Decaffeinated coffee is quietly slipping out of the post-morning brewing rotation at Starbucks Corp.
The Seattle coffee giant has instructed its U.S. baristas to stop regularly brewing batches of decaffeinated coffee after noon, according to a memo reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and confirmed by the company. Instead, baristas will brew decaffeinated drip coffee only when a customer orders it, a process the company says takes about four minutes.
But stores with higher demand for decaffeinated coffee in the afternoon and evening are being instructed to brew it more regularly if they believe there's enough demand.
"For many of our stores, the demand for decaf is greatly reduced in the afternoon and therefore yields high waste with the current standard," the memo says.
Starbucks spokeswoman Deb Trevino said the change shouldn't affect customers. "We're not saying we're not going to have decaf coffee," she said. "We're just saying brew it based on your store needs rather than a one-size-fits-all."
The change only applies to traditional brewed coffee and not espresso drinks because espresso shots are customized for each drink.