Starbucks launched its new, mellower "Blonde" roast this week, and it doesn't want to hear any baristas sniggering about the name. "We were told at a regional rally there are absolutely no Blonde jokes to be told around the coffee whatsoever. It will be a written offense if so," a worker writes at Starbucks Gossip. Starbucks introduced the lighter roast after surveys found that an estimated 54 million Americans prefer a lighter roast than the chain's signature bold roast, the Chicago Tribune notes. The manager of Starbucks' flagship Chicago store describes the Blonde roast as "coffee for the non-coffee drinker."
(Update from a Starbucks rep: "Starbucks has no policy or directive to penalize our partners for joking about our new Blonde Roast Coffee or any other product. We are also not aware of a company meeting discussing this false policy nor was a meeting to discuss such a topic ever scheduled.")