The mermaid on my Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX) cup has had a big makeover. The logo is brown (like coffee!), not green (which is, admittedly, also like coffee, before the roasting), and the mermaid's depiction is no longer a close-up. Who knew: She's got some weird dual tail thing going on, too. This is all thanks to Starbucks' big splash this week, pushing fresh-roasted-coffee competitive advantage.

Starbucks launched what it calls an "everyday" brew, dubbed Pike Place, named for the first Starbucks store that opened in Seattle's Pike Place Market in 1971, so it's meant to emphasize the company's venerable history in the coffee biz.

Yesterday marked the company's coast-to-coast free tasting, but I got a taste of Pike Place today. Did it have a "smooth, welcoming taste" with "Starbucks signature bold flavor with a smoother finish balanced by soft acidity and subtle, rich flavors of cocoa and toasted nuts"? I guess so. I mean, I enjoyed it, but I'm not the type of coffee drinker who can sort out soft acidity, not to mention toasted nuts. However, what I do know is that after drinking my short Pike Place and making some progress on my usual venti latte, I'm feeling pretty darn good right about now.

I was prepared to make a little jest about this being called an "everyday" coffee -- since an "everyday" coffee may not sound so special; it may sound a little more like that ratty pair of jeans with the hole in the knee -- but maybe that's a bit unfair. After all, Starbucks is walking a fine line while trying to differentiate the nature of its coffee offerings from those of competitors like Peet's (Nasdaq: PEET), Caribou (Nasdaq: CBOU), and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Nasdaq: GMCR), not to mention coffee-come-lately McDonald's (NYSE: MCD). It bodes well for Starbucks to point out that the coffee is special, but also a luxury that customers can enjoy every day. I get that.

Although Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation Starbucks does have some competitive challenges to contend with, I feel optimistic about its long-term future despite all the short-term angst. And as much as the current economic problems make consumer-oriented stocks scary for investors, I'd say Howard Schultz's attempts to get the company back to its caffeinated roots are coming at just the right time.

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Fool contributor Alyce Lomax owns shares of Starbucks; she feels good, really good, kind of like running in place! Yeah, caffeine! The Fool owns shares of Starbucks. The Fool has a disclosure policy.