Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Articles: CoffeeGeek Columnist Feedback
Instant Convenience, Mermaids, Good Enough?, Professionally Speaking
Stefano's Espresso Care
Repair - Parts - Sales
Factory Authorized &
Trained Technician
www.espressocare.com
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Articles > Columnist... > Instant...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 2 of 3 first page | last page previous page | next page
Author Messages
KevinK
Senior Member


Joined: 22 May 2005
Posts: 2
Location: Colorado
Expertise: Professional

Posted Sun Feb 22, 2009, 6:05pm
Subject: Re: Instant Convenience, Mermaids, Good Enough?, Professionally Speaking
 

Hi Mark,

Unlike you I never did get to visit a soluble coffee plant, but just reading about it in Sivetz's "Coffee Technology" made me want to steer clear. Clearly the typical ways of making instant coffee are all focused on yield rather than trying to capture aroma or flavor, and that was certainly not the case with the approach Starbucks took. It would be unfair of me to speculate further because the science behind what they were doing even way back then was beyond me, and doubtless with a state-of-the-art R & D department and 15 years of meteoric growth the sophistication of their manufacturing has improved exponentially.

The decision to switch to the fully auto machines is just one tiny nail in a very large coffin. What you have with Starbucks is a classic case of a product-driven company prostituted into a marketing-driven one, while all the while the employees were told (and probably still are) that uncompromising quality is the sole mission. However, I think it's equally worth mentioning that there are very few regional or local players, at least in my experience, who brew to consistent recipes, time every pot of drip coffee and every shot, have enforced freshness standards, or buy better coffee than Starbucks. The average degree of roast in the U.S. specialty world is also very similar to Starbucks, so in the end the consumer experience in these nominally groovier places often amounts to "Starbucks with piercings." I really miss The Coffee Connection, which was the last multi-store chain to offer moderately-roasted origin coffees properly brewed in enough locations to be convenient and shape some palates. I guess we still have Dunkin Donuts and the golden arches?

Kevin
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
CakeBoy
Senior Member
CakeBoy
Joined: 26 Feb 2005
Posts: 24
Location: England
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Iberital L'Anna 1 Group,...
Grinder: Iberital MC2, Macap M4,...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos 6 Cup...
Drip: Morphy Richards, Aerolatte...
Roaster: Pinhalense 2x500g Gas...
Posted Sun Feb 22, 2009, 6:54pm
Subject: Re: Instant Convenience, Mermaids, Good Enough?, Professionally Speaking
 

On the subject of Sbux superautos, here in the UK at least, this did bring a degree of consistency that had all but disappeared toward the end of their traditional machine period when quality seemed to vary hugely from shot to shot. Unfortunately, the flavour of the coffee seemed to dininish at the same time to the point that one day I actually returned a relatively small 'bucket' of steamed milk to the person on the superauto with a genuine enquiry as to whether he had forgotten to add a shot of coffee. It simply tasted only of milk. He was great and added another double (I got the idea it had happened before), which, unfortunately, remained swamped by milk.

Given the superautos, the ever darker roasts and buckets of milk seemingly aimed at swamping the roast flavours, I'm not sure that Starbucks can do much more to harm their reputation. People can taste the difference between a high end 'speciality' coffee and mass produced versions from auperautos regardless of whether the beverage is based on 'real' coffee or 'coffee solids'. Interesting times .......

 
The blog of a UK coffee enthusiast: www.CakeBoy.co.uk
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
BrainInAJar
Senior Member
BrainInAJar
Joined: 28 Aug 2007
Posts: 319
Location: Vancouver
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Vibiemme DoubleDomo
Grinder: Mazzer SJ, Rancillio Rocky
Vac Pot: Yama 3 cup
Drip: no thanks
Roaster: Behmor 1600, 49th Parallel
Posted Sun Feb 22, 2009, 7:09pm
Subject: Re: Instant Convenience, Mermaids, Good Enough?, Professionally Speaking
 

CakeBoy Said:

On the subject of Sbux superautos, here in the UK at least, this did bring a degree of consistency that had all but disappeared toward the end of their traditional machine period

Posted February 22, 2009 link

I seem to recall reading somewhere that the Marzocco Swift was designed with Starbucks in mind for that very purpose. Having tasted coffee from a Swift at Artigianos, my conclusion is that it's not as good as a good barista and good equipment, but it does the trick and is miles ahead of a superauto
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
MarkPrince
Moderator


Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,584
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Compak K10 WBC
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Clive Coffee Drip Stand
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Sun Feb 22, 2009, 8:53pm
Subject: Re: Instant Convenience, Mermaids, Good Enough?, Professionally Speaking
 

BrainInAJar Said:

I seem to recall reading somewhere that the Marzocco Swift was designed with Starbucks in mind for that very purpose. Having tasted coffee from a Swift at Artigianos, my conclusion is that it's not as good as a good barista and good equipment, but it does the trick and is miles ahead of a superauto

Posted February 22, 2009 link

This is correct - the development of the Swift was greatly in part to Starbuck's plan towards more automation - and they could have done much worse (wait - they did) than go with the Swift and keep the La Marzoccos.

Mark

 
CoffeeGeek Senior Editor
www.twitter.com/coffeegeek www.flickr.com/coffeegeek, www.instagram.com/coffeegeek (you get the picture)
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
vernonbishop
Senior Member
vernonbishop
Joined: 18 Jan 2008
Posts: 5
Location: Great Falls, MT
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: KitchenAid KPES100NP
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky w/doser
Vac Pot: Bonjour French Press
Drip: Capresso
Roaster: None
Posted Mon Feb 23, 2009, 12:50pm
Subject: Re: Instant Convenience, Mermaids, Good Enough?, Professionally Speaking
 

MarkPrince Said:

Via Instant Brew by Starbucks gets a review in UK's The Guardian by a self-admitted (via description) commodity coffee drinker, and the review ain't pretty.

Posted February 20, 2009 link

That was one of the most brutal reviews of a product that I have ever seen!!!  :-)

Go figure...
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
OvenRoasted
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 220
Location: Southwest
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: Compak k3 Yellow Woo!
Drip: Bodum 8 Cup French Press
Roaster: Behmor/Popper
Posted Mon Feb 23, 2009, 1:40pm
Subject: Re: Instant Convenience, Mermaids, Good Enough?, Professionally Speaking
 

How about we describe how Instant Coffee is produced and see if you wanna drink it...

Howard Schultz told the Wall Street Journal that he has been secretly serving the instant coffee to guests in his home and no one has detected the difference, which could say more about Starbucks' brewed coffee or the politeness of Schultz' guests than it does about the instant coffee.

Is that for real?

Send Someone from Gimme or Ritual, i bet you they will know.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
MiaTazza
Senior Member
MiaTazza
Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 5
Location: Chicago
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Thu Feb 26, 2009, 12:18pm
Subject: Re: Instant Convenience, Mermaids, Good Enough?, Professionally Speaking
 

After spending the weekend at Navy Pier hangin out and drinkin awesome espresso at the Coffee Fest trade show, I had the distinct pleasure of sampling this instant delicacy.  The Italian Roast certainly had something smokey going on and there was a weird filmy texture thrown in for kicks.

It tried really hard to taste like a cup of Starbucks coffee.  I guess it's sort of like the first time I heard someone order an Old Style Light, just when I thought Old Style couldn't get any worse...
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
MikeFerguson
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Aug 2006
Posts: 3
Location: La Mirada, CA
Expertise: Professional

Posted Thu Feb 26, 2009, 4:02pm
Subject: Re: Instant Convenience, Mermaids, Good Enough?, Professionally Speaking
 

Dear OvenRoasted:

Tis true.

"This is a transformational event in the history of the company," Howard Schultz, chief executive of Starbucks, said in an interview. He has been serving it to guests at his home over the past few months without telling them it's instant and no one has detected it, he says.

Mike Ferguson
back to top
 View Profile Contact via AOL Instant Messenger Link to this post
tazzicaffe
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Jan 2006
Posts: 1
Location: Chicago
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Sylvia
Grinder: capresso
Vac Pot: Barista Utopia
Drip: Braun
Roaster: Air Popper
Posted Mon Mar 9, 2009, 10:36am
Subject: Re: Instant Convenience, Mermaids, Good Enough?, Professionally Speaking
 

Well I hate instant coffee, I tried VIA. While it is not "Fresh Brewed" I believe this one is good. As a matter of fact I think it may be better than what some of their employees do to the brewed coffe in the stores.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
exbarista
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Apr 2004
Posts: 4
Location: Tucson, AZ
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: starbucks barista-grey
Grinder: starbucks burr grinder
Posted Thu Mar 26, 2009, 10:30am
Subject: Re: Instant Convenience, Mermaids, Good Enough?, Professionally Speaking
 

I have tried it and I would also say it is good enough.  Clearly starbucks is relying more on middle of the road coffee more than ever (pike place).  they still have a few that I would consider to be very good (casa cielo & sumatra for example)- it helps to check the date on the bag before buying.

For those of us who cannot function without a cup of joe each morning, better to have one or two of these stashed in a travel bag or at your desk in case you don't have something better available.  

I definitely would not say it is very good, but it is almost good, and has not made me wish I did not drink it when pressed for time.

I think it is time to stop griping about starbucks- go somewhere else if you really hate it- no one is forcing you to buy it and they do provide a relatively good and consistent coffee product more often than not.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
showing page 2 of 3 first page | last page previous page | next page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Articles > Columnist... > Instant...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Home Espresso Machines
Watch videos with Gail & Kat, Rocket, Jura Capresso, Saeco, Rancilio, Quick Mill, Nespresso
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.265063047409)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+