Friday, August 28, 2009

Not the coffee?

An internal memo from Starbucks about another new unbranded ("stealth" location) surfaced on the internet last night. It is very sad and quite revealing. Their assessment of themselves - a bit weak. We give them a lot of credit for elevating the awareness of specialty coffee. It is a shame they don't see the forest through the trees.

Rubinfeld’s memo follows (in its entirety):
To: All Starbucks Partners
Date: Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Re: Message from Arthur Rubinfeld - Global Store Design Update
Dear Partners,

With the recent announcement of our new global design strategy and the unveiling of our innovative concepts in Seattle and Paris, we’re off to a strong start in transforming the Starbucks store experience. We’re looking forward to building and renovating stores around the world with an amplified focus on coffee heritage, local relevance and sustainability.

In the process, we’re looking to sharpen our focus, challenge our own assumptions and stimulate new ideas — while staying true to Starbucks mission and core values.

The level of energy generated by our 1st Avenue & Pike Street, University Village (both in Seattle) and Paris Disney Village stores has been tremendously exciting. And the global attention and buzz surrounding the opening of 15th Avenue Coffee & Tea in Seattle is truly a reflection of Starbucks iconic cultural significance. It’s also a reminder that we need to be very clear with our intentions.

As part of our plan to further expand upon these new design concepts, we are pleased to announce our next location in Seattle. A new coffeehouse, in the mercantile style of 15th Avenue, will open this fall at 700 Broadway East (in the Capitol Hill neighborhood) and be called “Roy Street Coffee & Tea.”

As you can tell, the naming of these mercantile coffeehouses is based on their respective street or neighborhood name. We openly place a byline — “Inspired by Starbucks” — on the front door and in various interior locations to honor our rich heritage.

By introducing fresh design ideas that celebrate local materials and incorporate reused and recycled elements, we’re bringing a new layer of creativity and design innovation to our business. As customers visit our stores, we hope they’ll feel a deeper connection to coffee, an enhanced sense of community and a greater level of commitment to environmental consciousness. In short, we hope they’ll be inspired.

I’d like to share a video posted on that highlights the collaboration between our design team and local artists and craftsmen. Please check it out and pass it along.

More information on our global design strategy can be found via the links below:

June 25 announcement

Fact sheets and photos for 1st Avenue & Pike Street, University Village and Paris Disney Village

Fact sheet for 15th Avenue Coffee & Tea

Website for 15th Avenue Coffee & Tea

Please take some time to preview our new store designs in person — or virtually — if you haven’t already. Thank you for your support.


Arthur Rubinfeld
president, Global Development

Originally posted by Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle)Starbucks to open second ‘stealth’ coffee shop - by Greg Lamm

Friday, August 21, 2009

7 Good Reasons To Drink Coffee

Do you have a caffeine-hater in your life? You know the type – they’re always telling you what’s bad for your health. Here’s a list of some good reasons to drink coffee. Memorize this list – so the next time you encounter your favorite coffee-hater you can pull out one of these babies. While you’re at it you can add the words “from a peer-reviewed scientific journal” — that’ll really get your pet coffee-hater frothing at the mouth.

1. Cut the Pain
Two cups of coffee can cut post-workout muscle pain by up to 48%. From the Journal of Pain, March 2007 .

2. Increase your fiber intake
A cup of brewed coffee represents a contribution of up to 1.8 grams of fiber of the recommended intake of 20-38 grams. From the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry .

3. Protection against cirrhosis of the liver
Of course you could just cut down on the alcohol intake. From the Archives of Internal Medicine.

4. Lowered risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Those who consumed 6 or more cups per day had a 22% lower risk of diabetes. From the Archives of Internal Medicine .

5. Lowered risk of Alzheimer’s disease
There is considerable evidence that caffeine may protect against Alzheimer’s disease. From the European Journal of Neurology.

6. Reduces suicide risk
10 year study of 86,000 female nurses show a reduced risk of suicide in the coffee drinkers. From the Archives of Internal Medicine.

7. Protection against Parkinson’s
People with Parkinson’s disease are less likely to be smokers and coffee drinkers than their healthy siblings. Just make sure you don’t get lung cancer on the way. From the Archives of Neurology.

Recent research has also shown that coffee may boost a woman’s sex drive. The fact that it’s only been tested on rats somehow takes the shine off. UPDATE: Yet another reason: Risk for developing gout (in men) decreases with increasing coffee consumption. This is a large study of over 50,000 men (link). UPDATE: Coffee protects against eyelid spasm (can lead to blindness).

Special thanks to Energy Fiend for this post on April 30, 2007

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Power To The People

By Sharon Festinger


Bringing high quality selections to the general public at reasonable prices was one of the wine industry’s biggest achievements in the 20th century.
Now, coffee lovers can get in on the action too with Citizen Bean, a $20 a month artisanal coffee club based in San Francisco that offers quality brew with character…and conscience. Club members receive a monthly pound of sustainable, artisan-roasted U.S. coffee that’s fair trade, shade grown or organic, if not all three. The socially responsible little bundle is also accompanied by hand-wrapped goodies and unique finds, like complementary food samples to pair with the Joe or coffee accessories to help make it (think organic chocolate or French sugar, brew timers or coffee spoons).

But blasé beanophiles need not apply: the company takes the product seriously, educating members on a different bean varieties and their unique nuances and complexities, and working with small-batch roasters whose priorities are quality and freshness without sacrificing the environment. CB’s roasters go beyond the minimum certification requirement so the growers get at least their due. (you might call this fairer trade.) To add to this mix, beans are shipped within two days of roasting, which means they haven’t been going stale while waiting their fate in the grinder. For information, go to

- Sharon Festinger
(Originally published March 2008)