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    Starbucks Raises Prices on Most Drinks

    But regular coffee drinkers get a break.

    SEATTLE -- Starbucks Coffee Co. raised the price of nearly all of its drinks last week, with the exception of coffee orders, which are now 10 cents cheaper, according to The New York Post and other reports.

    Customers who order the most complicated drinks were hit with the biggest price increases. The price of an extra shot of espresso, for example, increased from 55 cents to 70 cents. Adding syrup now costs 40 cents, an increase of 33 percent, the newspaper reported. Those who request soy milk, rather than regular milk, in their espresso drinks now pay an extra dime.

    The Post reported the price of a tall latte jumped 2 percent from $3.20 to $3.25, while a triple grande soy vanilla latte, which was $5.55, is now $6.25.

    The company announced the hikes last September.

    Most customers interviewed by the Post failed to notice the increase. "The price change should be clearly labeled -- I had no idea," said Cecile Hanau, 43, not realizing she had just paid an extra nickel for her usual tall cappuccino at one of the company's New York stores. "If they are going to change their prices, they should let customers know. I try to have my coffee at home more than at Starbucks, and I guess now I will come here even less."

    Debbie Anne Pascqual, 25, whose grande caramel macchiato cost 30 cents more than it did a week ago, told the newspaper the price hike could be enough for her to abandon the coffee chain. "Living in the city is already expensive," the cocktail waitress said. "I'm shocked they raised prices without telling anyone. It seems like they cared about their customer base, but they don't. Now I'll go to Dunkin' Donuts."

    Not all caffeine fiends were steamed. Sondra Maren Schneider, 22, told the newspaper she didn't fault Starbucks for the increase. "I don't think any bar or restaurant announces when they raise their prices," she said. "That's just capitalism, whether it's fair or not."

    Kathleen Burke, 20, whose usual tall regular coffee dropped 10 cents, to $1.70, said she drinks coffee every day. "This was a pleasant surprise."

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