BALLS AND WINES #STARBUCK’S LATEST

Our friendly and perky neighborhood coffee-house is at it again. Not too long ago, their coffee baristas came knocking at our doors, delivering our purchased brews. Now, Starbucks wants to lure us to their joints to sip locally craft beers and our favorite red and white wines. Action begins at 4p.m. until closing time. They call it ‘Evenings’ at Starbucks.

In selected locations in South Florida, and dozens nationwide, Starbucks has added tempting protein bites like skewered chicken and meatballs with basil and sauce to their menus. They also will also be adding sides of truffle macaroni and cheese, bacon-wrapped dates and flat breads.

With everything, there is a cost factor. These small food plates cost $2.50 to $7.00. And, be prepared to fork out $5.00 to $6.00 for a craft beer. As for your favorite Pinot grigio, Pinot noir, Merlot, Sauvignon blanc, etc. those will put you back $8.00 to $14.00.

Guys, don’t worry, they promise the right ambiance. Bottoms up!!

STARBUCKS IS GOING COCONUTS!…##COCONUT MILK

Once again, our neighborhood coffeehouse, Starbucks is testing a new idea; more of a product, coconut milk. Actually, they have tried it in San Diego, California and Washington before and the response seemed to have been favorable. As a result, based on customers’ demand, they have added coconut milk on their menu.

Sometime this month, (February 2015), Starbucks will offer coconut milk on its list of milk options. Based on reports in the media, it will only be in certain territories like Oregon, Ohio and Cleveland. I say bravo to them for taking this step.

It’s not surprising to me that the coffee chain has gone this route. I guess those in charge at Starbucks have discovered that the product is on the upswing. We have all seen a few of the high-profile celebrities, like Rihanna and others toting coconut water. And clearly, someone is doing their homework to know that the health benefits of coconut milk are tremendous.

Studies have revealed by the scientific community that the fat content in coconut includes a large amount of lauric acid which makes it heart healthy. As a result, it doesn’t have any negative effect on cholesterol in the body. Further studies have shown that countries like Sri Lanka and Polynesia where coconut is popularly used in the diet, heart related illnesses are uncommon.

I reckon that Starbucks’ nutritionists have done the research to know that their customers will also reap:

  • loads of fibers, vitamins, minerals
  • a slow absorption in the body which will not spike the glucose level in the body
  • an extra boost of energy, which makes it excellent for physically fit individuals

The question is, “will this test of coconut milk take off?” Already, they have had a positive response in California and Washington. We in Jamaica and in the Caribbean on a whole have been using coconut milk in our sweet and savory dishes for decades.

So far, I’ve  not used coconut milk in my coffee. Maybe, I should do a taste test. Although I love the product in various dishes, I’m sure it’ll be an acquired taste, ‘chasing’ my coffee. Who knows? I’ll have to take a quick swig and determine from a few shots.

Various companies like Grace Kennedy, etc have processed the milk and canned same in different sizes. This step makes it convenient for cooks to use in the kitchen. I do stock same for when I’m strapped for time. However, I prefer to purchase the wholesome product which averages about $1.99. To me, that’s priceless.

When I take it home, I use a hammer and give it a few bangs so as to break the husk. Ahh, it’s always a pleasure to drink that refreshing water within. I extract the flesh from the husk with a dull knife. Coconut pieces are then chopped and placed in a blender with water. A few minutes of blending action will yield perfectly healthy milk from nature.

COCONUT FLESH IN HUSK
COCONUT FLESH IN HUSK
COCONUT MILK AND LEFT-OVER PIECES OF COCONUT
COCONUT MILK AND LEFT-OVER PIECES OF COCONUT

Perhaps, Starbucks should stir awareness by recruiting a few prominent individuals like sports stars and entertainers to promote the coconut milk in coffee and the diet on a whole.That would seem ‘kool’ to their fans and supporters. Starbucks would definitely see a positive on their balance sheet.

Now, the question is, “where will Starbucks access the coconut milk?” Perhaps, Jamaica Coconut Board along with Grace Kennedy. That would be an excellent way to go. However, word out is that they already garnered their supplies from an Indonesian island called Sumatra in a concentrated form.

Will the addition of coconut milk to the menu be a permanent ‘fixture’ and increase sales? Only time will tell.

 

WHAT’S THE NEXT MOVE FOR STARBUCKS?…..A SINGING BARISTA AT YOUR DOOR…EH!?

Guys, ‘good ole’ neighborhood Starbucks is trying the utmost best to please all and sundry. Just a few weeks ago it has been announced in the press that a delivery service will be up and running. Yes guys, no longer will you’ve to suit up and join that long queue to retrieve your morning brew. That’s service is coming soon.

You can actually get your java arrived on your front porch or office door. I wonder how many pints you’ve to order so as to obtain free delivery. For one, there must be a minimum. You know, just like your Chinese eatery. I’ve to order at least $10 before they show up for ‘free’.

Well, everyone I know likes their coffee piping hot. What if it gets cool en route  to your door. Will a skilled barista arrive and offer to heat for me? Will there be a deduction or a free cup of brew? We’ll have to see.

The latest is, dear Starbucks has developed an ‘app’. This app will allow you to make your selection of java before you arrive at the store.  You’ll be able to pay for it online and then retrieve it at the store. Eh…, I wonder if one could choose the origin of the beans. Can you imagine a disgruntled consumer, “I distinctly requested and paid for beans from the hills of the Blue Mountains in Jamaica, or I said Columbia; or, this isn’t Cuban coffee!”

Guys, my take is that you can’t please everyone. Starbucks should try to perfect their brand in-house. And that means reasonable prices. Remember there’s competition from other coffee houses. WiFi is also available at McDonald’s and other places. They are in the business of serving coffee….well, a few other ad hoc items. We do appreciate the savory and sweet food items.Take care of your staff and you’ll derive excellent rewards/service from them. They in turn will provide superb service to customers and the establishment/s will be viable.

Hmm., I’m still thinking about a hot barista with bulging muscles (not too big of a biceps, 6-pack abs, not 8, that’s freaky) showing up at my door, uttering, “I’m here to serve you…coffee!” Maybe, I’ll pay for that. However, the coffee had better be piping hot.

Kudos to Starbucks for thinking outside of the box. I wish them well.

INTERNATIONAL COFFEE DAY!!

Hey guys, today, (Sept. 29, 2014) is International Coffee Day. Some of the establishments that are participating in this freebie of the good ole coffee beans are:

**DUNKIN DONUTS

**KRISPY KREME DONUTS

**McDONALD’S

**STARBUCKS

and many more coffee houses.

Guys, go out there and get your coffee fix NOW!