As I sat there in the Starbucks on the UBC campus, bashing at the keyboard to write my slate of Mobile Magazine articles, sipping at my vanilla latte, the nice young lady wearing the standard green apron came around with a tray of shooter glasses. Well, not exactly, but they were these little cups filled with non-descript bubbly green fluid. I’m not much of a morning person, so it didn’t dawn on me (no pun intended) right away that these were samples of Starbucks’ new “Tazo Green Tea Latte.”

She offered me a cup, and how could I resist, despite the fact that my (purchased) grande cup was still half full. I put my huge latte aside and took a sip from the tiny white paper cup. Obviously, it didn’t taste quite as heavy as your standard espresso-based latte, so it was quite the refreshing change, despite the fact that I don’t believe this green tea latte is exactly anything “new”. Instead, it’s something that’s a little newly packaged with some extra marketing thrown in (they had their run-of-the-mill promotional posters and whatnot kicking around). The price is the same as the rest of their menu, so yes, a cuppa joe (or green tea, rather) will put you back almost the same as a full meal deal at McDonald’s.

As I write this, yet another young lady came by with another tray. This time, we got something cold (it’s a little later in the day now, so cold drinks are a-okay) in a plastic cup. Yes, more green tea it was, and yes, I’m a glutton for free samples so I jumped all over the opportunity to sample their Blackberry Green Tea Frappuccino. I like the Green Tea slushy stuff, but the blackberry syrup on top (interestingly, the Research in Motion office — the people responsible for the push-email BlackBerry device — isn’t that far away from where I’m sitting) was a little off-putting for me. Maybe I’m just not a fan of blackberries, but this Starbucks “original” concoction almost came off medicine-like to me… if it weren’t for the sweet green tea and whipped cream, I probably couldn’t handle it. Blackberry aficionados would likely enjoy this drink, but it’s not for me.

Yes, I drink Starbucks. Yes, it’s good coffee. Yes, I like saying yes. And yes, that’s it for now.