Free samples of new Starbucks roast today at noon EDT

Visit any participating U.S. Starbucks store on Tuesday, April 8 at 9 a.m. Pacific Time (12 p.m. Eastern Time) and Starbucks will give all customers a complimentary short (8 oz.) cup of the new Pike Place Roast™ to enjoy as they participate in a simultaneous, nationwide, coast-to-coast, coffee tasting conducted by Starbucks coffee experts.

You can see the whole press release, but the skinny is Starbucks is going with a new roast and trying to serve fresher coffee. This news, along with their previous buyout of Clover, shows how much they’re trying to corner the fresh coffee market.

The sad thing is, I don’t think this will really help the quality of their coffee. Smaller batches of a new roast could help, but unless they’re getting fresh shipments of that roast in all the time, it’ll still be stale (fresh roasted coffee is best within two weeks, regardless of packaging). And from what I’ve read, the Clover is no god-send. It still needs well-roasted coffee coupled with an operator that knows how to dial in the machine to get the most out of the beans being used. It’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out.