Sunday, December 13, 2009

I want a Grande Hannukah Blend to Go

So my daughter, who is a barista at the Starbucks that is on the campus of Carlton University told the story of someone, let refer to him as a Ongeblussen, who berated her because while Starbucks does sell a Christmas Blend coffee, in both regular and decaf, there was no Hannukah Blend.

First of all, let's consider a few things:
1) how do we describe the Christmas blend? For the answer, we need to go to the website
Christmas is a time for family and friends to come together to eat, drink and be merry. And over the last 25 years, Starbucks® Christmas Blend has become a flavor of the season as much as turkey, stuffing and candy canes. It’s the unique blend of beans that makes this coffee such a fitting accompaniment for your holiday taste traditions. Our Christmas Blend is sweet and spicy, with a flavor derived from bright, sparkling Latin American coffees and smooth, full-bodied Asia/Pacific beans.

The second point is, a Hannukah blend coffee would only have a window of eight nights, certainly eight crazy nights, but eight nights still. So not a lot of lead time for a good selling coffee. Unlike Christmas which has a lead time of two months.

The third point, which is more theological, is how would you make the Hannukah Blend kosher- would the rabbi have to bless the whole shipment of beans as they arrive, after the beans are roasted. or would each bag have to be blessed? There are important questions and sadly I don't think there's an answer in the Law for this one. It may not have been one of the questions Moishe received the answer for when he entered the Tabernacle.

The fourth point is a bit more practical and this goes back to the person who raised it, no one really cares. Starbucks has decided to have a Christmas blend, probably because the predominant holiday of this time is Christmas. Thus they believe if they market stuff with the name "Christmas", it will go very good for them and after 25 years it's probably a good strategy. If this person wants to market a Hannukah blend coffee, then open your own coffee shop and make that part of your holiday gifts.

Finally, let me say something about my favourite blend, the Pikes Place Roast, a fantastic coffee, worth the price and worth the time it takes to drink.

Howard Schultz wrote this about the Blend:
“We named this coffee after our first store in Seattle's Pike Place Market because it truly represents the best of what we do: freshly roasted, freshly scooped, freshly ground, freshly brewed.”

It is truly delicious.