Get your free cup of Starbucks, and don’t get trampled by the crowds

Starbucks_3All 7,500 U.S. Starbucks stores should be very zoo-like this morning between 10 a.m. and noon, as the chain hosts its first-ever National Coffee Break. That means free cups of coffee for anyone who braves the crowds. Now, I live and work in probably the only Manhattan neighborhood (Inwood) that lacks a Starbucks, but even I may be in luck: The company reportedly will be delivering coffee to far-flung locales “using innovative, mobile-sampling ‘Venti Vans’ and insulated coffee backpacks.” When there are coffee backpacks involved, you know they’re serious. The chain estimates it will give away half a million free cups during the two-hour event, which seems to make this promotion about as costly as a 30-second Super Bowl spot.

—Posted by Tim Nudd