I was shocked to find out that someone at headquarters was actually paying attention to my silly rant on behalf of blondes everywhere, with regards to Starbucks' new "light bodied blend." My editor received an email with my name on it that very day, proclaiming "we chose the name Blonde because it reflects our roasting artistry and style, and describes a coffee that is light bodied and flavorful, not to mention approachable."
I guess they didn't love my comment about finding "it a little insulting that a coffee being described as 'weak' or 'less intense' is given a name of Blonde." And I'll bet they really loved that Eater called it a coffee for a "nation of pussies."
In any case, the exchange with Starbucks was extremely polite, positive, and championed the product well, winning the debate with a epicure-related argument that I couldn't help but acknowledge as true. "The term Blonde is used in the culinary world quite a bit, as in Blonde beer, for instance."
When I inquired as to how they were handling innuendo like "now I get to
have a tall blonde every morning" line posted by a commenter on their
blog, the response was as follows: "we do want to be sensitive to comments such as the one you refer to below and are addressing them as they arise."
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They wanted me to try the new blend for myself, and I have to say, they sent this cool ceramic contraption with the coffee that brews one cup at a time (they even sent filters, very thoughtful). It's heavy though. Sadly, I chipped a mug on the first try (FYI -- if you buy the "Pour Over Brewing System," get yourself a sturdy, over-sized cup to balance it on). So, what's the real story on this coffee for average Americans?
The truth is, those on-line suggestions about this coffee being better for "iced tea" were untrue. It still has all of that powerful Starbucks caffeine buzz behind it (in fact, I feel an overstimulated buzziness as I'm writing this, fingers a little shaky on the keys). The taste of the Veranda does indeed remind me of Dunkin Donuts coffee, but it is stronger, more pronounced; way better than what gets served on JetBlue's airplanes (fortunately, the DirectTV makes up for it), but not as amazing as a perfect French or Italian dark roast, which is my ultimate choice for a cup of coffee.
What have we learned from this experience? Much like 'big brother,' Starbucks is always watching, and they don't want any bad press. Guess they are just as sensitive as us blondes.