Personal “secret menu” creation today–chocolate cinnamon coffee smoothie

OpenClips / Pixabay

Whipped this up today at Starbucks and it’s fantastic. I’ll be getting this one again, and again.

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Cadbury Egg — a Starbucks “secret menu” creation

Latest beverage concoction from my brain. I was sitting on a beach and thought this sounded good. And it is. 😉

Steamed egg nog
Mocha
Toffee nut
Foam or whipped cream
Caramel drizzle

Variation: hazelnut is sweeter than toffee nut, and also gives an interesting twist.

Give it a try, but let me know if you do.

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Starbucks stock is screaming

It’s interesting to work in the shadow of a juggernaut that sells out on $450 gift cards faster than Dave Matthews concert tickets in Virginia.

The offering marked the second year the coffee chain has partnered with high-end daily deal site Gilt.com to sell the cards. With only 1,000 cards available, the deal was the more exclusive of the two.
http://www.cnbc.com/id/101253131?__source=yahoo%7cfinance%7cheadline%7cheadline%7cstory

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How to make your coffee at home taste like Starbucks’

“Yeah, but it doesn’t taste the same as when you guys make it.”

Brewing a perfect cup--just a matter of setting up right

Cup-a cup-a cup-a cup-a cup!

I hear this often when I talk to people about buying whole bean coffee to brew at home or work. Starbucks doesn’t use beans that are any different than what they retail. The equipment they use is fast, precise, and (thus) expensive, but it doesn’t do anything magic to it either. So what is the difference?

It’s just a question of simple chemistry. This post will tell you how to get those results at home.

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UPDATED: Functional “Secret Menu” drinks from Starbucks

Functional Drinks at Starbucks

UPDATED: Starbucks has fully rolled out Teavana teas in their stores, a big but pleasant change. I will give my recommendations below, especially for the increasingly popular “Medicine Ball.”

Synergy of beverage and composing

Synergy of beverage and composing

Starbucks can make countless drinks that are off the menu. The most popular are really sweet novelties trying to taste like candy bars, and are usually blended, but some are very useful for when you need a big push or are feeling under the weather. They help you get through those challenging times, so I call them functional drinks.

UPDATE: Starbucks acquired Teavana some time ago. While the relationship has slowly been developing between the two, Starbucks only recently completely replaced their Tazo lineup with Teavana teas.

 

 

Teavana

 

As your very own Blogrista, and having been asked about these drinks numerous times, I want to clue you in on them. Here are a few of those not-so-secret “secret menu” drinks in order of what I think are most helpful.

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Fall Food link

Following from my post on How to find your perfect drink at Starbucks, I just came across this little tidbit on Fall foods that is pretty interesting. This is the kind of stuff that adds another dimension to the seasonal, savory drinks like Salted Caramel Mocha and Pumpkin Spice Latte. (Both of which I recommend hot.)

Pumpkin Spice Latte

 

 

 

 

 

This one in particular, on Picca: Peruvian and Japanese fusion food, looks incredible. I should get more Peruvian food in my diet. 😉

La Boulange at Starbucks

http://instagram.com/p/dkUtfnpiLr/

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Prepare yourselves for a scrumdibblyunctious revolution….
#laboulove

How to find your perfect drink at Starbucks

Caffeine withdrawal, and understanding tall/grande/venti, can cause headaches There’s no substitute for a well-placed beverage in your day; even sweeter when you don’t get one often. Somewhere out there lies that perfect drink at Starbucks. But what if you don’t know what to order with that huge menu? Or if you don’t know how to order with all that particular verbiage? Don’t worry about it. In this post, I’ll give you 4 decision-makers that will help you hone in on your perfect drink in 10 seconds or less. [Read more…]

Corporate Capitalism to the Rescue!….wait, really?

Starbucks–that monolithic coffee house and sugar shack, seemingly omnipresent, a heavyweight champion in the upper echelons of corporate America–has claimed to have been working for the little guy for a long time. Can it be true? Can this big publicly traded company really be enriching the lives of common people in America and abroad, or is that a PR ploy to garner more market share?

I for one believe it is true. Not only that, but I believe these big corporations are often times doing a whole lot of good and helping people for the sake of helping people. They just know how to turn opportunities into some kind of growth, and they can even do it without crushing the small business owner underfoot.

The reason I pick out Starbucks? I have a special relationship with them, you might say. Also I have been casually following their Indivisible campaign. Their partnership with Opportunity Finance Network and the Create Jobs for America Fund is really cool and growing fast. I just learned today of their decision to give a lot of business to a pottery factory in Ohio, and they ordered so many mugs from them they nearly doubled their staff practically overnight.

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Handsome and Patriotic Mugs

What makes me pause is the assumptions and implications within the way people talk about this project and about this company. Teamster Nation begins their blog post with this:

In an era of disappearing manufacturing jobs and struggling small towns, a giant corporation has become an unlikely hero in Ohio.

Why is it so hard to believe a giant corporation could be a hero? Why is it so unlikely? I totally understand that big businesses change the game and buy out or shut down small ones. I’ve been a good “boo on capitalist and corporate greed!!!” bandwagoner. There’s a lot of truth to that. But these companies are heroes to all the people they benefit. Even the baristas that work in the trenches for them will curse them for not paying them more, but praise them when they have to call on insurance. It’s just a different type of heroism.

I think Starbucks (and other companies like it) are microcosms of America. In the end, it is just a company made of people, who want to grow and prosper, but really do want their lives to count for something more than what they grossed at the end of the day. America has lots of corporate greed and power-hungry companies fueling it…the runoff and effects of these companies make even the poor in this country lightyears ahead of poverty in the rest of the world. Wait a minute…

Before I get painfully wordy, my point can be summarized thusly: the more a company, an individual, or a nation can create wealth, the more potential and incentive they have to bless and benefit others.

Similarly, the allowance of capitalism and the protection of market freedom tends to make people and companies more charitable. Greed may increase but giving and benevolence does too. Humans don’t need help to be greedy–it’s in our nature. But this should be saved for another post. 😉