The Idiom

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

It's BURNT Goddammit!

Thank goodness someone has finally broken this into the mainstream:

AMEN TO THAT! From The Economist's latest web experiment*, The Inbox, a blog where every letter to the editor we receive is posted on the web:

In Starbucks' case, it's not the ambiance that puts off consumers, it's the coffee. If only they roasted it a bit less. My colleagues agree that if they had another option they wouldn't buy Starbucks but, since there is a Starbucks on nearly every block around our office in the District, our options are limited.

Any free market economists want to take a swing at this one? I too would prefer less roasting. I have two conjectures: either they're benefitting from first mover advantage, or stupid Americans have some sort of macho attachment to burned coffee, as if that charred flavour makes it somehow more authentic and manly.

Starbucks over-roasts it beans. It tastes horrible. Kid Various has always said that you are not paying for coffee when you go to Starbucks - you are paying for a place to sit in a comfy chair for an hour. They take what should be a smooth, luscious taste experience and turn in into some sort of Spartan endurance test.

The Kid knows he's not alone in this. Take this previous email from Idiom friend and swashbuckler Mr. Democracy:
No matter which 3rd world shithole I go to, it is a constant that the American expats are on the hunt for good coffee. And it is also a constant that someone in the community has shipped to them, or brings back from a visit home, a few bags of Starbucks brand coffee, and then proceeds to invite everyone over, bragging about how they finally got some good coffee.

Good lord! You went through actual effort to bring that shit here? I would rather drink the most nasty mint laced turkish coffee that endure Starbucks. (and let me tell you adding mint to coffee completely ruins it.) Admit it for chrissakes, the coffee is burnt! We only go to Starbucks because you can't escape it. Starbucks is the Microsoft Windows of coffee.

I think the quest for Starbucks out here it's less an attachment to the actual quality of the coffee than a sort of comforting "Americanness" that we still all crave.
Also the above post highlights this fact, more than appropriate for lunacy that is Caffeine Awareness Month (March,) over-roasting the beans destroys the caffeine in them!


At Wednesday, March 14, 2007 at 1:37:00 PM EDT, Anonymous jimm said...

My girlfriend has been calling them "Charbucks" for years.


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