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wordwiseguy

Starbucks: Good or Evil?

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I'll eagerly await the new Birmingham Cafe Du Monde. Of course, to me, chicory coffee tends to only taste good when you're either actually at Cafe Du Monde or drinking it as part of a killer cafe sua da, while downing a bowl of pho. :laugh:

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Yet you still can't get a truly outstanding espresso in NO (or at least I wasn't lucky enough to find one).  CC had a passable cappa when I was there but not exceptional. But their coffee was indeed very good.

Dude! That's my point.

While an espresso, well made, is truly a fine thing-wonderful, as a matter of fact. The local drinker here is looking for a decent cup of strong dripped coffee with perhaps hot milk, perhaps not. It is really interesting to sit in a shop here and watch people order. There are an inordinate number of young people who, had they been raised elsewhere, would be all over the "latte with a double twist half caf" thing, but instead just step right up and order a "large dark". They walk over to the condiments counter and hit it with some cream or hot milk, and get on with their life. Very Encouraging in my book. THere is hope for the world.

The best thing about this is that it moves the lines along. There is nothing worse than jonesing for a cup and gettting in line behind a couple of "new age coffee buffs" who order some of those frozen things, involving a million ingredients, with stuff coming out of it in every direction. Invariably there will be one poor order taker and one over worked shot puller and blender operator. The whole order will take, like, an hour. Meanwhile, I have begun to shake and since I am already caffeine deprived, I am holding my tongue (literally sometimes-it's not pretty to see) and wishing that they would just go to the Zippeee Mart and get a slushee.

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Here in New Orleans, we have tons of coffee and always have. We are either the #1 or #2 coffee port in the world and one of the largest coffee roasters on the planet. People here drink coffee all day long, hot or iced, cold weather or hot, and we have not seen the attack of the Starbucks that many of you seem to be afflicted by. 

Yeah, but do you drink it with that powdered non-dairy doesn't-exist-in-nature so-called "creamer?" Like they do in places like Natchez? :blink:

Dude, that shit is so nasty it ought to be illegal. :raz:

K

You don't see that so much in New Orleans as you do in the hinterlands. My sister in law, a well educated, cultured woman in almost every way, actually buys the stuff and keeps it at home. Big honking Costco sized cans of it! I have never figured it out. People do, in fact, love that stuff down here. I never saw it when I was growing up in anyone's home though. Just in commercial places.

Part of it has to do with the weather I think. It's hot almost all year round and you have to keep half and half and milk on ice if you are leaving it on a counter. As far as any more excuses. I don't have any. We should consult John T. Maybe he has some research in this area. Or if he doesn't, he can force some hapless graduate student into spending the rest of his career on it.

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I actually know current and former employees of Starbucks who hate making all the blended frozen drinks, so they'd concur with you on that one I suspect.

And while I had a brief affair with the raspberry mocha chip variety of frappuccino, I've been clean for years. :huh:

And let's not even talk about the humiliation of going to Starbucks with co-workers only to have them all order frappuccinos while I get something far more simple.

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There is nothing worse than jonesing for a cup and gettting in line behind a couple of "new age coffee buffs" who order some of those frozen things, involving a million ingredients, with stuff coming out of it in every direction. Invariably there will be one poor order taker and one over worked shot puller and blender operator. The whole order will take, like, an hour.

Granted... I'm sure you're exaggerating with the one hour figure but I'm with ya on that. I won't wait more than 3 - 5 minutes from start to finish in a line for any coffee or espresso drink no matter whose shop I'm in. Even when we're doing some blender drinks we get the typical customer through the line in 45 seconds to 3 minutes depending on drink type and customer volume.

I applaud the NO coffee culture and tradition but would love to know where to get a really good espresso drink next time I'm down that way (which I hope to be in Spring '06).

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I remember having the only "tough croissant" in my entire life at one. that was so chewy that I dunked it. If you get bad coffee keep a bottle of Baileys Irish Cream around. It even fixes 7-11 coffee or at least makes it less offensive. I'm a Peets man myself.

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Ahhhh yes, Bailey's in coffee. One of my favorite cold weather drinks. Thanks for the reminder. Now I must got out and secure my winter stock of this fabulous coffee addition.

:biggrin:

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I actually know current and former employees of Starbucks who hate making all the blended frozen drinks, so they'd concur with you on that one I suspect.

And while I had a brief affair with the raspberry mocha chip variety of frappuccino, I've been clean for years.  :huh:

And let's not even talk about the humiliation of going to Starbucks with co-workers only to have them all order frappuccinos while I get something far more simple.

The Starbucks I worked in was actually IN a student Union at a major University (20,000+ students). I worked the night shift, alone. Those fucking ditzy-assed "I read Cosmo 'cos it's TRUE!" sorority girls fresh from getting their manicures would come in and order that shit IN WINTER! I couldn't stand that machine, and cleaned it an hour before close every night. That ice crusher can burn in hell. And so can the sumbitch who came up with those drinks. Nothing with crushed ice should come VIRGIN. It's a SIN, I tell you. SINNERS!

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The blended drinks?

I quote Allison, perhaps the most wonderful of the baristas at my old 'Bucks, as she took an immersion blender to a vat of what looked like King Kong's sperm bank donation: "Todd, promise me you'll never order one of these. Ever. Promise me."

Never have...

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Ahhhh yes, Bailey's in coffee. One of my favorite cold weather drinks. Thanks for the reminder. Now I must got out and secure my winter stock of this fabulous coffee addition.

:biggrin:

Jamesons and Heavy Cream with raw turbinado is even better.

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Jamesons and Heavy Cream with raw turbinado is even better.

Jason, as always, your sensibilities take my breath away with their directness.

I must try that. Soon.

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question, do you only go to the starbucks stores or do you go to the starbucks counters that are in Albertsons, target and other such places? Is that considered a real starbucks? Are the stores and the counters the same thing? is the quality of the coffee the same? I have always been afraid to go to one of the counters, it just did not seem the same, no music, no lines, nada.

We just had one open on one of the busiest corners in town and it will be a bitch to get into and out of that parking lot. I do 'bucks only if I do not have time to go down to my local place. Which is not all that often. And to think 'bucks was a cool thing to do in Seattle 25 years ago when they had like 2 stores.

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I haven't seen it mentioned but it seems like there's always something a bit off with the brewed coffee that I get from Starbucks. We're not talking about the zillion-calorie drinks here, just plain coffee. I've had it bitter, old-tasting, burned, and I don't know what else.... and yes, I am talking about different shops. They were mostly in NYC and Long Island.

On the other hand, I really enjoy Starbucks coffee when I brew it myself. I don't think that there's anything particularly special about my electric drip coffee-maker. I mostly grind the beans before brewing coffee but there have been times when I've had pre-ground stuff available.

Perhaps I'm not using the official coffee/water ratio or else I'm drinking it before it's had a chance to sit around in warming unit. I've never really figured it out. I do like the beans though. I've been buying their coffee since the days when we New Yorkers had to mail-order it because you couldn't buy it in a store.

jayne

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Starbucks does brew its coffee stronger than most people here on eG would recommend for reasons I do not understand.

IMO, they still over-roast their coffees.

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Did Starbucks change its provider of baked goods at some point? I only buy their hot coffee drinks in airports or similar, and don't care much for them. But I always used to think of them as having nice cookies, bars and brownies for sale, and now that stuff looks all different and not very appetizing.

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Starbucks Bad.

One Fella's Opinion

I dislike starbucks. Prices TOO HIGH, quality uneven at best. But most of all I hate their coffee. I find the roasts way too dark maybe even a little burnt resulting in a bitter acidic flavor. I prefer a rounder taste--and a cup of coffee that doesn't feel like Draino in my tender tummy. I also feel they put local shops out of biz, and I hate to see their signs on every block in urban and suburban America.

I actually tried the cappacino at Dunkin Doughnuts just to protest. Well dang that's a good cuppa. No fancy baristas (it's machine made) but a really delicious consistent product. Anyone else out there agree?

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question, do you only go to the starbucks stores or do you go to the starbucks counters that are in Albertsons, target and other such places?  Is that considered a real starbucks?  Are the stores and the counters the same thing?  is the quality of the coffee the same?  I have always been afraid to go to one of the counters, it just did not seem the same, no music, no lines, nada.

In my town, there is a shopping plaza with a Starbucks at one end, and 4 or 5 stores later, a Safeway with a Starbucks in it. They can't be more than 100 meters apart. :shock:

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I don't drink a lot of Starbucks espresso thingies, because quite frankly I find them vile. As for their drip coffee, I drink quite a a bit of it because that's what we serve and it's free for employees. I've always found a lingering, almost chemical bitterness from Starbuck's coffee, regardless of the roast or the blend. I don't know of any reason for that, but it's there. My guts are bitching at me, too, since we've switched; and I'm drinking less coffee overall.

And Bloviatrix, both here in Edmonton and back in Halifax there are companies roasting and selling fair-trade coffees at prices well below Starbucks. Better product, too.

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Good question. The ones in stores like Target and the like are branded as Starbucks, so certainly they must carry the same stuff and be trained like all Starbucks employees.

I know that back in my college days when I worked at Barnes and Noble, they had Barnes and Noble Cafes that "proudly brewed Starbucks coffee." I think that was the quote on the door. And if I'm not mistaken, the machines were provided by Starbucks as was the training.

Seems to me like a great potention traffic driver to retail shops like Target and Albertsons and a cheap kiosk opportunity for Starbucks to sell more beans. Here in Birmingham I see people walking through Target with their latte in hand filling their cart with all kinds of stuff on a Saturday afternoon.

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Maybe they did. I haven't seen the old espresso brownie lately in the case near my office. Damn I liked that brownie.

:sad:

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I know that back in my college days when I worked at Barnes and Noble, they had Barnes and Noble Cafes that "proudly brewed Starbucks coffee." I think that was the quote on the door. And if I'm not mistaken, the machines were provided by Starbucks as was the training.

I think there must be some sort of agreement between the two companies because in a lot of places, where there is a Barnes & Noble (sans coffee shop), there's a Starbuck's right next door.

If the coffee shop resides within the Barnes & Noble real estate, it can't legally be called a Starbuck's, though to all intents and purposes, it really is. Except they won't accept Starbuck's gift card, either. :angry:

There's a B & N in the Grossmont Shoping Center in La Mesa, California. Next to it is a Starbucks. You can enter the Starbuck's through a double door of glass that's inside the Barnes & Noble. So it's kind of like having a Starbuck's inside except you have to pay for your purchases before you waltz through the Starbuck's entrance.

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Good; Anything to further coffee conscienceness in US of A...

Bought stock when I realized just how many espresso joints survive in Paris. Not what made me pull trigger, tho'; was first summer of $Bucks when lines out door could be seen for silly frosted concoctions (cost .20; retail $4.50: wow) - made pizza guy model seem restrained.

However - advance of superauto has made midline espresso less mid and they do - horrifically - over roast their coffee (sold stock).

Best thing to have? A tall drip. That's it.

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