Starbucks news and updates roundup: Latte Art, House Blend and More.

Starbucks is constantly in the news! I think there will be many, many things to write about soon but here's a roundup of a few current Starbucks news stories that caught my eye: Is Latte Art Coming Soon To A Starbucks Near You? That's question asked by the well-known coffee blog, Sprudge.com. I would have to say "yes"! I've said for a long time that Starbucks partners want to do latte art. About a year ago, I wrote an article just casually mentioning partners who I knew who enjoyed latte art. This is a subject where for years, I've listened to partners tell me that they enjoy latte art and want to get better at it. Months ago, I heard that Starbucks was going to start encouraging latte art in their stores. I'd say that Sprudge.com got it right! Partners, want me to feature your latte art? Email photos my way. Tell me a little bit about the pictures you send too and/or information about yourself. What store are you at? When did you create the latte art? How long have you been a partner? Do you like the shift towards doing latte art at Starbucks?

Consumer Reports singles out Starbucks House Blend as the best tasting pre-ground coffee in your grocery stores. This Today Show news story puts a spotlight on Starbucks House Blend as your tastiest pre-ground grocery store coffee offering. I knew I always loved House Blend! :) StarbucksStore.com says that this coffee has been around since the very beginning: 1971. Very old Starbucks Coffee Master training materials would describe House Blend as follows: "Starbucks signature blend and our most popular coffee.  With a little tartness and toasted nut flavor, this is a straightforward, balanced, simply wonderful coffee." And House Blend was described as "Mild and Bright."

Starbucks Donates Nearly $2 Million from Teavana Oprah Chai Sales to Benefit Young Leaders. I was pretty sure that all the many iced Oprah Chai beverages that I had on hot Seattle summer days were adding up to something good. Click through to read more on the Starbucks donation.

I'm sure I'll have many more Starbucks news announcements very, very soon. Stay tuned!

New Starbucks Barista Dress Code: Yes to Tattoos. Yes to Black Jeans. Begins 10/20.

Giveaway: A Child-Size Starbucks Green Apron & Gift Card