A couple of weeks ago at dinner, somebody was shocked and appalled to hear that I go to Starbucks rather than have some wonderfully obscure, squirreled away mom and pop coffee shoppe that I frequent. There’s two reasons for this:
1. I haven’t found a good mom and pop coffee shoppe that’s anywhere near the Technocave and its attached compound. The ones I’ve tried have been subpar at best. And the few times I have found one that’s near where I frequent, their hours are so odd that they’re never open when you want to grab a cup. Which blows my mind whenever I see a coffee shop (especially a Starbucks near a major road) close at 10pm. 10pm, for the record, is when a lot of the people I know really need coffee the most, so I mean, come on, folks. Get with the program.
2. Starbucks isn’t the best coffee I’ve ever tasted, but I know what I’m getting when I pull into one. And it’s amusing to tell them I want three extra shots with my mocha drink and hear them ask “You know that already comes with two, right?” “Yes. Yes, I do.”
Anyway, I’m not married to Starbucks. In that sense of the word, like Elizabeth I was married to England, I am married to coffee. Actually, not even coffee, just staying awake. Whatever does the trick–coffee is just a caffeine delivery system.
All of that as prelude, what I really called you all here to share is this article from The Oregonian, where the word is that, in Portland anyway, shops that care about coffee and customers more than profits are about to fling some steamed milk in the eyes of Starbucks. Here’s how the column opens, to give you a taste:
To launch its overwrought turnaround plan, Starbucks will no longer sell Egg McMuffins. No biggie. In all other aspects of its operation, Starbucks will continue to emulate McDonald’s. There is a moment in the history of every business enterprise where the commitment shifts from quality to profit, and Starbucks had its moment years ago.
Ow. We hope that if Starbucks takes a beating it comes back in a better form than when it was thrashed. We don’t care too much, though. We can tide ourselves over with Foosh.
So commenters: Do you go to Starbucks? Do you do so gladly or with guilt? And have you had the same track record as I have with finding (or not finding) indie coffee emporiums?