Tuesday, April 11, 2006

List #24...Things That Annoy Me about Starbucks

Inspired by Brigita's recent post, here's the list:

1. Overpriced.
2. No breakfast food. Coffee shops should sell bagels and muffins, at all times.
3. "Barista." There's no need for a fancy name for a coffee shop employee.
4. The goddam way they name the sizes. HATE IT.
5. Even worse then the name of the sizes is when the "barista" corrects you when you refuse to use the pretentious Starbucks terminology. Yeah, I know it's a "Tall," but I think that's stupid, so I'm ordering a Small and I know you know exactly what I mean.
6. Do-it-yourself cream and sugar. When you ordered a sandwich at a deli, do they expect you to make it yourself? Of course not. You're paying for the convenience, and everyone knows things taste better when someone else assembles them. When I buy a coffee, I want it to come the way I like it, not have to put down my purse, newspaper, and whatever else I may be holding to take off the lid, rip open sugar packets, find a stirrer, etc... If I wanted to make my own coffee, I'd do it at home.
7. The coffee tastes burnt.


Tina said...

I don't care what you say, I LOVE STARBUCKS--even if it is an overpriced snobby coffee shop. I love it even more in Peru (there are 3 in Lima) where the prices are the same as the US and buying a TALL 2% vanilla latte is half the Peruvian's monthly wage.

brigita said...

I don't [heart] *$ or anything, but just to play Devil's Advocate, a drip (aka coffee of the day) doesn't cost more than it does at DD, word has it that *$ is busting out the breakfast sammies (totally getting on DD's jock there), and sometimes I think barista = a java slinger w/health insurance (*$ gives good bennies). As for the DIY condiments, I can't abide all the cream and sugar overage that DD defaults to, so I'm glad to mix my own (no wonder people looked at me like I had 2 heads the last time I DIY'd at DD).

No offense intended—and I don't think that *$ is Gods gift by any means—but The Mister and I are of the mind that DD is for people who don't actually *like* coffee. That is, they like the effects but not the taste. *$ can be a little over roasted, but I would wager that part of the "burnt" flavor is actually tasting coffee.


eileen said...

Okay, I fully admit that I prefer my coffee on the weak side, and DD definitely fits the bill. As for the DIY, I wouldn't mind it if I'm in the mood to sit around and linger for a bit, but if I'm on the go, I want my coffee handed to me, ready to drink. Maybe that's why DD does so well in the Northeast. We don't want to waste time stirring our own darn coffee. And I'll never get over the way *$ names the sizes- it's annoying. I really like Au Bon Pan, which is much more starbuckky than DD, but has great breakfast food, isn't too expensive, and isn't snobby (well, except for the Frnech name). Tina, they have Starbucks in Peru? That's just wrong.

Tricia said...

Brigita, you beat me to the defense. I will say that I only go to Starbucks while traveling. And that I live in Seattle, so it's my duty to defend Latte Land.

#1. Yeah, espresso drinks are expensive, but usually you're paying for milk, which counts as 1/2 of breakfast calories/nutrition as well as the skill of the barista (see #3). I don't think drip is that spendy, but then, if I want drip coffee, I'll make it at home.

#2. I've never seen a Starbucks that didn't have bagels, muffins, scones, etc., and more and more have hot sandwiches.

#3. If you treasure your favorite bartender for the way that he can pull pints (and particularly understands how to get Guiness just right) and mix a mean martini better than you ever could imagine doing at home, you can begin to imagine what a good barista can do to a latte. (Note, these baristas are rarely to be found at *$).

#4. Holdover from Italian espresso shops. I actually find Pete's really annoying the way the call their espresso drinks "small" "medium" and "large." And, quite frankly, a 16 ounce milk-based drink is quite large to me, so I think calling it medium is a misnomer; it is grande!

#5. See above.

#6. As someone who only likes strong coffee with cream, no sugar, I can't imagine paying for weak coffee already sugared.

#7. I agree with you on this one.

brigita said...

Aside to Tricia—there's no latte like a Seatown latte. Caffe Lardo (our juvenile pet name for your local java joint) for EVS!

eileen said...

Weird, it must just the the Starbucks around here that don't offer traditional breakfast foods. I've only seen biscotti and pastries. I've been told that they do have breakfast foods available in the AM, but switch them for desserty things in the PM. On the rare ocassion that I do go to Starbucks, it tends to be in the afternoon or evening, and I'm one of those people who enjoys brekafast foods at any time, so I notice their absecence.

Liz said...

My starbucks two cents:

I came to appreciate starbucks when I was looking for jobs. It was so convenient b/c in every town I interviewed there was a starbucks close to the office. It was nice and predicable. I could arrive a little early, change and/or clean up in the bathrooms before my interviews. If I got to the town really early, I could sit and relax there. Rather than go around and beg to use people's bathrooms at normal stores, Starbucks gave me a resting place. :)

Another example of a time when Starbucks wassn't bad occurred when I looking for apartments with a crappy cellphone. The battery kept running out as I called the agents. Starbucks has lots of power outlets so I stopped in throughout the day to recharge.

Admittedly none of these reasons involves the coffee itself...

Beth said...

I just read an article about how Starbucks doesn't recycle. Considering how much they charge for coffee, that really pissed me off since it's purely for profit reasons. With that said, I am addicted to their cupcakes!

Jon said...

Starbucks are good urban "third places" (first being home, second being work) - encouraging interaction and community life, a good spot for people like me with a tiny apt. to go relax or get work done while enjoying people watching, running into friends, etc..

That said, a more comfortable local coffeeshop would be even better...I wish my hood had one.

Check out this link - http://user.gru.net/domz/third.htm.

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