Thursday, April 14, 2011

Starbucks Rant

[Rant Alert! No specific value to this post other than me griping.] 

Hey Starbucks! 
I now have two issues with you... well, probably much more, but two that are big enough to make me want to take the effort to write them up. 

First: Don't advertise "Your Coffee, Your Way" if you really can't or won't be able to make it! 
My coffee of choice could very simply be called a "Café au lait". That of course would be too simple for Starbucks and so I need to order it in the Starbucks equivalent: no-foam coffee misto (or my specific version: venti, non-fat, no-foam, Pike Place, coffee misto). See the problem is that in less than 1 out of 10 cases I actually get it without foam! I don't want the milk foamed or frothed or any of this. I actually had one "barista" (calling this coffee slinger a barista is akin to calling the line cook at "Bud's Halibut & Chips" a chef) telling me that not foaming/frothing the milk is not possible. Idiot! Clearly it is possible! Every now and so often - and as rare as this may be - I get the perfectly heated milk. Just that: heated milk. I don't like the foam/froth, I don't want it, need it, or should have it. One of my favourite scenarios is this: the barista/coffee-slinger puts the finished coffee on the counter and calls out what it is "venti, non-fat, no-ohhh, errr, no-foam, coffee misto". Clearly they now know that they have not done the no-foam bit but are trying to push it out anyway - de facto making a liar of themselves and clearly insulting the customer's (my!) intelligence. When then asked to please make it no-foam as it was ordered, I get in at least half the cases an annoyed frown as they take it back and try to scoop out the foam. Hello! Dumbo... about 40% of the cup's contents are foam and you'll be scooping for 5 minutes and still not get the all the foam out. So they scoop and scoop and scoop and with every scoop they put in a little more of the over-frothed milk they still have left in the container. Now they are not only engaging in an utterly pointless activity, they are also diluting the coffee more and more with milk. 

Phuuu! Done with this, now onto the next one. 

Second: What is with the pastries getting more and more junkier? 
Everyone knows that we have a serious obesity crisis in North America and many establishments are trying to come up with ways to even make "treats" somewhat healthier. Not Starbucks - oh no! They are removing every item that has the slightest appearance of maybe-not-that-bad-for-you and are replacing it with highly refined, processed, and icing lathered crap! All one can possibly taste in these things is... well, sugar sweet. Case in point: they used to have a whole wheat raspberry scone without icing. Gone! Replaced by little balls on a stick that are something like cake dough with a good 3 millimetre of icing caked around it. YUK! And yes, I realize that even the whole wheat scone was not "health food" -- all of that stuff is strictly speaking junk. But that said, there is better and worse junk. Now all the Starbucks has left is the worst possible kind of junk. 

I used to like Starbucks. Now I only go there because of convenience. But even their ubiquity cannot, over the long term, sustain my loyalty. 

[end Rant]

1 comment:

  1. Being an ex-starbucks barista who's #1 drink is a decaffe, grande, soy, no foam white mocha (and I hate it when they ask me if I still want whip on it....and I shouldnt have to say no foam, bc if there is no whip, foam is not added by default!!) I feel your pain!
    When i worked at starbucks, there were standards!! If a drink was no foam, then i made sure it was no foam! You still make foam while you steam the milk bc you need to airate (sp??) the milk, but you dont go and instantly pour the milk following. You wait. Tap the milk container....then while pulling back the top of the milk with the big spoon you pour. Quickly. Then wait, scoop the foam that surfaces by gently skimming, then again, pour QUICKLY to top off the cup.

    If im paying $6.00 for a cup of coffee, make it right!