Better get that decaf early!

Bloomberg.com has this:

Starbucks Corp., the world’s largest coffee chain, will stop continuously brewing decaffeinated coffee after noon as part of a drive to waste less and save $400 million by September.

The company, which last year started brewing fresh pots of coffee every 30 minutes, will have the caffeine-free version available upon request after 12 p.m., the Seattle-based company said today in an e-mailed statement. It takes about four minutes for a fresh cup to brew, spokeswoman Bridget Baker said.

“For many of our stores, the demand for decaf is greatly reduced in the afternoon,” the company said in the statement. “With our current standard of continually brewing decaf after 12 p.m. regardless of demand, we have seen a high amount of waste.”

The company informed baristas of the change yesterday. Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz is accelerating a cost-cutting plan to save $400 million by September from labor and product expenses. The plan includes brewing smaller pots of coffee so that less is wasted if it’s not purchased within the 30-minute time limit.

Starbucks is also closing stores in the U.S. and Australia and trimming waste in other products, such as excess milk in lattes and cappuccinos.

Starbucks rose 15 cents to $9.15 at 4 p.m. in Nasdaq Stock Market composite trading. It has lost 53 percent in the past 12 months.

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