Sunday, April 27, 2008

Caffeine Nation

Starbucks has been getting pressure in recent years from the likes of Dunkin' Donuts, who mock the elitist coffee culture that is the Seattle-based chain, and even by McDonald's, who will now add the cream for you if you want, and offer their own sweet and fatty iced caffeine beverage. McD's takes an even more direct stab at Starbucks with their website promoting McCafes in Starbucks' home turf of Western Washington, Unsnobbycoffee. And I don't know how many noticed, but in the recent Will Ferrell comedy Blades of Glory, 7-11 had a coffee product placement in one scene.

So Starbucks is now trying to lure the regular coffee people over to one of their ubiquitous stores, those of us who don't speak Starbucks and still prefer to define cup sizes in terms of small, medium and large. They're doing it by offering, of all things, REGULAR COFFEE. (Example ad below.)

Ain't gonna work. As a regular coffee drinker, (maybe a dash of half and half, or if we're out of that, a splash of milk) when I'm not at home near my trusty Senseo coffeemaker and want a coffee, I will sooner drive through a McDonald's or pull into a 7-11 before I will darken the door of the Church of Starbucks. Starbucks devotees are cult-like, and a visit to a Starbucks by a regular coffee drinker is at the least an uncomfortable experience, usually leaving the regular coffee drinker feeling as though they've caved, fallen victim to the hype, and paid way too much for something that is worth about 50 cents.

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  • JP, I live with a coffee snob who worships at SB. Me? I like vending machine coffee.

    The McDonalds and SB sit side by side in my hood, and since the coffee roll-out, a fence has been built between the two businesses.

    On occasion I do like to cross the threshold of the neighborhood SB to see what books and music they're peddling.

    By Anonymous Laneesha, at April 27, 2008 at 2:12 PM  

  • For a time I went to SB just to see if I could make an employee say "extra large" instead of venti, but I never succeeded. And eventually that scared me.

    Maybe people sit there doing nothing for so long because they're getting their money's worth in chair rental.

    By Anonymous ouija repair, at April 27, 2008 at 6:25 PM  

  • 'Packs, there you have it: you'd sooner hit a McDonald's drive-thru or in-out @ 7-11. You're looking at it in a utilitarian kinda way. But neither would be a good place for someone to hang out for an hour or two, unless they're homeless, a pedophile, or both. While Starbucks exists for d-bags to sit around on their laptops and put on airs of being productive/important/inspired/creative, it's about image and "the Experience". I haven't seen the allure-particularly because they charge for effin' wifi-but enough people have to send stores multiplying like over-caffeinated rabbits.
    Me, I'll brew it myself, or steal from the officemate with the Flavia machine when he gets up to take a dump. Now that's what "the Experience" is all about.

    By Anonymous M.M.McDermott, at April 27, 2008 at 10:41 PM  

  • i agree completely!

    By Blogger shaun., at April 28, 2008 at 5:39 PM  

  • rather brew at home wiff some milk after a starbucks in las vegas made me barf on the way home and left me feelin yucky the rest of the week. vegas blows.

    By Anonymous notjohndoe2, at April 28, 2008 at 11:07 PM  

  • My mom is Cuban... this means she not only makes delicious food but she can make one seriously potent and delicious cup of coffee. To me SB is and has always been a coffee flavored watery shake. Connect Frappé with mochachino all you want, it's sweet as a bastard and really, there is nothing like home made coffee with real coffee flavor.. if you want real coffee that is. if you want the 800 calories new flavor cavort from your local SB, that's fine too, just don't try and convince me that you can make a real cup o joe because the faker it is at SB, the better. The more they try to give you a real coffee the more I lean towards anger spliced with gaggage.

    By Blogger joker, at May 7, 2008 at 6:11 PM  

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