Melody Overton, who might know more about what's happening at Starbucks than most of its employees, passed along this item about a test in Chicago. At StarbucksMelody.com this week, she features a few other Starbucks tests, including a "drip only" line at another Chicago store.

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EmailOrder.jpgMelody Overton, who might know more about what’s happening at Starbucks than most of its employees, passed along this item about a test in Chicago. At StarbucksMelody.com this week, she features a few other Starbucks tests, including a “drip only” line at another Chicago store.

Melody’s friend David Stone, a Chicago attorney and Starbucks regular, snapped this photo of a new service at his local cafe that lets customers order drinks by e-mail five minutes before they arrive.

The system works like this, he said: Using a registered Starbucks card, e-mail your order and pay for it before arriving. The drink will be waiting for you at the hand-off counter with your name on it. Like the sign says, it’s available from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

That’s even faster than the Blackberry app Starbucks recently launched, which lets you pay for your drink by displaying a bar code on your hand-held device. With that app, you still have to stand in line and order.

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Workers at the Chicago store told Stone that fewer than 50 regulars are using the service, which is in a small store inside tall office building.

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