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Topic: George Howell, Clover, and Starbucks (19 msgs / 385 lines)
1) From: Vicki Smith
There is an interesting article in the NY Times 
http://tinyurl.com/2uqu25)inwhich George Howell samples Starbucks 
coffee brewed using the Clover.
The results are predictable (to folks like us), but it is a good read.
vicki
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2) From: Dennis Ryan
He didn't automatically dismiss them though, but instead judged them  
on their merits. He did offer qualified praise of the Guat.
One thing that caught my attention was Arabian Mocha Sanani, I hadn't  
heard of a Yemenese coffee refered to as "Arabian" before (that  
statement alone, doesn't mean much). Is that like when they started  
calling Lebanese restaurants "Middle Eastern", or Iranian rugs  
"Persian"? IE, hiding any negative connotations about a name the  
customer might have?
On Mar 26, 2008, at 6:36 AM, Vicki Smith wrote:
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3) From: Chad Sheridan
Well, Yemen IS on the Arabian peninsula...
In all seriousness, I've seen that reference before, so I don't find it 
that surprising.
Chad
Dennis Ryan wrote:
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4) From: Aaron Boothe
Vicki,
Can you repost the link?  Its not working for me.  Thanks!
Aaron B
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5) From: Vicki Smith
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/26/dining/26starbucks.html?scp=2&sq=Starbucks&st=nytAaron Boothe wrote:
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6) From: Vicki Smith
Yes, the predictable (for us) part was the discussion of roast levels of 
most of the coffees he sampled. I would not have expected George Howell 
to dismiss them, but rather, to have done just what he did--to evaluate 
each coffee he sampled.
v
Dennis Ryan wrote:
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7) From: Bill Laine
Schultz says "We've allowed our position as the leader in the coffee
industry to become somewhat blurred."
What position? He can't be talking about leadership on the coffee excellence
side. The scale of Starbucks and the requirement for consistency have taken
them out of that game. The third wave shops, I believe, will turn out better
coffee every time. SBUX is a target.
Is "better coffee than Waffle House with 'third-place' ambience" a category?
The writer concludes that after an hour or so of hanging around the Clovers
he obvserved that "the overwhelming majority (of customers) asked for drinks
that sound like punch lines." Starbucks' leadership niche is in that
sentence somewhere.
Bill
New Orleans
(disclaimer: I wish SBUX all the best - a chunk of my retirement is in their
hands.)
On Wed, Mar 26, 2008 at 5:36 AM, Vicki Smith  wrote:
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8) From: Seth Grandeau
Let's be fair, before Starbucks entered the market, there were few places to
get a decent cup of coffee and almost no place to get fancy coffee drinks,
outside of "Little Italy-s".  Starbucks has become like Microsoft.  The
company we love to hate, but the software (or coffee) scene would be very
different (and I would argue worse) without them.
On 3/26/08, Bill Laine  wrote:
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9) From: Edward Bourgeois
I have met with George a number of times. His understanding of
everything coffee is amazing. My work for the past 40 years has been
in future food, fiber and farming systems so understanding Georges
approach to the future of Coffee was interesting to me and my work. At
the level of brewing it's about quality and freshness. He looks for a
option at the cafe for the individual french press that fresh brews an
individual cup like the Clover but does it even better as many who
have tried the Clover  find it still has some shortcomings.
On Wed, Mar 26, 2008 at 9:35 AM, Vicki Smith  wrote:
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-- 
Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
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10) From: True, Dennis W. FC1 (CVN69)
If none of the coffees made a favorable impression, we concluded, it
seemed that the problem lay less with the Clover, or the quality of the
beans, than with the roast. 
YA THINK?
ROFLMAO geez starbucks not roasting well.... Hmmm what a concept!
I mean cmon "ASHY KONA" ?!?!?!? 
Even the NYT says they are burnt!!!!!!
Just my .02 worth....
Dennis

11) From: Jeff Cozad
Heavens... I'm about to take the *$'s side... sort of.
Bill writes, "He (Howard Schultz) can't be talking about leadership on the
coffee excellence side. The scale of Starbucks and the requirement for
consistency have taken them out of that game."
I don't see how the size of the business and a desire to have a consistent
customer experience are mutually exclusive from the leadership and
excellence side of things. Granted, it get much harder to control everything
when one has n bazillion locations, but it certainly can be done.
Jeff C
Bettendorf, IA - Formerly Iowa's Most Exciting City
On 3/26/08, Bill Laine  wrote:
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12) From: Kelly Wilson
On Mar 26, 2008, at 10:00 AM, Seth Grandeau wrote:
<Snip>
Absolutely. When I first started drinking whole bean coffee back  
in ...I dunno, maybe '74. I had to drive up from Olympia to Seattle/ 
SBucks to stock up. There was no place to get whole bean coffee of  
_any_ quality in Olympia.
k
Kelly G. Wilson
205 Peabody Building
Psychology Department
University of Mississippi
Oxford, MS 38677
ph: 662.915.5256
fax: 662.915.5398
(do not use either of these spring '08 or any summer)
ph: 662.816.5189 (best phone number)
fax: 662.236.3202
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13) From: miKe mcKoffee
Can humungous size and excellence go hand in hand? CAN each and every *$
location in the World have truly fresh roasted coffees to serve and sell,
not something with a "best if used by" date 6 months away? If it's not being
demonstrated as BEING done then it's pure speculation it's possible and
quite another to see it being executed. Since the execution is NOT there,
hence the statement.
BTW FWIW, *$ refuses to allow any employee to serve beverages with latte art
because it is then not a consistent customer experience. Does latte art in
and of itself mean squat about the beverage? Yes and no. A beverage WITHOUT
latte art CAN have very well micro-foamed milk, a beverage WITH latte art
MUST have very well micro-foamed milk.
Kona Kurmudgeon miKe mcKoffee
www.mcKonaKoffee.com
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
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14) From: Edward Bourgeois
MiKe Excellent commit!!! There were some great writings in the late
1800s and early 1900s as the industrialization of food was happening.
These writings were mostly by women that believed and warned that good
food could not be mass produced in a factory by merely businessmen and
that it was a naturally flawed concept. After a hundred years of
trying I believe that they were for the most part spot on.
On Wed, Mar 26, 2008 at 12:38 PM, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
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-- 
Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
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15) From: Seth Grandeau
Does the Kafe do latte art? :)
On 3/26/08, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
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16) From: Bryan Wray
Good read... no surprises...
-Bry
 
"It is my hope that people realize that coffee is more than just a caffeine delivery service, it can be a culinary art"- Chris Owens of Cafe Grumpy in NYC.
       
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17) From: Greg Scace
Mike:
I read somewhere that the mermaid was gonna start allowing latte 
art.  Maybe on coffeed?
-Greg
At 12:38 PM 3/26/2008, you wrote:
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18) From: miKe mcKoffee
<Snip>
No, the Kafe does not do latte art. The Kafe doesn't actually seem to do
much of anything by itself, no Javabots found here!
However, latte art is usually seen poured within the Kafe:-)
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffeehttp://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must">http://www.mcKonaKoffee.comURL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
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19) From: Ben Salinas
In the (in)famous shareholder meeting, someone asked Schultz if partners
were going to "start putting designs in the coffee like at some shops."
Schultz replied by saying that Starbucks was busier than their independent
partners and so they didn't have time to pour latte art.  He followed that
up by assuring the shareholders that the partners could produce milk capable
of latte art, but that customers would rather have their coffee faster.
-Ben
On Wed, Mar 26, 2008 at 3:18 PM, Greg Scace  wrote:
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