An Open Letter to Starbucks

25 Aug

 

Venti unsweet black iced tea - now a specialty beverage!

Venti unsweet black iced tea - now a specialty beverage!

 

Dear Starbucks,

I am not a coffee drinker, but I am a regular customer.  Like many of your regular customers, I have have a regular drink order.  My regular drink order just happens to be a Venti unsweet black iced tea, which now costs me 20 cents more per caffeinated cup.  I understand the business need to ajust pricing to keep pace with the economy.  I understand the strategy behind charging more for specialty beverages while dropping the price of the basic drinks.  I simply don’t understand how my Venti unsweet black iced tea fell into the “specialty beverage” category.  

I do not order iced tea lemonade, or Passion tea, or tea latté.  My drink requires no grinding, brewing, or decorating with accoutrements like steamed milk, or whipped cream, or caramel sauce as with coffee.  Nothing goes into the blender to be frappucinoed.  I frankly don’t care if anyone shakes my tea in the Starbucks Iced Tea Shaker, which let’s face it, is just a plastic cocktail shaker with a logo on it.  I don’t even ask for any sugar in my drink for god’s sake!  How much more stripped down, uncomplicated, and rudimentary must my order be before it qualifies as basic?  Does ice make it a premium drink, or am I bearing the brunt of your price increase simply because I’m not a coffee drinker?

Please explain, Starbucks, before I switch my four-times-a-week allegiance to Peet’s Summerhouse iced tea, which incidentally costs $2.05 for a large — 5 cents cheaper than the old price of my Venti at your place.

Yours Very Truly,
Ms. Drinkwell

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