Starbucks Blonde espresso review

By: Riley Lumpkin and Gabe Mattick

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In early January, Starbucks launched a new espresso. This is called the Blonde espresso. This new espresso is different because it is a mix of Latin American beans and East African beans, which is what creates the drink’s sweet flavor. The vice president of Global Coffee, for Starbucks, stated, “By taking a lighter approach to espresso which created a bright taste with sweet citrus notes and a smooth body.” So, after hearing the hype about the new espresso we gave it a try.

First, we tried an espresso shot; the blonde espresso shot was pretty good. We thought that it was still a little strong, although you could taste the smoothness and a little bit of citrus. It wasn’t as bitter as a regular espresso shot; it was smoother and sweeter. Neither of us is a big coffee drinker though, so we would not get the plain blonde espresso shot again.

Starbucks features a few drinks as well, probably as a recommendation, one of the drinks was the Blonde Vanilla Latte. This was the second drink we tried. It consisted of milk, vanilla syrup, and espresso.

Riley’s review: This drink is my favorite, you can still taste the coffee flavor, but it doesn’t have a burnt bitter taste. It was a little sweet because of the vanilla flavoring but I personally thought it was very good.

Gabe’s review: I am not a fan of coffee, therefore this drink was not one of my favorites. Although, I did prefer this over the plain espresso shot. It was much sweeter, and smooth. I thought you could still taste a bit of a bitter taste, but it isn’t as strong as a normal cup of coffee.

The final drink we tried was an iced caramel macchiato, and we substituted the regular espresso with the Blonde espresso. This drink consisted of milk, espresso, vanilla syrup, and a caramel drizzle over the top.

Riley’s review: The original caramel macchiato is my go-to drink in the summer; I always get it iced and it is very refreshing. Without the blonde espresso, you can’t really taste any bitterness from the espresso. After trying it with the blonde espresso I thought it was way too sweet. I couldn’t taste a coffee flavor at all; it also tasted a bit watered down.

Gabe’s review: I just recently started drinking the caramel macchiato. I think it is pretty good. It is a good drink for someone who does not like a strong coffee flavor. After I tried it with the blonde espresso I also thought that it was too sweet, although, I liked it a little bit more because it wasn’t as bitter. If I got this again I would probably ask for it without caramel, which would eliminate some of the sweetness.

Overall, we liked the Blonde espresso. If you are new to coffee, or don’t like that strong bitter taste, we recommend asking for the Blonde espresso.

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Teachers vote to possibly go on strike

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The teachers of St. Paul have spoken. The St. Paul school district will be attempting to prevent, or potentially endure a teacher strike. The teachers are asking for a 2.5 percent pay raise, along with more non-teacher staff, and smaller class sizes. SPPS (St. Paul Public School District) has had a hard time coming to meet the needs of our teachers.

On Wednesday, Jan 31st, our teachers voted to authorize a strike. This means that we have ten days before the strike possibly begins. This “cooling off” period ends Monday the 12th, and the potential strike will begin on Tuesday the 13th. If the strike has not ended after four school days, then we will have to add more days to the end of the school year.

Some teachers and non-teacher staff in the district do not believe that this argument will result in a strike; however, their opinion is becoming less and less likely every second that ticks by. The clock has started, and it seems to most that this clock will run out well before the teachers and school district come to an agreement. The thought of adding more days to the end of the year could be difficult for students and families, as some may have vacation plans, or plans for their children to work over the summer. It could be time consuming and potentially expensive for some families to shift their plans back farther into the summer.

One thing is for sure, the teachers, staff, and (most) students do not want to take a couple weeks off, and push their plans back into summer. This strike could shorten our summer break, were most of us relax, enjoy some free time, and work to make some money. With any luck, our teachers and school board can come to an agreement that would make a strike unnecessary. We all know how bad a strike could be for our students and staff.

*UPDATE: It was announced Monday morning, Feb 12th, that the union and district had come to a tentative agreement, thus preventing a strike.