USA Today- All Starbucks coffee shops sell coffee. Some sell beer. But only a precious few sell coffee that many folks out in Social Media Land insist tastes a lot like beer. You read that right: a cup o’ joe that tastes like a cup o’ brew. Starbucks is testing a so-called Dark Barrel Latte in a “handful” of stores in Ohio and Florida, says spokeswoman Lisa Passe. The Dark Barrel Latte is made with espresso and topped with whipped cream and dark caramel drizzle and comes blended with a “chocolaty stout flavored sauce,” she says. No beer. No alcohol. But don’t tell that to some folks who — love it or hate it — have lit up Twitter. “This Dark Barrel Latte from Starbucks tastes just like beer & I might be in love,” tweeted Nina Amicantonio. But Noel Woods tweeted an entirely different take: “The dark barrel latte at Starbucks literally tastes like drinking a Guinness in the early morning…So yuck.” A Starbucks training guide for baristas specifies that there is no beer whatsoever in the beverage. The so-called “stout flavor” is actually a “roasted malt flavor,” the guide says. The beverage also is available as a blended Frappuccino, the training guide says. So, why test a coffee that may taste like beer? “Starbucks regularly tests new beverages, and testing is an essential part of bringing the Starbucks experience to our customers,” says Passe in an e-mail.
This isn’t meant to be a “Do you even drink bro?” type of blog but if it comes off that way, so be it. Why? Why is Starbucks doing this? And further more, why would anybody order a morning coffee that tastes like beer but contains no alcohol? That seems dumb. If I order a coffee that tastes like beer, I want there to be booze in it. I’m not classy enough to enjoy a drink simply because it tastes like a fine alcohol. What am I, an adult? No. I want to order 50 of them and let the effects of alcohol wash over my already-damaged brain and take me to euphoria. That’s what I want when a drink that tastes like beer is shoved in my face. Otherwise I’m just drinking a coffee version of O’Douls and that couldn’t sound worse. I don’t appreciate Starbucks being huge pussies on the issue. Either put alcohol in the coffee that tastes like beer or don’t sell it at all. I’m totally fine with just drinking the heavily caffeinated sludge they normally serve me. But don’t tempt me with the opportunity to drink beer in the morning but then take away the thing that makes beer great. That of course being the magical substance that causes me to care less about my problems and more about beef jerky and going to great lengths to get laid. I also don’t appreciate Starbucks using my alcoholism as a vehicle to sell me products in a disingenuous manner. If you’re going to prey on my inability to turn down booze when it’s offered to me, that’s fine. Bars and restaurants do it all the time. But don’t trick me into thinking it’s something it’s not. Put booze in it or get outta my face.