HomeRoast Digest


Topic: *bucks "aesthetic" (5 msgs / 291 lines)
1) From: Tara Kollas
Interesting article about how Starbucks is affecting what music folks buy,
what movies they see, etc.  Too bad, they can't influence folks to drink
good coffee as well.http://www.gawker.com/news/lies-well-disguised/lies-well-disguised-we-are-all-made-of-starbucks-209704.php">http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/22/arts/22domi.html?_r=1&oref=sloginAnd the gawker response.http://www.gawker.com/news/lies-well-disguised/lies-well-disguised-we-are-all-made-of-starbucks-209704.php

2) From: Tom Ulmer
http://www.xmradio.com/newsroom/screen/pr_2004_08_03.htmlXM75... 
A mere 81 channels down from pour a cup because "Oprah's Friends Are Just a
Phone Call Away"...
Either way it is certainly the beauty of business. 
If you play the tunes backwards you'll find a hypnotic message instructing
the listener that they simply can't live without a maple macchiato and
Oprah's entertainment is somehow beautiful nature...

3) From: Sandy Andina
--Apple-Mail-97-871975713
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To me, the truth about Starbucks lies somewhere between the two  
articles (the Times' fawning and Gawker's profanity-laced sneer).   
Starbucks does have its uses.  Mostly, when I am on the road,  
jonesing for an espresso or REAL macchiato, with no independently  
owned espresso bar (or even Caribou as a second choice) in sight.   
Let me tell you, driving those tollways and interstates mile after  
mile after stultifying mile and seeing the Green Mermaid logo on the  
"Food Next Exit" or "Tollway Oasis" signs is like seeing the ski  
patrol come into view when you're lying splayed out, ankle throbbing,  
in the snow. Just as you'd much rather have a nice warm sofa with  
lots of pillows, an ice pack and a fistful of Vicodin for that ankle  
but will gladly accept an Ace bandage and a couple of surefooted guys  
schlepping you behind them back to safety (and hopefully, the  
aforementioned fistful of Vicodin),  a double shot of burnt stale  
superauto-dispensed espresso with a blob of foam on top will  
definitely work when I'd much rather have a fresh and expertly pulled  
and poured mini-rosetta-topped macchiato in a teeny china cup and  
saucer but need to get real and stay awake. (Obsessed as I am, I am  
still not willing to drag a Rocky and Silvia along--neither my back  
nor my fellow passengers and our equipment and instruments would  
stand for that--nor bring my kettle, Zass, Aeropress, beans and a mug  
into the rest area ladies' room and hope there's an electric outlet;  
for that, I'll wait till I've checked into the motel).  And when I am  
staying at my late mom's condo (where, since I cancelled the phone  
service, not even dial-up is an option) it's nice to be able to drive  
only a mile away and catch up on my e-mail and web-facilitated tasks,  
rather than go all the way into the next town for a Panera shop.
The sad thing is that Starbucks used to be all about the quality--AND  
the coffee. Pre-Schultz, when I lived in Seattle and could not get  
down to Pike Place Market, it was a G-dsend to be able to drive a  
mile to the nation's first branch Starbucks for a variety of freshly  
roasted beans, teas, spices and chocolate and the supplies necessary  
to prepare them properly at home. Next closest source of beans back  
then? Murchie's, in Vancouver, BC. Starbucks did not sell coffee  
drinks back then; as recently as 1974 I was unable to find a real  
espresso, much less a cappuccino, anywhere in town (not even Pioneer  
Square) on a Saturday night and had to settle for a flip-drip-pot cup  
of pseudo-espresso (likely from canned coffee) at an Italian  
restaurant.  Even after I'd moved to Chicago and Schultz had taken  
the chain over (and we had the first branches outside Washington  
State), the drinks were made in real machines by baristi, from beans  
that while over-roasted were reasonably fresh; and, if you joined  
their Encore mail-order program, roasted the day they were shipped  
(Priority Mail) so they arrived optimally outgassed.  The only CDs  
they sold were occasional, seasonal anthologies that were worth it  
before the days when one could burn one's own road-music mix discs.   
I think the beginning of the end of the chain's legitimacy was when  
they started selling their beans in supermarkets (and in the stores,  
in bags that bore one-year-out pull dates), canceling Encore,  
installing superautos and initiating the predatory rental practices  
that allowed them to move in everywhere and put indie after indie out  
of business.  Sadly, they have become an upper-income version of  
Denny's or Dunkin'--no matter where you are, you will find the  
comfort of the same decor, same background music, and same yet  
consistent mediocrity, with the false cachet of good taste (after  
all, despite coming out of a superauto a trained chimp could operate,  
the cappuccino is still far superior to the instant whipped premixed  
"cappuccino" dispensed at gas-stations and 7-11s--except should you  
find yourself in Seattle, of course, where there are real espresso  
carts and baristi on every street corner and in every grocery store  
and office-building lobby; which begs the question--where were they  
when I lived there?)
But now, the TRULY discerning have discovered both the glow of  
supporting independent neighborhood business and the joys of freshly  
roasted beans (even those of us who can roast our own but whose  
timetables have been temporarily thrown off), expertly pulled shots  
and poured drinks, live acoustic music (in some cases), and the  
camaraderie of the coffeehouse-as-neighborhood-nerve-center.   
National coffee chains can never completely replace that, as long as  
there are those of us who remember the way it used to be and will not  
stand for mediocrity.........except when the only alternative to  
uniformity and mediocrity is that gas-station-machine swill.
On Oct 24, 2006, at 9:37 AM, Tara Kollas wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
--Apple-Mail-97-871975713
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To me, the truth about Starbucks =
lies somewhere between the two articles (the Times' fawning and Gawker's =
profanity-laced sneer).  Starbucks does have its uses.  Mostly, when =
I am on the road, jonesing for an espresso or REAL macchiato, with no =
independently owned espresso bar (or even Caribou as a second choice) in =
sight.  Let me tell you, driving those tollways and interstates mile =
after mile after stultifying mile and seeing the Green Mermaid logo on =
the "Food Next Exit" or "Tollway Oasis" signs is like seeing the ski =
patrol come into view when you're lying splayed out, ankle throbbing, in =
the snow. Just as you'd much rather have a nice warm sofa with lots of =
pillows, an ice pack and a fistful of Vicodin for that ankle but will =
gladly accept an Ace bandage and a couple of surefooted guys schlepping =
you behind them back to safety (and hopefully, the aforementioned =
fistful of Vicodin),  a double shot of burnt stale superauto-dispensed =
espresso with a blob of foam on top will definitely work when I'd much =
rather have a fresh and expertly pulled and poured mini-rosetta-topped =
macchiato in a teeny china cup and saucer but need to get real and stay =
awake. (Obsessed as I am, I am still not willing to drag a Rocky and =
Silvia along--neither my back nor my fellow passengers and our equipment =
and instruments would stand for that--nor bring my kettle, Zass, =
Aeropress, beans and a mug into the rest area ladies' room and hope =
there's an electric outlet; for that, I'll wait till I've checked into =
the motel).  And when I am staying at my late mom's condo (where, =
since I cancelled the phone service, not even dial-up is an option) it's =
nice to be able to drive only a mile away and catch up on my e-mail and =
web-facilitated tasks, rather than go all the way into the next town for =
a Panera shop.
The = sad thing is that Starbucks used to be all about the quality--AND the = coffee. Pre-Schultz, when I lived in Seattle and could not get down to = Pike Place Market, it was a G-dsend to be able to drive a mile to the = nation's first branch Starbucks for a variety of freshly roasted beans, = teas, spices and chocolate and the supplies necessary to prepare them = properly at home. Next closest source of beans back then? Murchie's, in = Vancouver, BC. Starbucks did not sell coffee drinks back then; as = recently as 1974 I was unable to find a real espresso, much less a = cappuccino, anywhere in town (not even Pioneer Square) on a Saturday = night and had to settle for a flip-drip-pot cup of pseudo-espresso = (likely from canned coffee) at an Italian restaurant.  Even after I'd = moved to Chicago and Schultz had taken the chain over (and we had the = first branches outside Washington State), the drinks were made in real = machines by baristi, from beans that while over-roasted were reasonably = fresh; and, if you joined their Encore mail-order program, roasted the = day they were shipped (Priority Mail) so they arrived optimally = outgassed.  The only CDs they sold were occasional, seasonal = anthologies that were worth it before the days when one could burn one's = own road-music mix discs.  I think the beginning of the end of the = chain's legitimacy was when they started selling their beans in = supermarkets (and in the stores, in bags that bore one-year-out pull = dates), canceling Encore, installing superautos and initiating the = predatory rental practices that allowed them to move in everywhere and = put indie after indie out of business.  Sadly, they have become an = upper-income version of Denny's or Dunkin'--no matter where you are, you = will find the comfort of the same decor, same background music, and same = yet consistent mediocrity, with the false cachet of good taste (after = all, despite coming out of a superauto a trained chimp could operate, = the cappuccino is still far superior to the instant whipped premixed = "cappuccino" dispensed at gas-stations and 7-11s--except should you find = yourself in Seattle, of course, where there are real espresso carts and = baristi on every street corner and in every grocery store and = office-building lobby; which begs the question--where were they when I = lived there?)
But now, the TRULY = discerning have discovered both the glow of supporting independent = neighborhood business and the joys of freshly roasted beans (even those = of us who can roast our own but whose timetables have been temporarily = thrown off), expertly pulled shots and poured drinks, live acoustic = music (in some cases), and the camaraderie of the = coffeehouse-as-neighborhood-nerve-center.  National coffee chains can = never completely replace that, as long as there are those of us who = remember the way it used to be and will not stand for = mediocrity.........except when the only alternative to uniformity and = mediocrity is that gas-station-machine swill. On Oct 24, = 2006, at 9:37 AM, Tara Kollas wrote:
Interesting article about how Starbucks is affecting = what music folks buy, what movies they see, etc.  Too bad, they can't = influence folks to drink good coffee as well.   = http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/22/arts/22domi.html?_r=1&oref==slogin   And the gawker response. = http://www.gawker.com/news/lies-=well-disguised/lies-well-disguised-we-are-all-made-of-starbucks-209704.php= = = --Apple-Mail-97-871975713--

4) From: Tim Wat
Sandy Andina wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy:
Kudos on putting all this into cyber text.  As one who doesn't even own 
a Rocky or Silvia to pack into carry on, I concur.
What doesn't appear much on this list (which may ostracize me for 
saying), is that I have a soft spot in my heart for Starbuck's.  My 
college days were spent swilling Denny's coffee (choose whatever you 
want as long as it's regular or decaf), and Starbuck's was my first 
exposure to espresso here in the US.  It wasn't until years later that 
Peet's allowed me to compare another take on the theme ("mass market 
baristaship"?).  I was a diehard Peet's fan until discovering 
homeroasting earlier this year.
Further, Starbuck's ubiquity provides the backdrop context for every 
person I've brewed coffee for, and everyone who now asks me to send them 
some beans, everyone who wants to learn why my coffee tastes different 
(and hopefully better) than what they buy every morning on the way to 
work. 
The fact that Starbuck's has become part of our cultural vocabulary only 
underscores the palpable differences in quality that fresh roast (and 
real barista, although I'm certainly not one) provides.  I think I would 
never have grown dissatisfied with coffee to the point of venturing into 
homeroasting if it hadn't been for Starbuck's.
Perhaps there are others who have the same experience or perspective.
Tim

5) From: Scott Marquardt
Nice narrative from Sandy.
Tim, it's like being grateful to the hammer for helping you decide to
stop hitting yourself on the head with it.    ;-)
On 10/24/06, Tim Wat  wrote:
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