Starbucks Bans Blonde Jokes

Chain launches 'coffee for non-coffee drinkers'

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 13, 2012 6:40 AM CST

(Newser) – 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.")

Heard the one about the blonde? You won't from Starbucks chief Cliff Burrows, seen here introducing the new blend.
Heard the one about the blonde? You won't from Starbucks chief Cliff Burrows, seen here introducing the new blend.   (AP Photo/Starbucks)
Exterior view of Starbucks Coffee shop in Mountain View, Calif., is shown on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012.
Exterior view of Starbucks Coffee shop in Mountain View, Calif., is shown on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
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