I was thinking about what my gift to you this holiday season might be and thought I would shed some light on how I have been receiving a free cup of coffee more than 50% of the time at Starbucks recently and enjoying a better tasting and fresher cup of coffee in the process. Allow me to clue you in on my secret: when placing your order, ask for whatever blend they are brewing besides Pike's Place. Currently, your local Starbucks is brewing their Christmas/Holiday blend as the alternative to the "brand defining" Pike's Place. If the definition of their brand is a blend with high acidity that leaves a chemical residue in your mouth with each sip, then they have more issues that their current price per share. Over the past few weeks I have been getting my coffee for free about half the time since the Christmas/Holiday is usual out and most patrons don't know the difference. But, for those with a more refined palet, when they ask, "It is going to be three of four minutes while we brew a fresh pot. Do you want to wait or would you like Pike's?" the correct response is "I would rather wait than have to drink Pike's." To which they will respond with a free cup of coffee in three to four minutes. Quality is worth the wait and the wait is more endurable than sipping on coffee flavored battery acid.