25 May 2007

Rant: Starbucks

Things I believe about Starbucks:

1. They are a big, powerful corporation. They sometimes screw their franchisees by building stand-alone stores in the parking lots of grocery stores with SB kiosks. Is this my problem? No. Sophisticated business people ought to know that a company with Starbucks' market share is powerful -- build better protection into your contracts if you want to deal with them.

2. A cup of SB coffee is like a well-made Long Island iced tea -- it packs more punch than you'd guess. Just like a LI iced tea is dangerous because it tastes much less alcoholic than it actually is, SB coffee is tricky because it's about twice as caffeinated as your standard cuppa. Which is fine, but good to be aware of.

3. Starbucks charges more for their coffee than other places. Does this mean it's "overpriced?" Probably. Are you entitled to choose to pay more for coffee that's standardized across the universe, so that you always know what to expect? Yes, if that's your thing. If it's not your thing, please feel free to explore every last independent coffee shop in the world, but leave the Starbucks convenience-buyers alone.

4. Some people think Starbucks defines the nature of the American coffee experience. Mostly these are people who never drank coffee outside their kitchen before SB. Some people think SB coffee is mediocre or worse. I can understand trying to persuade people to broaden their experience of coffee by buying it at a variety of places; I can also understand the argument for supporting independent coffee shops rather than SB, when their coffee is just as good or better. But I don't understand why, when I went for my Friday lunchtime frappuccino today, I was on the receiving end of at least 6 scornful looks between the Starbucks and the office. I have consumed a goodly number of iced/blended/frozen mochas in my life, and I've learned that no one comes close to SB for cold, sugary, highly caffeinated Friday afternoon beverages. Why shouldn't I buy this (in my opinion) completely superior product, even if it happens to come from SB? Boulderites, stop looking at me like that.


Bobbo said...

Ten square miles surrounded by reality...

Anonymous said...

if you don't want the boulderites to look at you don't live in boulder my husband and i say ,

EF and TF