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Starbucks ad nauseum
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Post Starbucks ad nauseum 


After 7 odd years of ambivalence, I've decided to hop off the fence and join the ranks of the naysayers - It's true: Starbucks sucks.
I initially thought that, like all things omnipresent, it was just an easy target, located conveniently on each and every street corner waiting to soak up the slack-jawed anti-Starbucks rhetoric of passersby and occasionally winding up in some amateur-night contestant's punchlines(I mean, how many puns should you really be allowed to make with the word 'latte'?). It never really bothered me too much that they arrogantly renamed sizes(a risky maneuver in the bastion of the anti-metric), for example, when I ordered a 'medium' coffee instead of a 'grande' , at worst I would receive only a look with the slightest trace of agitation - nothing comparable to, say, speaking Castillian spanish in Barcelona. And I never really thought of Starbucks as competition for the pseudo-bohemian coffee shops that love to label them as the anti-christ, mainly because of Starbuck's format, which is part-corrall/part-clerk-of-courts/part-airport customs - they're designed for your visit to be as ephemeral as humanly possible - get in here, get your coffee, now get the hell out. They certainly don't want you lingering around comparing Sartre's breed of existentialism with that of Kierkegaard's(hell, you shouldn't be doing that anyway).
Ultimately, there are plenty of places that make plenty of money selling coffee to clove-smokers and 6-hour laptoppers, going about their lives with much independence from the kudzu-like growth of the much maligned Starbucks. With that in mind, I don't hate Starbucks because they aren't a 'locally owned business' - let me explain: I like locally owned businesses and I have my favorites that I visit with much frequency, but I don't adhere to the 'shop locally just cuz' credo - mainly because locally owned businesses are every bit as capable as sucking just as much or more than the neutered-like chains they campaign against. I've certainly been to my fair share of bookstores, restaurants, bars, and, yes, coffee shops that preached the 'shop local' but seemed to pride themselves on their lack of competence or outright lack of availablity(sorry, we had to close early cuz the owner's lhasa apso got sick).
So what made me lean toward the hatred? Actually, as I write this, I'm beginning to realize that my problem may not lie with Starbucks in general, but the one Starbucks(that's right, ONE - 200 Starbucks in the DC area and I pass by one) that I occasionally stop by on my 15 minute morning trek to work. Let me explain: Remember the scene in Spaceballs where Dark Helmet realizes he's surrounded by 'assholes'? Those are the guys that work in this Starbucks - except they're bigger and meaner looking(well, as mean looking as one can be while wearing a green apron) - and they've taken the liberty to attach all these new connotations to phrases that I was otherwise very familiar with - for example, when they say 'good morning', it doesn't mean 'good morning' but 'what can I get you?', so when I replied with a 'good morning' I was all but bent over the guy's knee for doing so - and if you're unlucky enough to have to order some food from the place, be warned: the food will magically materialize at a small circular platform opposite of where you are inclined to wait for it, and without any form of notice - and if you foolishly ask about the e.t.a of this mysterious food, you'll receive a verbal barrage concerning the ethos of proper food retrieval. You know how cops on C.O.P.S use the words 'sir' and 'maam'? Same deal.
And it isn't just the employees of this Starbucks that I find loathesome. It's the other customers, as well. Say, there are two people in front of you - that's not so bad, or I should say, that wouldn't be so bad if they were also ordering coffee but they're not. The lady at the counter wants a decaf soy americano with skim and a slice of lemon - and she's going to get into a mild confrontation with the barrista about why she has to pay extra for the hot water in her americano because the same espresso drink WITHOUT that water is 15 cents cheaper - and the jackass in front of you isn't getting coffee either, he wants a half-caf eggnog latte(in June) and he also wants one for his cocker spaniel - and he wants a little soda water because he thinks that cocker spaniel might've accidently gotten a little pooh on his new sweater. At this point, your sighs become grumbles - grumbles of HATRED.
So why don't I just stay home and brew my own coffee, you ask? I do. Most of the time. But when it comes to the I-have-to-have-coffee-and-I-have-only-like-two-minutes-to-get-it coffee, I've found a rather nice stand-in in that Burger King of coffee shops, Caribou Coffee. It's like the good porridge of the bunch - they're not too, well, Starbucksian, and not too anti-Starbucksian. They try to upsale the hell out of you and their decor is about as rustic as it can get without having to recruit a taxidermist - but, get this, they have daily trivia - and it's GOOD trivia. For example, the answer to one of last week's questions was 'Launchpad MacQuack'. Launchpad MacQuack! Ducktales trivia! Consider me regulated.


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What the hell does Ambivalent mean?






Just kidding. Ala Peter Griffin.


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Post re: starbucks and caribou 


just my sh*t on coffee and starbucks

1) i hate caribou coffee. i'm not a plain coffee person, but i'm also not a half caf double soy skim latte with sugarfree vanilla syrup type person. i generally get a latte. and if i'm feeling special, a mocha.
but i think their espresso tastes like crap.

2) im on the fence with starbucks. i went back and forth on the one next to our work. it broke up the monotony of the 4:45 pm lull. and for a bit there was a dude there who would just give me free coffee (shwing). and im obsessed with those little chantico/spanish hot chocolate things. but Free Coffee Man ended up quitting or something and my level of service went down. then when i changed jobs to Z, i had the WORST EMPLOYEES EVER at the starbucks next to me. i'd ask for a latte and it would take 10 minutes, when i was the only one there at 9:30 am on a saturday. i'd ask for a chai latte and be given an eggnog latte (wtf is that crap anyways). i begged my brother to start working at the starbucks near my work just so that he could make me good coffee (he worked at one in silver spring). but still, when i used to come in super hung over and the deli across the street was closed, that bacon egg and cheese english muffin hit the spot.

but now, im in england. and crap, this country has the shittiest coffee that i have ever experienced in my life. they treat all coffee like some bastardised tea. i especially hate the starbucks here because you'd think that since they were dealing almost exclusively with espresso, they would get it right. but no, it tastes like crap. and for this, they've taken american prices and changed the $ to a sign. for worse coffee. the worst part about it is that france (who has perfectluy amazing coffee) is a mere 2.5 hr train ride away. you can see it from the coastline!!


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