An actual email sent this evening through

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to inquire about what I hope is the impending arrival of your annual maple latte – specifically, I wish to know when my morning jaunt to my local Starbucks will yield me the joy of seeing “It’s back!” next to what have become two of my favorite words during the winter seasons here in New England.

The maple latte is, I strongly believe, Starbucks’ greatest beverage to which you treat customers each year, particularly for those of us in New England who feel as if we have been raised on maple since birth. The blend of espresso, maple, and milk became, frankly, a bit of an addiction during its first test-run phase in 2005 and became a staple of my winter of 2006. Please don’t tell me that 2007 and early 2008 will be without that blend – or that I will have to seek it at another location here in Boston.

The urgency with which I write is admittedly 75 percent in jest, but there’s an honest 25 percent that has been waiting patiently for this beverage to arrive. Given that last year, it was available by early October – I know because I happily blogged about its return! – our maple-free descent into late November makes me worry that maple is not expected to play a role in your season this year.

Please tell me I’m wrong, dear Starbucks Customer Service Representative. Please tell me that you didn’t get me hooked on this drink, only to rip it away after all the times it and I have shared.

I anticipate your response and hope that it is one full of good news. The people want maple, Starbucks. Will you heed their call?

Victoria Welch