The Over-Blogged Coffee Rant

The subject has been much addressed on each side and while I loathe writing about anything that has been over-blogged I feel compelled to vent about the coffee war.  I was drawn into this unspoken battle by a particularly wordy coffee request from a gentleman in line ahead of me today followed closely on the heels of another gent who provoked my ire a few days prior.

I detest Starbucks for the manner in which it has dumbed-down coffee and added scores of inane permutations to one of god & man’s most perfect creations – a cuppa joe.  I revile the over-roasted beans they use; and I have particular venom for their avaricious business practices that have made the independent coffeehouse largely a relic of days past.    Nor am I too thrilled with myself for succumbing to my baser urges and occasionally frequenting the unavoidable.

Coffee is simple, it has two pure expressions – a cup of French Press and the Espresso. Reasonable adulterations have been added through the years – the Café Americano, the Latte, the Cappuccino and the oh so glorious morning-saving, hangover-correcting Red Eye.  Those expressions come in sizes – normal universally understood sizes – raise your hand if you have a problem with small, medium, and large.

While I can understand and largely pardon the affected changing of sizes to create brand identity, I am done with all of the Half Caffe, two pump shot of bullshit, extra hot, skinny, no foam (as if that really has a place,) what-the-fuck-are-you-talking-aboutiato’s.  The people who order them and the horse that brought you – I’m done with you too.

New Rule – Restaurant Refugee Rule #67 (no you haven’t missed 1-66; I am just guessing there are at least 66 more important rules I would love for society to follow than this) If you can’t determine how to order a coffee concoction in fewer than 5 words, find another drink.  Cotton Candy flavored hot soda comes to mind.  

RRR #68 – if you don’t know what you want to order from the same menu you have seen approximately 9,835 times in the last year, you are not bright enough to exist on this island and I am now empowered by the spirit of Darwin to vote you off by unanimous consent of all those possessing more IQ points than years referenced in Lincoln’s greatest speech.


15 Responses to The Over-Blogged Coffee Rant

  1. Lisa says:

    With the realization that this will probably put me on your Loathe List for today for a variety of reasons…I like Starbucks. I rarely go in my day-to-day life, but I like that you can go to just about any random town in the US and get a good, strong cup of coffee . Also, sometimes I am that person, staring at the menu like I have a head injury, not sure if I just want coffee, or a skim latte, or weighing the caloric cost-benefit of having something with too much sugar and fake-o crap in it.

    The fact that you don’t often go in real life allows you to take a moment to ponder your options. Please just tell me that you use your time in line to ponder and don’t wait until you get to the counter.

  2. antismug says:

    Wow. How smug and pretentious can you get? If you don’t like Starbucks and the people who go there, don’t go. Just don’t go. It’s that simple. I don’t like it all that much so I don’t go there, but I don’t look down upon those who do.

    Next time I’m in line and in front of somebody who looks like a no-it-all, narcissistic schmuck, I plan on him hawing about until I decide to order a Venti, Skinny, Half-Caf, Pumpkin, Caramel, Extra Hot, Latte with two pumps of Vanilla and three pumps of GET OVER YOURSELF!

    I can be quite smug – I guess you’re a first time reader. Oh and pretentious, got that in spades too, but thanks for stopping through the site.

  3. antismug says:

    Well, as long as you own it I guess I can’t give you anymore crap for it. My anger hath been deflated.

    Well, as long as you were so gracious and came back to alert me to your deflated anger, I thank you.

  4. Fearless says:

    Dear RR, this is where you and I part company…somewhat. I could not live without my Starbucks venti non-fat latte. But I have the order down to about 3.5 seconds, depending upon how much wine was consumed the evening before.

    The one thing I don’t like about Starbucks is that as soon as I build a relationship with a barista (I’m thinking of you, Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome), they instantly replace said barista with a zombie.

    And I have yet to discover the value of “extra-hot.” In a man, yes. But in a coffee?

    Fearless, there are only four words in your order and I have no problems with Latte’s high test or low test.

  5. AMEN!!!!!!!!!!

    I knew there were at least a few members of the choir around here.

  6. gilahi says:

    Although we don’t necessarily agree on Beaujolais Nouveau, I largely agree with you Starbuck’s. I don’t have nearly as much of an issue with their McNaming schemes as I do their business practices and the fact that their coffee simply tastes like they charred a pine tree and then soaked the results in water. I honestly don’t understand how people drink the stuff. Do they order all of their other food burned as well? If you’re going to char something, make it a creme brulee. If all I can get is Starbuck’s, I’d rather have the caffeine withdrawal headache.

    I don’t know that I would be willing to deal without my java in the event that I am unable to locate a $tarbucks alternative – I just stay away from their drip coffee and stick with my Americano – but I’m definitely with ya’. Even though you are wrong misguided foolish in disagreement with me on the Beaujolais Nouveau thing

  7. Lisa says:

    Absolutely. I always want to stab the really slow people in front of me in any line.

    With rusty sporks, oh no? I guess that is just me.

  8. freckledk says:

    I drink a grande, sugarfree hazelnut americano with room. I’m over the limit, I know, but I need that room. Great – and now I hate myself.

    Size doesn’t matter – for word count, that is. I’ll even buy you one next time I see you… oh, the bar doesn’t sell them? You’ll have to settle for beer then.

  9. kjohnsonesq says:

    You know, this trauma can all be avoided by drinking Diet Coke.

    I hope you know that it is with great love and affection that I write this – this solution only works for people who view coffee as simply a vehicle for caffeine delivery rather then the glorious drink that it is.

  10. Starbucks is a mystery that defies all understanding. Its language is far more esoteric than most of the world religions I’ve studied. I’m surprised they don’t have a secret handshake and some kind of token or sign to go with that vente latte tall fat non-foam hay-for-my-horse-that-brought-me-here liquid comestible. Drink water, people! It’s cheap. It’s healthy (well, except maybe in D.C., but that’s not the point.) And it won’t cost you the equivalent of the GDP of a small developing nation.

    JM, I love water – but nothing replaces my coffee. I would just prefer that it not be burnt, and that it not take an extra five minutes to get it because someone in line ahead of me is clueless.

  11. Red says:

    I used to have Starbucks everyday because it was convenient. Then moved to the coffee place a few doors down to save some bucks.

    Now that I have neither of those places I haven’t been such a coffee snob but every-once-in-a-while I stop and get my favorite Starbucks drink and I feel like I’ve gone to heaven because you know they put crack in there. I thnk there should be an express line for people who know what they want.

    Oh and my drink is just a tall coffee. No pumps lumps, dollops or drops of a skim or foam anything. That’s how I roll.

    You roll hard Red.

  12. frenchmunkee says:

    I really like your blog. And I agree that Starbucks shames the word coffee with what they serve. Anyone who has been fortunate enough experience coffee (espresso) outside of the U.S. – in France, Italy or Costa Rica – knows this.
    And pretentiousness can be an attractive personality trait when it runs parallel with self-confidence, and doesn’t get too out of control.
    Thanks for the great postings and recs. Keep it up!
    Thank you. I don’t pretend that my pretentiousness is attractive or really anything but pretentious, but I had it so long it’s like a family pet.

  13. first..
    im sorry but i just cant let it go….
    @antismug….that would be “KNOWit all”…unless “no it all” is some hipster street ref that im not yet familiar with which case thanks for the lesson in street cred… i know crazzzzzzy for ME to address anyone’s grammer…but.. hell…i havent had any coffee yet
    i have for my entire life refused to order anything other than a
    small, medium, or large…this drives many a “barrista” crazy…
    i say “med americana”… they then translate that into “starbuck-eze” and look to me for acknowledgment that i can not and will not give them…i simply reply..
    “i dont know what you said…but …i still wnat a med americana”…
    then they think im “special needs” (and when i say special needs i mean blond) and they say it reallly slooowly…
    try it some time… just for fun…makes em batshit…

    I do love the look they get as they try to translate “medium” in to Starbucks language.

  14. Iron Fist says:

    As a professional (competition-winning) barista, I say HALLELUJAH, BROTHER!
    Good lord, it’s a beautiful thing to see someone whom I admire speak out on this topic with such acumen.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Just doing my job, ma’am.

  15. The only coffee I drink is La Colombe. It takes brilliant to an entirely new level. A splash of cream and 1/2 a Splenda and I’m content for a good few hours. If it’s good enough for Jean-Georges, I think it’s good enough for me.

    The coffee a la Starbucks is burnt and bitter. They serve it with pumps of syrup to mask the wretched flavor. I do, however, have a weakness for their crispy squares.

    My biggest problem with them is that they have largely taught America that burnt and bitter is what coffee should taste like.

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