Thursday, October 26, 2006

Starbucks, And Why I Hate Them.

I love coffee. It's probably the thing I drink most in a day - definitely somewhere around 6-8 cups - so while this rant is about coffee inter alia, it's mainly about Starbucks. Other coffee shop places are included and are just as culpable, but it's mostly Starbucks.

I've been in Starbucks four times in my life, each time because I NEEDED a coffee and they happened to be there. But then if you'd opened as many shops as they have, you'd happen to be everywhere too. First of all, couldn't believe they were charging £5 for a cup of coffee. A bag of coffee, yes. A cup of coffee? No way in hell. I mean the blends tasted okay, quite nice in a bland kind of way, but not good enough for £5 a cup.

Secondly, and I've mentioned this already, they're every-fucking-where. I reckon you could hurl a cup of your expensively-purchased coffee from one Starbucks, and pretty much guarantee splashing the front of another Starbucks when it lands. It used to be that it went "shop-shop-shop-shop-coffee place-shop-shop-shop-shop" on a high street or in a mall. Now it goes "coffee place-coffee place-coffee place-coffee place-shop-coffee place-coffee place-McDonalds".

Thirdly, they're corporate ass-hats of the worst kind. They do exclusive deals with artists - such as Bob Dylan - so you can't buy the album anywhere else. Then, decide to ban sales of certain albums - Springsteen for example - because they don't like the lyrics.

Now, just to complete my hatred of them, this story comes out. I'm particularly thrilled with the corporate ass-hattery of "For the US industry to exist, we must have an economically stable coffee industry in the producing world...This particular scheme is going to hurt the Ethiopian coffee farmers economically." And that guy doesn't actually work for Starbucks. They just kinda pay his wages.

Okay, two quick points, for "economically stable coffee industry in the producing world" read "exploitable resource from third-world farmers" and for "going to hurt the Ethiopian coffee farmers economically" read "going to cut our profit margin from the current 100000% mark, unless we find somewhere more desperate to sell us coffee."



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