An interesting comment from Shane at Present Tense recently. This refers to a letter in the Irish Times (sub required) where a reader is commenting on a book review in a previous Mondays Innovation section where Brody Sweeney has this to say about Starbucks coffee:
The fact Starbucks can sell such awful coffee is a testament to the power of branding. For in truth, the quality of the coffee is not the reason people shop there, it’s because it’s cool, and convenient, and they have tapped into the “third place” social phenomenon – and they are brilliant marketeers.
The response from the letter writer, referring to his wife was:
As a visitor to both O’Brien’s and Starbucks, included the words, “pot”, “kettle” and “black”!
This brings me around to a blog that’s been mulling around in my head for the last while, pretty much since the new Starbucks outlet opened up on Dawson Street. After my early days working in New York 11 years ago, I became a fan of all things Starbucks – there being one in the lobby of my building. Working close to one again would bring back good memories, or so I thought.
But to digress for a moment – my fiancée some months ago went into an O’Briens Sandwich outlet in Finglas to get a sandwich and a coffee. The coffee was, in her opinion, absolutely the worst coffee she’d ever tasted.
It was the “stick and click” variety – stick the paper cup under the nozzle and click the button so a gloopy nasty black liquid poured in.
Thank the supreme being then for Starbuck baristas and the “comprehensive training and development programme” they undergo before serving us a Starbucks coffee.
But not in Starbucks on Dawson Street unfortunately. They have just the same “stick and click” coffee making facilities that Brody Sweeney has in his sandwich shops. Hardly the job for a Starbucks barista under the generally accepted usage of the word. And unfortunately, the manky taste and quality of the coffee bears that out – in my opinion anyway.
Check out this Consumerist article “Confessions of a Starbucks Barista” for some great tips and insights into Starbucks coffee.