This morning I was driving Cheryl downtown to the Kroger Headquarters and we stopped by Starbucks Coffee on our way to get a coupla cups as well as to stock up on a couple pounds of my favorite coffee, Sulawesi. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were actually brewing Sulawesi as the coffee of the day, which I pointed out was unusual. The fact that I engaged in conversation with a stranger is odd enough, I typically keep my mouth zipped. I guess I was so elated that Sulawesi was the coffee of the day, I couldn't help it. But the barista (that's the technical Starbucks term for what they call these cats with the green aprons) commented: "Yeah, I don't know why we don't brew it more often. It's way better than a lot of the crap we serve."
Now, I'm no business expert, but I did work at the "Buck" for a year right after college so I'm pretty sure to call the other coffee's "crap" regardless of how great Sulawesi is isn't the best idea. That being said, I agreed with him. Especially Sumatra. Crappity, crap, crap, crap. The clerk liked Sulawesi and Verona best, for the record. According to him, they are NOT In the crap category.
That was my trip to Starbucks this morning. Woohoo.
Now I know there are some Starbucks haters around. I know, they run the little guy out, they could be better at taking care of coffee farmers, they are like legal drug dealers, etc. But there are a few reasons I love Starbucks:
(1) They generally serve good coffee. I say generallybecause it is possible to get crumby coffee there. And I would say MORE likely since they have the fancy new automated espresso machines.
(2) They are ubiquitous. I mean...they're everywhere, if you've been to Chicago you know they occupy every corner and there are probably half a dozen on every block and anywhere I go I know I can get a decent cup.
(3) They provide health benefits and stock options for part-time employees. This was key for me as a post-college, part time church working kid. Full benefits with dental and vision for $15 a month? Stock options? Killer. When I have a tough day I daydream about going back to work at Starbucks.
(4) They have Sulawesi. I love it. And I haven't found another coffe that I love as much as Sulawesi. Love it, love it, love it.
(5) They have good customer service. If your drink sucks, tell them and they'll apologize, give you a new one and probably give you a coupon for a free one next time.
Enough is enough. Drink up.