Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hey, You, Lay Offa My Fix

I read recently that Starbucks is closing a few hundred stores. I am still hoping they'll open one close to me.

I was recently chastised for drinking Starbucks. Whatever.

I like Starbucks. I don't turn my nose up at local coffee shops - I give them every chance not to suck. I think I must have some bad luck with local shops, because for all my travels, for all the little shops I've stopped in hoping for a caffeine fix or a few minutes off the road in a haven, I haven't met one that I like. Their coffee's weak - no kidding, weak! I know, I know, people call it Charbucks, and sometimes I think they do go a bit dark with their roast, but still...watery coffee is no good. Why bother? I've even asked for a fresh brew and had the same result, and if you want to piss someone off in a hurry, tell them how to brew coffee on their own shop!

So I go to Starbucks. I adore the venti mocha frappuccino with an extra shot. It's my standard on-the-road beverage of choice for waking up and staying wired. Sometimes I get two shots - and once, at a West Virginia store, I was offered a third shot because they'd brewed one too many and didn't want to waste it...and I think I looked like I needed it. Woo-hoo! Sleep? Who needs that?

The funny thing is, I'm not really a coffee drinker. If I'm going to drink anything but water, I prefer tea. At home. Brewed properly. Still, every now and then I want coffee. Cold, sweet, fattening, death in a cup. To go.

One of the things I like about Starbucks is their predictability - no matter where I go in the world, no matter the nation, the culture, the language, if I order a venti mocha frappucino with whip and an extra shot, I know what I am getting. There's no mystery, no hoping that it'll be something like what I want. Mind you, I am always game for trying out local fare, and often enjoy it, but you know...sometimes you get a craving, want a taste of home, no little surprises. At least, I do.

Contrary to what the most recent young man to harass me was claiming, the company DOES have a conscience, DOES try to be green, and DOES purchase organic and fair trade beans. They are NOT the Evil Empire of coffee!

And please don't lecture me on the evils of my chosen addiction when you're sucking on a cigarette, because I will be forced to beat you about the head and neck with a large, offensive salami if you do.

At home, I actually prefer Newman's Own beans, fair trade and organic. I like to grind them and brew using a French press. My coffee, I've been told, is powerful stuff. My friend S even has to cut it with cream and sugar, and she's used to naval coffee!

I still can't make a frappuccino, though, and sometimes that's the only thing that'll do.

Let me drink my Starbucks in peace and I won't point out that your shoes were made in a sweatshop, your hair dye contains deadly chemicals that wash into the ecosystem every time you bathe, you sweatshirt is knit on a machine using synthetic materials, and your iPod won't ever decompose...ever!

I'm happy to have friends who feel the same way - we meet at a local store, drink our foofy drinks and work on art or craft projects, happy to have a little time away from our regular lives. Sometimes we nibble a pastry, and sometimes the Starbucks employees cheerfully look on at what we're doing and offer opinions regarding style, color, or whatever we may ask them about.

Starbucks makes me happy. You want me happy. Really, you do. So lay offa my fix, OK??


RachelW said...

The first place I went after I gave birth to Bel, after a few days of lazing around the house squinting in the gloom, was the neighbourhood Starbucks. Yeah. Bored and lonely out of my mind, I stuffed my little crumpled new baby in a sling, and feeling completely empty and hollow on the inside, in a way that someone who hasn't given birth can't begin to comprehend, I staggered out onto the street, crossed over and had a frappucino. Mmm.... and I'm not a coffee drinker, either. Or a supporter of large franchises. I would never criticise you for your vice, though I would ask you to use a washable cup and avoid the disposable ones. ;)

Mrs. G. said...

I get crap for being so devoted to Starbucks too. It's my right to spend $5 for a latte-I just ignore the criticism and drink up.

Kit said...

MMMMMMM, Starbucks. I luurves me some Starbucks.

If you're ever near PJs Coffeehouse though, give them a try. It's the only place I've ever found that beats Starbucks' coffee.