jwoodyu Senior Member Joined: 31 Dec 2010 Posts: 841 Location: Michigan Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Allex Duetto II Grinder: Mazzer Major Roaster: Poppery
Posted Mon Jan 6, 2014, 10:16pm Subject: Re: For Anyone Skeptical About How Bad Starbucks is...
The goal of any chain private or franchise is consistency. Automate your machines and burn the living sh@t out of the espresso is the way they get consistency, it is as simple as that.
Yes I put the BDB and CC1 in the same class, yes i have a reason for leaving SCG off my list, yes it is my opinion, yes it is subjective as opinions are by definition, no don't start a flame war because you disagree.
Posted Mon Jan 6, 2014, 10:17pm Subject: Re: For Anyone Skeptical About How Bad Starbucks is...
Woops! Sorry Susan! I should have researched the Dogfish Head. Try the Brother Thelonious anyway. You have to love an Ale named after Thelonious Monk.
I don't think Susan was painting all the american beers with the same brush...just the really huge mass producers. In fact, later in the same post quoted, she said there are some awesome micros...naming, as an example, Dogfish Head.
zammie Senior Member Joined: 13 Nov 2013 Posts: 6 Location: Kuala Lumpur, MY Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Caravel Grinder: Porlex Mini Drip: custom pour over, Viet drip
Posted Tue Jan 7, 2014, 12:11am Subject: Re: For Anyone Skeptical About How Bad Starbucks is...
I worked at Starbucks from around Sept 2001 to July 2002, mostly for fun and freebies, it was the first or 2nd drive thru open in NC, wow talk about dating myself. Back in those days we pulled shots manually, like God intended. There were actual official time range standards for how many seconds it should take to pull a good shot, how long a shot could sit (never understood why, I don't recall ever getting to the halfway point on that standard.) I have ALWAYS found the drip coffee more or less a joke, with a couple of notable exceptions. We DID like the French Roast and a seasonal roast called Verona, which I believe was Vienna with a new name. Other than that.....blecccch as far as drip is concerned. I found the espresso respectable, though I always drank it with milk or my preference, breve, after training.
I really don't fault them. They aren't holding guns to anyone's head to make them drink it. As a matter of fact, we had numerous addicts who's spouses were not very happy with the bills they rang up on credit and debit cards at *$. I think one of the biggest beverage consumers we had were the frappuccino people. And when I say 'biggest', I mean they were physically the biggest type II pre-diabetics I have ever seen. I would see them unpacking themselves from their cars and just fire up the blendtec. Holy Cow. 'specially when it was hot out.
It's very common to attack the 700 pound gorilla of the industry, micro brewers and home brewers trash Sam Adams, but without these behemoths, where would the consumer of coffee or beer be today? We'd still have a choice between maxwell house and folgers! jk :-) The ad nauseum attacks have just become noise, just like the green and white sign on every corner has become noise in our culture, guess you can't have one without the other, people gotta complain about sumpin'. It's our nature. They have had a direct role in expanding the knowledge and availability for those who have developed a passion.
I enjoyed working there while I was there but knew they had paved the path to their own demise when my wife and I went to New York in 2002 and every starbucks featured the new automatic machines. I tried one cappuccino, thought it was thin and bitter. Tried another one at another *$ and it was equally bad, tried another one at yet a different spot (nyc must have had a thousand locations all by itself, it was way over saturated) , same thing again. And I thought to myself if they think these horrendous automatic shots are acceptable and anyone can just press the button, then what happens when McDonald's puts these machines in? I may have been wrong about a lot ;-), but I was right about that. They still haven't perfected the automatic shot (11 years and counting, guess good enough is good enough) and besides, isn't having a professional barista who takes pride in their craft part of the whole coffee shop experience? That's what made me want to work there.
Anyhoo, looking forward to chatting elsewhere on other topics more pertinent to my new hobby. Thanks for providing the forum. Gregg
PS: Best thing to drink at starbucks? Hands down, triple filtered water. A sublime pleasure.
+1 Thanks for a different perspective on the issue. I wonder how many people who bash *$ did drink them and thought them good back then? I know I did! :D
I think *$ became a stepping stone to discovering better coffee for many people, esp. those on these kind of forums. It will be interesting to hear what the younger forummers who discovered 3rd wave before *$ have to say on the matter!
nachoslibres Senior Member Joined: 3 Dec 2012 Posts: 30 Location: Tyler, Texas Expertise: I love coffee
Grinder: Baratza Vario-W Drip: Bunn trifecta MB
Posted Wed Jan 8, 2014, 8:11am Subject: Re: For Anyone Skeptical About How Bad Starbucks is...
Good discussion - and it is crazy how polarizing the discussion on "good" coffee or beer (or even wine) can be.
I personally dislike Starbucks coffee - probably because it is over roasted and you can pretty much bet that it isn't fresh (they don't even put roasting dates on the bags anymore right?). Since I'm able to get freshly roasted coffee now from a friend I even turn my nose up at quality coffee that's going stale (right now I'm drinking a cup of coffee that was roasted a little over 2 weeks ago and it definitely tastes flat). But - I do remember many a purchase at Starbucks and how I thought their coffee was soooooo good. I even remember buying flavored coffee and thinking how good it tasted - and the same with the highly respected K-cups.
So I see this discussion from two different viewpoints. One being - and it is the one I think most on here agree with - is that great tasting coffee is going to come from a quality farm which is freshly and properly roasted, freshly ground, and brewed correctly. After drinking what I think is great coffee it is hard to drink anything else. But the other viewpoint is that some people either just can't taste the difference or don't care. My father-in-law drinks coffee from a year old Folgers can every morning and loves it. He would say that the coffee I brew is ok - but not as good because it isn't what he is used to. Same thing with beer. I love micro-brews and pretty much shun anything macro. My family is different - they all have their choice beer - whether it is Miller Lite, Coors Lite, or Budweiser. I think that stuff has no taste - but when they try the micro brews I drink they say they are disgusting.
So now I try to educate friends and family when they have questions about my coffee - but I never believe that their one taste of my coffee is going to change their viewpoint on what good coffee is. And I'm ok with someone thinking that coffee that has sat in a k-cup for 6 months is good - because if that is what they like then who am I to judge? I just have a different viewpoint.
This is a good question, but the answer needs to be accompanied by information as to when the responder began with *$$. Was it during the current superauto and charcoal roast phase? Or was it before they changed their model for worldwide domination? In other words, the older version of *$$, where they actually had "real equipment" for "real baristi", was far superior to the swill they serve now. Those of us who started on that, probably learned to appreciate good coffee, while those who started on the newer stuff learned they don't like coffee without burying it in flavoring.
. Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
I'd take Tim Hortons over Charbukks anyday. For just needing a coffee while traveling, Timmies would be #1, and Mcd, #2. Dunkin Donuts isn't too bad. It has it's own flavor notes, not something I can describe, just unlike any other, though often on the mild side. For some reason, I've found many bagel shops such as Einstein Bagels to have good coffee. Most other fast food places like BK, RBies, Windies, are a waste of time.
SproBro Junior Member Joined: 11 Feb 2014 Posts: 29 Location: Topeka, KS Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: CC1 v1.5 Grinder: Vario
Posted Fri Apr 4, 2014, 7:03pm Subject: Re: For Anyone Skeptical About How Bad Starbucks is...
Without a doubt ordering online is a very viable option.
My first serious foray into coffee was a strait shot of espresso from Pt's no joke, and I Liked it!!! The viscosity and mouthfeel was amazing, it had high notes, it had low notes, it wasn't bitter. That was when I set out on my coffee journey to make good tasting coffee at home; up until that point I just felt like everyone who drank coffee (e.g. folgers/Sbucks) was basically just a slave to sociocultural BS surrounding coffee and caffeine (and thats pretty true I"d say still). To me it is pretty clear cut that it does not taste good; human tastes are not calibrated to enjoy eating dirt and burnt stuff unless otherwise psychologically or physiologically overridden (like habit/caffeine).
Only later would I find out that Starbucks milk was a horrid embodiment of what properly prepared milk for lattes could be. I don't drink coffee for caffeine, and have at least one day a month where I do not drink coffee (diet dr.P subs the caffeine). I guess that is to say, I'd still drink the coffee I make if all the sudden it didn't have caffeine anymore.
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