Today is the big day: Starbucks — the home of gun-wielding teenagers, white-collar criminals, and purse-snatchers — is debuting its lighter "Blonde" roast to appease a nation of pussies that wanted a weaker brew. Back in 2008, Starbucks already tried to mollify the crowds clamoring for weaker coffee with a Pike Place "afternoon" blend — a medium roast — but that apparently was still too damned strong.
So please welcome to the coffeesphere: Starbucks Veranda Blend, Starbucks Willow Blend, and Starbucks Decaf Willow Blend. What's up with the summery, tea-time-y names? Anyway, Starbucks calls the new roasts "decidedly mellow" and "subtle and soft with mellow acidity." They also "awaken the senses gently."
Starbucks has been feeling the heat lately from other mass-market chains like McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts that have expanded their coffee programs, and Starbucks wants to try to capture that market of people who prefer "weaker" or "milder" brews. Said Starbucks' director of coffee quality: "We know we're not serving those customers now. We're going to bring in new customers." The new brews will be available in Starbucks coffee shops and supermarkets starting today.