While I was ordering my Clover-brewed Verona at my local Starbucks today, I noticed a mysterious new machine behind the counter. It was mostly covered by a sign saying only “Coming 6/24”. There was a gauge at the top I guessed might be a temperature gauge, but otherwise I was baffled.
It was sitting by the blenders, so it seemed likely to be related to cold drinks. Didn't seem like some kind of fancy new blender, because what kind of drink would take a special blender? All I could figure out was that it had something to do with a mysterious new summer drink line.
So I did what I always advise people to do when confused or puzzled about something at a coffeeshop: I asked the barista. And she said it's a carbonation machine. So that “temperature gauge” is more likely a pressure gauge.
I seem to recall hearing that Starbucks was test-marketing “handcrafted sodas” somewhere, and it looks like the test was successful, because this sounds a lot like carbonated soda drinks are coming to a Starbucks near you. I haven't done any internet digging, but my guess is they're going the Italian soda route.
There will undoubtedly be an advertising blitz when the drinks are rolled out, so keep an eye on the Starbucks social media accounts and your local stores. Can't wait to see what they've come up with!