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rationalizing starbucks....


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#1 Guest_viewfinder_*

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 10:08 AM

First things first, I don't think Starbucks is the holy grail of coffee establishments. More often than not, they win my business because they're conveniently located (on every other street corner) along my morning route to work.

Why do I always get the snappy, smug, early 20s barista? Considering the number of times I've rolled the dice on this place, it's like I'm always getting the short end of the stick in the service dept. I mean, fuck. I try to speak the language, "I'll take a double tall caramel macchiato" or "A triple tall Americano short on water", but it's like they always have another question for me. Some other way to make me feel inadequate. "Did you want that iced?". Jeezus.

So the other morning I dropped in, as I was late to work and felt that buying my staff Starbucks would smooth things over. I get a pound of beans and ask them to grind them just a tad finer than normal for a drip coffee maker. Of course, I'm met with "What type of coffee maker do you have?" and "What type of filters do you use?". When they finally process that I'm using a normal, shitty coffee maker, they give me the green light on my 'special request'. Then I order coffees, same deal. Whatever.

Now here comes the moment of truth: I'm paying with a hundred dollar bill (I have three of them and nothing else). Instantly the barista eyeballs the Benji and gives me one of those quick gasps like they've never seen one before. She shakes her head side to side and tells me, "I can't break that." She then says, "I can give you all fives and ones but that's all I got".

I'm like, "Money's money, that's fine." Then the Coffee-of-the-Day lackey comes over, looks at the hundred dollar bill and whispers into her ear. A determination is made.

"You know what sir? There's a Circle K located right behind us and you can go over and they'll break your hundred for you. When you come back, we'll have your order ready to go."

Surprisingly, I don't lose it. I tell them okay but if I'm going all the way over to Circle K to break this hundred I might as well make it worth my time. So I upgrade all my drinks with extra shots and make them one size bigger. Whipped cream, all that jazz. I actually have them grind another bag of beans for me.

I have the barista assure me that when I come back my order will be ready to go. And for that brief moment in Starbucks history she finally responds to me with an air of sincerity. "Yes sir, we'll have it ready."

Then I get in my car and drive off to work. Fuck going to Circle K to break bills for them. They totally wasted my time.

Good Morning Vietnam!
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#2 chadk

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 10:14 AM

wow dude, good for you

i on the other hand don't drink coffee all that much so last time i was in starbucks was probably a couple years ago.
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#3 Quezo

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 10:16 AM

This made me happy.


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#4 differently biotic

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 10:21 AM

while reading that I was hoping you didn't return and give them your money. Bravo.
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#5 donald

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 10:21 AM

You are my new hero :)
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#6 mancopter

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 10:37 AM

Great story.

I highly encourage you to try and locate a local shop on the way to work that you can support tho.

I go to Gold Bar in Tempe, and Of all the fucking mini malls in Tempe, Starbucks puts one in the same one as them, a mere stone's throw.

Even though the coffee is more expensive, I go to Gold Bar, because they know my face, my name, my drink, and they are totally cool to me. I tip every time, and it's worth it, because I leave that place in a better mood.
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#7 Tony

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 10:46 AM

i'm turning into a coffee snob more and more each day. i hardly ever drank coffee up until a couple years ago (and wouldn't you know it, that's when my son was born and my definition of "sleeping in" was radically redefined) and was fine drinking starbucks or whatever. i mean, i observed the whole "i'd rather give my money to a local business than starbucks" mantra when possible, but there aren't a ton of coffee shops in my hood, but i can literally walk to starbucks. then i started to realize that starbucks coffee doesn't taste all that good. it's always EXTRA BOLD or super extreme or whatever you want to call it. i thought that was how coffee was supposed to taste. alas, it is not.

so now, even though starbucks is literally 100 yards away, i drive over to wherever randy is roasting beans for xanadu and buy from him.

in conclusion, starbucks, you somehow turned into mcdonald's and wal mart. you're the applebee's of coffee - pandering to the lowest common denominator while masquerading as a product of quality.
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#8 Guest_viewfinder_*

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 11:03 AM

I highly encourage you to try and locate a local shop on the way to work that you can support tho.


I know of a couple other places that are more 'mom and pop' but are just slightly further than I'd like to go in the mornings. I live in S. Tempe (I guess), around the I-10 and Elliot. Any suggestions of places in this area are more than welcome.

then i started to realize that starbucks coffee doesn't taste all that good. it's always EXTRA BOLD or super extreme or whatever you want to call it. i thought that was how coffee was supposed to taste. alas, it is not.


This is true. +1.
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#9 Quezo

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 11:27 AM

The closest place is your house.

I buy beans from either Randy, Lux, or Lola coffee.

The coffee is always awesome and I use a shitty regular coffee pot. Grind the beans prior to brewing and presto! great coffee.

I fill my travel cup and thermos and only spend about $15* for coffee on average every two weeks or so, including weekends
(* = Not including almond milk and agave nectar, which have made my caffeine addiction even better)

It's that extra 5 minutes in the morning that makes all the difference.


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#10 Jacki O.

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 11:33 AM

HAHA
Amazing story!

love it.

$tarfuck$
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#11 jhealy

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 11:52 AM

that story made my day. it feels good to know i'm not alone. starbucks drives me crazy, i always feel so inferior when i enter and talk to the baristas. try my hardest to avoid it, but sometimes get sucked in too. thanks!
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#12 allisonorphan

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 12:18 PM

perhaps i am in the minority here, but i dont have serious issue with starbucks. when i was living in phoenix and had to be at work by 7 (living in tempe, working in dysart), starbucks was the only coffee place open before six. couple that with a drive through, and i was pretty happy. i know i should be making coffee at home, but cleaning a coffee pot is just one thing i can take off an early morning to-do list that i am ok with. ;)

all that being said, there are better places to get coffee. agreed. i can name a bunch of places both here in la and back in phoenix that i prefer to starbucks. however, i have come to find that my non-fat latte is always consistent at starbucks. it may not be the best, but i know that it is decent and compared to some of the high end places here, affordable.

also, having had some friends who have worked for the company, it isnt a half bad place to work.
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#13 weener

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 12:34 PM

I really don't like the taste of coffee that much. I will occasionally get a mocha if I am at Conspire, or fix myself one if I'm at Trunk Space. I've tried sampling the iced toddy or whatever it is my friends are so fond of, and it's just way too bitter.
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#14 MikeyWretch

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 12:37 PM

Milo would be proud
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#15 Guest_viewfinder_*

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 12:59 PM

The closest place is your house.



I do indeed make coffee at my house. I have in fact gotten beans from Xanadu. I don't, however, do this every single time I drink coffee. In which case, yes, it's my fault. Doh!


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