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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Starbucks Red Eye: "Taste Drive"

Starbucks Red Eye: "Taste Drive"

Starbucks Red Eye, Venti
Starbucks Red Eye, Venti

In my new book about making great coffee, I stated that I can make great coffee at home for 60 cents, and even for a million dollars it would be hard to find a better cup of coffee anywhere.  A bold statement, I know.

I decided to put this to the test.  Unfortunately, my budget was not up to spending a full million dollars, but I bought an expensive coffee at Starbucks to take on a "taste drive".

At the Starbucks in my local Barnes and Noble, I asked if I could get a pour-over with 1/2 house blend and 1/2 dark roast.  The answer was that they did not have pour-over equipment at that location.  One of the baristas in back offered that they could make me a Red Eye.

What is a Red Eye?

This sounded interesting.  I don't think Red Eye is even on the official Starbucks menu.  A Red Eye is a cup of coffee with a shot of espresso added.  The barista thought this would give me the blend of dark and medium roast flavors I was seeking.  I ordered up a venti (20 ounce) Red Eye made with house blend and a shot of espresso that cost $3.14.

My first impression was that it was served too hot.  I couldn't taste much and had to let it cool down a bit.  I often find that coffee at coffee shops is served too hot.  I think this is done on purpose so customer's won't complain about getting cold coffee.

After cooling, I found that the Red Eye had pretty good flavor.  The shot of espresso added some of the dark, smokey flavor that I wanted.  Without looking at any nutritional information, I can tell you that a Red Eye has A LOT of caffeine!  I was wide awake all day.

My conclusion is that a Red Eye at Starbucks is a good way to wake up and is a good-tasting cup of coffee.  I still like my great coffee at home better, though.  The price of $3.14 is OK for an occasional treat, but I wouldn't want to do that every day.  I will count this experiment as the cost of doing business.

Copyright © 2015 Dr. Penny Pincher. All Rights Reserved. Coffee Maker Journal

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