be the smaller test of the two, and is available in limited areas of Florida (Orlando and Tampa).  It’s a mocha with cherry syrup, and it calls for a little cocoa powder on top, and a some special cherry drizzle.  Take a look at these great pictures of this drink:

photo 2-1 Frappuccino and Cherrie Jubilee Mocha - Nov 2013photo 5-1 Cherry syrup and toppings November 2013 - StarbucksThe Chestnut Praline Latte appears to be a little bit more widespread test.  I’ve heard that it is available in parts of Indianapolis, parts of Wichita, Omaha, and somewhere in Maryland (Baltimore) and a number of Midwest cities..  The Chestnut Praline test beverage is a latte with Chestnut Praline syrup, and topped with whipped cream and spiced pralines bits and pieces.

image-8 Chestnut Praline Latte picChestnut Praline Latte menuboardphoto-8 Chestnut Praline LatteThe Chestnut Praline Latte doesn’t look nearly as sweet at the Cherries Jubilee Mocha (which probably makes a nice Frappuccino too!).

IMAG1084 Chestnut Latte signThe reader who submitted the above sign wrote, “It’s my new favorite latte. Not overpoweringly sweet – just perfect.”

Unfortunately, I haven’t tried either of these two new test holiday beverages.  I think I would enjoy the Chestnut Praline Latte especially! I hope you will weigh in on what you think of them!


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Coming Soon? New Breakfast Sandwiches at Starbucks.

October 26, 2013
Thumbnail image for Coming Soon? New Breakfast Sandwiches at Starbucks.

Starbucks is currently testing new breakfast sandwiches. Pascal Rigo, the founder of La Boulange and the lead food innovator at Starbucks, was recently quoted as saying, “[W]e could expect to see new breakfast sandwiches in our stores by April or May, 2014.“  So while often I talk about Starbucks tests as having a remote possibility […]

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The Evolution Fresh Veggie Burger: A small test.

October 16, 2013

Evolution Fresh (a wholly owned and operated subsidiary of Starbucks) is testing a veggie cheeseburger.  This item is available only at two of the Evolution Fresh stores.  As a reminder, Starbucks operates four juice bars under the Evolution Fresh brand: two are in Seattle; one is in Bellevue, Washington; and one is in San Francisco. […]

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In testing: Starbucks new Evolution Fresh Smoothies – Baltimore & San Diego.

September 29, 2013
Thumbnail image for In testing: Starbucks new Evolution Fresh Smoothies – Baltimore & San Diego.

Starbucks is offering new Evolution Fresh Smoothies in a number of their stores in San Diego and Baltimore.  I haven’t tried one yet, but I am definitely curious about it.  The new Evolution Fresh Smoothies are far from a secret – there already is an official Starbucks blog article on these new “pure and simple” […]

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From the StarbucksMelody mailbag: Sweet tea in North Carolina. A Clover in Folsom and Sea Girt.

September 16, 2013
Thumbnail image for From the StarbucksMelody mailbag: Sweet tea in North Carolina. A Clover in Folsom and Sea Girt.

It’s time for another episode of “From the mailbag“.  Thank you to the readers who have sent in their Starbucks photos! A reader in North Carolina commented that she dropped into a Starbucks in Raleigh, and found a sign for sweet tea!  She didn’t try it but snapped this photo, thinking I might like […]

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Could Teavana Replace Tazo Tea Inside Starbucks Stores?

September 13, 2013
Thumbnail image for Could Teavana Replace Tazo Tea Inside Starbucks Stores?

Do you think Teavana could replace the Tazo Tea offerings inside the Starbucks retail stores? Last December, Starbucks purchased Teavana, making it a wholly-owned and operated subsidiary, along side Evolution Fresh, La Boulange, Seattle’s Best Coffee, and Tazo.  Since that time, (in April this year) Starbucks has introduced a Teavana-branded Starbucks card, and added My […]

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Starbucks Expands Handcrafted Soda Test to Atlanta & Austin; Nashville Starbucks Testing the Cold Foam Mocha.

June 29, 2013

Handcrafted Starbucks sodas, including root beer and ginger ale, now offered in select stores in Atlanta, and Austin: In June this year, Starbucks entered its second phase of testing carbonated beverages, including their own proprietary handcrafted root beer and ginger ale.  The new test includes a limited number of stores in Atlanta and in Austin, […]

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