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.   (AP Photo/Starbucks)
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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