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Netphilosopher
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Posted Mon Feb 20, 2012, 2:21pm
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Netphilosopher
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Posted Sat Feb 25, 2012, 8:56am
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Netphilosopher
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Posted Sun Feb 26, 2012, 7:58am
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tina_daniels
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Joined: 8 Feb 2012
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Location: Oklahoma
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Posted Sun Feb 26, 2012, 1:28pm
Subject: Re: Starbucks Newest Big To Do
 

Netphilosopher Said:

And apparently Starbucks has the same issue as the automotive industry.  There's the manufacturing and delivery of the product, and there's the point of sale.

Many people hate a particular car model because they hated the sales experience - something which an auto manufacturer has no control over.  When a group of dealers decide they will place a +$5K premium on a new hot model, there is little that the manufacturer can say about it.  They can do some post-damage control, but that's about it.

I went to a *$s this morning, and of course there was no blonde in the brewer, just Pike Place and Caffe Verona (holy SMOKE festival!).  I asked if they would do a press pot of Willow - nope, they only had Veranda and they would only do a pourover.

No press pot?  Nope.  

There's 30 lbs of Willow out here, I see you have a Ditting, can't you grind some up?  No, I'm sorry.  We only have Veranda ground.

Okay, gimme a tall Veranda, black, no room for cream.

Three different PBTC asked me if I wanted room for cream.  I said no three different times in three different languages, just for fun.

Watched them pull water from their spout on the brewer, the spout is at the top and their measuring cup was about 3 feet drop.  Oh well...

Then I was looking at something else, and 3 minutes later grabbed my cup of Blonde Roast Veranda Blend... the first sip was essence of brown water with an overlay of wet cardboard, a hint of coffee.  I damn near spit it out.  

ME: this is awful!

PBTC: Yeah, most people don't like the Blonde Roast, I think that they'll end up discontinuing it.

ME: <insert scowl here>  Well, maybe if you brewed it properly?

PBTC: Well, sir, I did, but I'll remake it if you want.

ME:  Yeah, let's do that.

Then I watched PBTC pull this measuring cup of water from the 3 foot drop.  When it was full, I asked to see the water in the measuring cup.

PBTC:  Why?

ME:  Cause I want to see if it's hot.

PBTC:  It's hot, sir.

ME:  Indulge me.  

PBTC:  I can't, it's against health regulations.

ME:  HUH?  Then stick a thermometer in it.

PBTC:  Oh, I guess I could...  (by now he's getting a bit annoyed)   PBTC2!  Where's the thermometer?

PBTC2:  I'll get it, why do you need it?


(getting kinda abbot and costello here by now).

ME: listen, I just want to see what the temp is, it's been a minute, so dump that water out, pour some more, your buddy will have the thermometer by then, but I can tell you what the temp is just by touch.

PBTC:  Okay.

Watch him pour the water, offer the measuring cup to me.  I touch it, then dip my finger in it for a half count.  

ME:  It's about 180F.  You do know that pourovers should be in the 200F range, right?

PBTC:  Oh, I just pulled it from the spout, it's that temperature.

PBTC2:  Here's the thermometer.

ME:  It will be about 175F now.

PBTC:  (sticks the thermometer in, pulls it out, sticks it in, pulls it out)  This thermometer isn't reading right.

ME:  Why?

PBTC: because it says 168F, and I know it's hotter than that.

ME:  Gotta microwave?

PBTC: yeah.

ME:  well, boil it and check the thermometer.

PBTC:  I'll just heat it for a bit and make your pourover, sir.

ME:  I'd like the water just off boil.

PBTC:  I'll have your pourover in a minute.  (proceeds to microwave it for 30 seconds, then I watch his pourover technique -  put cup underneath, dump coffee into filter, dump water into pourover, help someone else.  3 minutes later, he calls out a Tall Verona)

ME:  (after sampling), Um, I'd really like you to taste this.  Cause you're not brewing it right.  You ever brew it in the big brewers?

PBTC: (now very annoyed with me)  No, because we tried it out with pourovers first, and everyone hates this stuff!  You're the only one to ask for it this morning, all the regulars agree it tastes really weak and crappy.  Don't you agree?

ME:  Well, when I brew it properly, it's better than anything else you have.  Hell, Caribou does a better job than you guys for pourovers.

PBTC:  Well, we're following all of the guidelines.

ME:  Really?  Taste this.

PBTC:  I know how the Blonde tastes, I don't need to taste it.

ME:  Ok, please remake it again, this time, I want it made with boiling water, and I'd like the pour to be at least 30 seconds long, not just dumping it into the cone.

PBTC:  <sigh>  Ok, but it won't make a difference.

ME:  I've already paid for the coffee, here's an extra buck tip, all I ask is you make enough for a grande, and pour off a bit so you can sample it properly brewed.  Trust me.

PBTC:  What, are you from Corporate or something?

ME:  <silent grin>



Needless to say, the third time's a charm.  As I watched his eyes light up upon tasting the sample, I feel I may have made the world just a touch better by being a fussy customer and maybe enlightening someone else that there's more to coffee than Vienna roast and creosote.  I actually took a few minutes to talk to all three of the PBTC - many of the places in the area did the samples and intro the same exact way, with pourovers, giving away samples, etc.  

I advised that they might want to brew a decent batch in the full brewer - it's got much better control over the temp and they're actually really decent brewers, assuming the system isn't short cycled (i.e. the water is hot enough for the next big pot).  Sadly, because of many bad reviews of the original samples, they can't justify using up a full pot of either of the Blonde roasts.

I asked if they ever thought of preheating the pourover.  No, they weren't told that it needed to be done.  

For want of a good brew technique, a good product may be lost.


(Full disclosure:  I do not work for *$s, and I did tell them so... afterward)

Posted February 25, 2012 link

Oh my goodness.  I think you're my new hero. I love this!!
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BubbaDude
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BubbaDude
Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 522
Location: High in the Rockies
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Posted Tue Feb 28, 2012, 6:36pm
Subject: Re: Starbucks Newest Big To Do
 

tina_daniels Said:

Oh my goodness.  I think you're my new hero. I love this!!

Posted February 26, 2012 link

Mine too, it's a great story,

 
"I've Scaced many HX/E61 machines, seeing shot variances of up to 8-10F or more. [The BDB] stays within 1F." - Mark Prince
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kimberlybosgat
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kimberlybosgat
Joined: 29 Feb 2012
Posts: 19
Location: LA
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Mon Mar 5, 2012, 2:39am
Subject: Re: Starbucks Newest Big To Do
 

Starbucks is really the good place for people to relax, but where is the biggest market for the Starbucks?
which country? and waht kind of ingredients that can be taken in the coffee
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kayes
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kayes
Joined: 18 Nov 2011
Posts: 21
Location: Saskatoon, SK Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Drip: Bodum Press
Roaster: Poppery II
Posted Mon Mar 5, 2012, 2:45pm
Subject: Re: Starbucks Newest Big To Do
 

I've tried their 'blond' brew at the store and press and pour-over at home. Their brew in the store is not very good and lacks body and complexity. The brews I did at home using their Veranda Blend were actually pretty good. It had a pleasant acidity (and I normally dislike tangy coffee) and a nice round body with toasty/chocolatey flavours. These two new blends really require a coffee press or a pour-over to be drinkable.

 
My name is Kayes, and I'm obsessed with coffee.
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kayes
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kayes
Joined: 18 Nov 2011
Posts: 21
Location: Saskatoon, SK Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Drip: Bodum Press
Roaster: Poppery II
Posted Mon Mar 5, 2012, 2:55pm
Subject: Re: Starbucks Newest Big To Do
 

Netphilosopher Said:

And apparently Starbucks has the same issue as the automotive industry.  There's the manufacturing and delivery of the product, and there's the point of sale.

Many people hate a particular car model because they hated the sales experience - something which an auto manufacturer has no control over.  When a group of dealers decide they will place a +$5K premium on a new hot model, there is little that the manufacturer can say about it.  They can do some post-damage control, but that's about it.

I went to a *$s this morning, and of course there was no blonde in the brewer, just Pike Place and Caffe Verona (holy SMOKE festival!).  I asked if they would do a press pot of Willow - nope, they only had Veranda and they would only do a pourover.

No press pot?  Nope.  

There's 30 lbs of Willow out here, I see you have a Ditting, can't you grind some up?  No, I'm sorry.  We only have Veranda ground.

Okay, gimme a tall Veranda, black, no room for cream.

Three different PBTC asked me if I wanted room for cream.  I said no three different times in three different languages, just for fun.

Watched them pull water from their spout on the brewer, the spout is at the top and their measuring cup was about 3 feet drop.  Oh well...

Then I was looking at something else, and 3 minutes later grabbed my cup of Blonde Roast Veranda Blend... the first sip was essence of brown water with an overlay of wet cardboard, a hint of coffee.  I damn near spit it out.  

ME: this is awful!

PBTC: Yeah, most people don't like the Blonde Roast, I think that they'll end up discontinuing it.

ME: <insert scowl here>  Well, maybe if you brewed it properly?

PBTC: Well, sir, I did, but I'll remake it if you want.

ME:  Yeah, let's do that.

Then I watched PBTC pull this measuring cup of water from the 3 foot drop.  When it was full, I asked to see the water in the measuring cup.

PBTC:  Why?

ME:  Cause I want to see if it's hot.

PBTC:  It's hot, sir.

ME:  Indulge me.  

PBTC:  I can't, it's against health regulations.

ME:  HUH?  Then stick a thermometer in it.

PBTC:  Oh, I guess I could...  (by now he's getting a bit annoyed)   PBTC2!  Where's the thermometer?

PBTC2:  I'll get it, why do you need it?


(getting kinda abbot and costello here by now).

ME: listen, I just want to see what the temp is, it's been a minute, so dump that water out, pour some more, your buddy will have the thermometer by then, but I can tell you what the temp is just by touch.

PBTC:  Okay.

Watch him pour the water, offer the measuring cup to me.  I touch it, then dip my finger in it for a half count.  

ME:  It's about 180F.  You do know that pourovers should be in the 200F range, right?

PBTC:  Oh, I just pulled it from the spout, it's that temperature.

PBTC2:  Here's the thermometer.

ME:  It will be about 175F now.

PBTC:  (sticks the thermometer in, pulls it out, sticks it in, pulls it out)  This thermometer isn't reading right.

ME:  Why?

PBTC: because it says 168F, and I know it's hotter than that.

ME:  Gotta microwave?

PBTC: yeah.

ME:  well, boil it and check the thermometer.

PBTC:  I'll just heat it for a bit and make your pourover, sir.

ME:  I'd like the water just off boil.

PBTC:  I'll have your pourover in a minute.  (proceeds to microwave it for 30 seconds, then I watch his pourover technique -  put cup underneath, dump coffee into filter, dump water into pourover, help someone else.  3 minutes later, he calls out a Tall Verona)

ME:  (after sampling), Um, I'd really like you to taste this.  Cause you're not brewing it right.  You ever brew it in the big brewers?

PBTC: (now very annoyed with me)  No, because we tried it out with pourovers first, and everyone hates this stuff!  You're the only one to ask for it this morning, all the regulars agree it tastes really weak and crappy.  Don't you agree?

ME:  Well, when I brew it properly, it's better than anything else you have.  Hell, Caribou does a better job than you guys for pourovers.

PBTC:  Well, we're following all of the guidelines.

ME:  Really?  Taste this.

PBTC:  I know how the Blonde tastes, I don't need to taste it.

ME:  Ok, please remake it again, this time, I want it made with boiling water, and I'd like the pour to be at least 30 seconds long, not just dumping it into the cone.

PBTC:  <sigh>  Ok, but it won't make a difference.

ME:  I've already paid for the coffee, here's an extra buck tip, all I ask is you make enough for a grande, and pour off a bit so you can sample it properly brewed.  Trust me.

PBTC:  What, are you from Corporate or something?

ME:  <silent grin>



Needless to say, the third time's a charm.  As I watched his eyes light up upon tasting the sample, I feel I may have made the world just a touch better by being a fussy customer and maybe enlightening someone else that there's more to coffee than Vienna roast and creosote.  I actually took a few minutes to talk to all three of the PBTC - many of the places in the area did the samples and intro the same exact way, with pourovers, giving away samples, etc.  

I advised that they might want to brew a decent batch in the full brewer - it's got much better control over the temp and they're actually really decent brewers, assuming the system isn't short cycled (i.e. the water is hot enough for the next big pot).  Sadly, because of many bad reviews of the original samples, they can't justify using up a full pot of either of the Blonde roasts.

I asked if they ever thought of preheating the pourover.  No, they weren't told that it needed to be done.  

For want of a good brew technique, a good product may be lost.


(Full disclosure:  I do not work for *$s, and I did tell them so... afterward)

Posted February 25, 2012 link

The pour-over I got from them the other day was terrible. I watched her make it and I cringed the whole time. I'm actually surprised how poorly trained their staff are now.

 
My name is Kayes, and I'm obsessed with coffee.
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tina_daniels
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Feb 2012
Posts: 76
Location: Oklahoma
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Jr, HX
Grinder: Lelit  PL53
Drip: Bodum French Press
Posted Tue Mar 6, 2012, 6:21am
Subject: Re: Starbucks Newest Big To Do
 

kayes Said:

The pour-over I got from them the other day was terrible. I watched her make it and I cringed the whole time. I'm actually surprised how poorly trained their staff are now.

Posted March 5, 2012 link

I've seen some people poorly trained at other shops too.  I think a lot of it may just be high school kids wanting that cool, barista job  -- then realizing it's not as easy as it looks... or like, at chains, the general populace doesn't want the kind of coffee they want to make... or they have to make other things besides JUST coffee drinks, etc.
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markm3
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Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 110
Location: Kpt,TN
Expertise: I live coffee

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Posted Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:10pm
Subject: Re: Starbucks Newest Big To Do
 

Nah, not just poorly trained. Pretty sure I spied the Pour Over procedure instructions a while back.  They tell them to pour all the water into the cone at once.

And for some reason I really dislike the Veranda,  has too much of a dry nut flavor or something. Almost tannic to me, yet I find the Willow very enjoyable.

Sad that so many Starbucks employees and customers equate good coffee only with something BOLD (Burnt and Ashy)

I think they just like that word.

Hey my cars got a HEMI and my Coffee is BOLD .....

None of that wimpy  blonde roast for me, I'm scared I might actually taste something other than creosote.
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