Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What's in a name?

Well, this isn't a post about gaming. This is a statement about my favorite coffee. Grant you, not a paid advertisement for my favorite coffee, Venti, bold, 5 sweet'n lows and a bunch of cream.

This is about the different types of establishments that are under the name, Starbucks. There is the stand alone, brick and mortar, Starbucks, and then there are those that are nested inside another establishment, like Barnes & Nobles or your favorite grocery chain. People might think that this are the same, but in fact, they are not. I'm here to straighten that out.

The stand alones, which are the true, official Starbucks operated by trained Barista's, and always have coffee and always have it nice and hot, no matter what what the weather. These are the ones I frequent the most. Every time I walk in, I order my Large or Venti coffee and every time, I get it in a matter of seconds, piping hot, be it the middle of winter or summer. It's always the same cost and they never, well ok, almost never, try to sell me anything other than what I am buying. I might get the "want to add a chocolate chip cookie to that order" once in every 20 visits.

Now, lets talk about the faux Starbucks, which are located for convenience, inside your local Barnes and Nobles or corner grocery store. Every time I visit one, and I do visit them because they are convenient, especially since those in the Barnes and Nobles will take my discount card, reducing the already crazy price for coffee down a few much needed cents. They NEVER have coffee when I arrive. I mean, never. I tried going at different times, different days of the week, and still upon ordering my venti coffee, I would get told, "would you mind waiting 3 minutes while we brew you some fresh coffee?" Not just every now and then over the course of 2 months, but I mean, ever single time this would happen. It even happens at the local grocery store. (I won't mention the name because my company does a lot of work for them.) It was like a conspiracy. I even asked to talk to a manager once, just to let them know that this happened all the time, and she said something about a new system for rotating coffee out every so many hours, and yadda yadda yadda, sorry for the inconvienence.

But if that was true, why didn't I have the same exact problem at the brick and mortar stores. The "Real" Starbucks stores never left me hanging for a cup of coffee. Every time I go in, boom, I get coffee no waiting, no give me 2 minutes to make some fresh, I'm in and out in less that 4 minutes depending on the teenage couple in front of me snuggling and chatting about how good their flavored iced latte will be. Even then, its fast.

The main product at these faux Starbucks is coffee, so how can they not have any ready to go, hot and fresh? I understand that during the summer, there isn't a lot of need for a hot beverage, but still, if your a coffee house, you should, well, have coffee ready to server, right? I honestly don't think the guys in Seattle know how bad these franchise Starbucks really are and how much of a bad name they are giving their real stores. I mean, in a 5 mile radius of my house, there are 3 different Starbucks, two are the fake ones, and one is the real deal. In a city that rolls up its streets at 7pm on a friday night, I hardly think they need 3 Starbucks, especially since two of them are always out of coffee.

Well, I've gone on long enough about coffee. Let me just warn you, if your headed to a Starbucks later, just make sure you go to a real one, and not one nested inside another business.

Now you can see why I tend to be unbalanced, too much caffeine.

1 comment:

  1. Sweet and Low? That shit'll kill ya man... Splenda FTW!

    My Starbucks experiences are nearly exclusive to airports, and nothing in an airport is the real deal, everyone is employees of companies like HMS Host who run the mini-franchises. And I've gotten sick of the over roasted coffee. They don't call it "Charrbucks" for nothing, ya know. So if I'm going there these days I get a Cafe Americano instead of coffee. Just a few cents more than a coffee the same size but it's made with espresso rather than coffee so *ironically* it's actually smoother.

    At home though, I grind my own beans and my coffee is just the way I like it. Speaking of which, my first pot just finished brewing... :D