THE Starbucks siren is dipping her tail into soda.
The coffee kingpin, which has been carefully but methodically evolving beyond coffee during the past several years, is quietly testing handcrafted soft-drink products -- spiced root beer, ginger ale and a lemon ale -- in some stores in the Atlanta and Austin markets.
The fizzy drinks, made by baristas with special carbonation machines, are sold at Starbucks prices. In some Atlanta locations, for example, a tall goes for $2.45 while the venti fetches $3.45.
The move comes at a time Starbucks has its hands in a torrent of non-coffee activity -- from teas to juices to energy drinks to improved pastries -- as it tries to evolve into a multifaceted brand that's as familiar at the grocery store as in the Starbucks store.
-- USA Today