McDonald's Pulls Out the Stops


Armed with a big old Bag of Hurt, McDonald's is taking it to Starbucks in the middle of the downturn, and doing it on their home turf. Everyone knows that Starbucks is hurting, closing stores and seeing the profits dry up like old coffee grounds, but that's no time to baby them according to McDonald's latest efforts taking shape in Seattle.

According to this story, they have put up billboards "Four Bucks is Dumb" and "Large is the New Grande" around Seattle, pitching the news that Starbucks is so yesterday. Should be interesting to see how that works. McDonald's has launched a website

We already know that Starbucks is also under attack from another espresso wannabe, Dunks, citing that they beat Starbucks in a taste test.

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December 1, 2008

$500 Shopping Spree at CoffeeWiz

Got this in my email - if you buy K-Cups, or regular (non-ESE) pods, is a great place to get a wide selection of brands. They even have a few ESE pods that I have tried and like. Buy today and you are entered in a drawing for a $500 shopping spree at the site. Drawing is to be made Tuesday 10AM.

Good Luck - at CoffeeWiz

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November 18, 2008

Caribou Coffee Canned Iced Coffee Review


I saw this trio in Target the other day and thought I would grab them for a quick review and a little refreshment. These launched a bit ago, but I still think that Caribou is a decent place to get coffee and if any canned, coffee is going to taste good, one from Caribou would. canned coffee can be terrible, to decent; Starbucks Doubleshot is still a favorite. I would rather have a Latte than a can of Doubleshot any day, but sometimes you just have to grab one to go from the refrigerator. The Caribou Iced Coffee comes in three varieties:

Iced Coffee "Regular" - a good solid flavor that has a hint of vanilla or something that makes for a good coffee flavor that just comes through clean and without any bitter or metallic aftertaste. The carrageenan thickens it just a bit, enough to be velvety smooth without being slimy. Sweet enough to bring out the flavor without being a candied treat. 120 calories.

Iced Coffee Vanilla - Another good one to have around as it is flavorful and delicate. Definite vanilla, and coffee, neither overwhelming. Again, a good sweetness but not too sweet. 120 calories.

Iced Coffee Plus Espresso - a less sweet version of the regular coffee version is probably the least impressive in the group. I was hoping for more, but no. The Splash of milk must be just that, as this won't ever be mistaken for a creamy latte. The flavors again are not overwhelmingly good or bad, but just a good base coffee flavor that comes through in the end. Only 100 calories

The Caribou Iced Coffees are under $2 each 12 fl oz "Aluminum Bottle" and can be found at Target and other outlets. Nutrition Information for Caribou Iced Coffees can be found at the Caribou Website.

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November 10, 2008

Starbucks Gold - The $25 Club that Saves 10%


Starbucks has rolled out a $25 membership club that entitles the members to a 10% discount at Starbucks; not bad if you've got a big Latte habit. If you buy your membership in the store, you will get a free drink, and you'll get some other nice benefits too.

  • Free drink on your Birthday
  • Some sort of special offers throughout the year (Think advertising)
  • Free WiFi for up to 2 hours at participating stores.

More at the Starbucks GoldCard Site

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November 3, 2008

Care Enough to Vote? - Free Coffee at Starbucks

Starbucks is doing its own "Get out the vote" campaign asking if you care enough to vote, and what the world would be like if we all voted. In an ad that just broke over the weekend, Starbucks is putting their money where their mouth is and giving away a free tall brewed coffee to anyone who comes in and tells their barista that they voted. Offer good on Tuesday - Good stuff; see you at the polls.

More at

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October 29, 2008

Dunkin Beats Starbucks?


I dropped into Dunks the other day and saw this little ad on the door pushing the Dunkin Beat Starbucks website. First McDonalds and now Dunks. I guess it's tough being the market leader as everyone wants to pick you off.

It's all about flavor preference and anyone who remembers the Coke vs New Coke taste test debacle where New Coke won in Taste Tests, but no one really wanted to drink it, will know that Taste Tests don't always make for a market winner.

My hunch is that Starbucks will still be a great place to go for corporate good quality espresso drinks and Dunks is going to be well known for their Medium "regular" with a snack on the side.

Worth spending a couple of minutes to check out this Dunks propaganda site.


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October 28, 2008

Artisan Espresso is Back

Great article in the NYT the other day about high quality coffee houses coming back in the city. The ubiquity of the Hot Cuppa Joe type vendors in recent years have ceded some of their business to Starbucks and then in turn to higher end shops that offer artwork and quality that is unsurpassed in an 8-ounce cup for just a few bucks.

From the Times...
"What you see going on now is a de- Starbuckification, if you will," said Suzanne Wasserman, a food historian who is director of the Gotham Center for New York City History. "People are yearning for authenticity."

Read the whole article in the NYT

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October 21, 2008

You Know Espresso? - Win a Trip to NYC and more from Illy


Illy is running a quick Taste of New York contest to give away a whole bunch of prizes including a trip to NYC that comes with the opportunity to see opening night at the New York Film Festival, two nights at a couple of great restaurants (Tribeca Grill and Le Bernardin), and tickets to the Guggenheim and the MOMA. You'll get $1,000 spending money a Francis Francis X7 iperEspresso Machine and a case of espresso. Not the grand prize winner? Well they are also giving away Illy coffee and Illy Espresso Cups.

Hurry - entry deadline is November 14th at Illy's Website

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 16, 2008

Tully's Sells Operations to Green Mountain Coffee Company


Tully's just sold its wholesale operations to Green Mountain Coffee Company, but maintains control of its retail stores. The roasting and distribution arrangements will now be handled by the K-cup Kings over at Green Mountain. I happen to love the Tully's French Roast K-cups when I am not drinking espresso's.

More at SeattleTimes

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September 15, 2008

Caribou Pumpkin Latte and Pumpkin Coolers


Caribou has launched their fall drink line up to welcome in the cooler weather. The Pumpkin flavored drinks are ready at your local Caribou coffee cafe. An hey, if the weather is still a little steamy in the late summer where you are, grab a cooler.

  • Pumpkin Cooler - A creamy blend of pumpkin, spice and coffee makes for a surprisingly refreshing cooler.
  • Wild Pumpkin - A masterful mix of pumpkin, spice, white chocolate, espresso and cream that's like pumpkin pie right out of the oven.
Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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