HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Shooting ones own foot (25 msgs / 701 lines)
1) From: R.N.Kyle
Great Story John, Don't you just hate it when they say, Oh this is good. =
What we are wanting to hear, and sometimes rationalize their answer to =
mean. Yuk, Yuk is the first answer we are looking for, the next and the =
very last one we will accept is, this is not bad, but nowhere as good as =
When we hear ( this is good) or God forbid the dreaded answer ( This is =
better then you make).  then we lower our head pout and wonder what we =
are doing, going to all this work for, what we thought was the best =
coffee around.
Then we come back to our senses, and say that's just a bunch of crap, =
and surely they must be mistaken, or mabey messing with me, yeah that's =
it, they was messing with me.
Surely store bought, is nowhere near the greatness of my coffee. We keep =
going until our ego is back to the inflated CSA members size. and brew =
up a cup of the best damn coffee in the state, no the best damn coffee =
in whole wide world, take a big gulp, and just smile, knowing that they =
all just jerks. Of course ( wife excluded) she was just confused. and we =
yell at the top of our voice.
Home Roasted Coffee Rule, especially MIND.
sorry for the rambling, I got carried away. must be the big cup of =
Woods. Captain Cook I just drank.
Ron Kyle
Anderson SC

2) From: John Abbott
So for the past month or so, I have tenaciously avoided the new Barnes &
Nobel bookstore (and its satellite Starbucks).  Today, for reasons that
still elude me, I found myself going in to the bookstore for a serious book
on Molecular Design.  My beloved wife and the folks we were with immediately
turned right and headed for Starbucks. OK, I'm a Coffee Snob but I can go
along with this.   So as we saunter up to the order counter the largest sign
is touting Christmas Peppermint Mocha - I DON''T THINK SO!    My wife
spotted the White Chocolate Mocha and smiled, pointed and went over to claim
a table.  This 12 year old on the other side of the counter asks me what I'd
like.  I asked what kinds of coffee they had for making an Americano - "Oh
all we carry are Arabica beans!"    No, no, what origin beans do you have?
"Oh 100% of our beans come from the Starbucks Roasting Center."   OK, give
me a white chocolate mocha grande and a tall Americano.  "Would you like
whip cream on both of those?" Umm I don't think so, how about just on the
white chocolate.    So I wander down to the "watch me make it and pickup
area" where there is a guy going over the schedule with a couple of other
employees (you can tell - they all wear green shirts with the mermaid [what
has that got to do with coffee]) and I figure, great - if he's the manager
he probably knows what kind of beans.  When he finished talking to the other
two 12 year olds I asked him.  "I guess it doesn't make much difference, we
only use one kind in the espresso machine. But I think its 100% Columbian."
Why do I do that?   So I joined the others at the table with wild
anticipation of their negative reports on the coffee (they have all had MY
coffee).  Darn!  They liked it - even my blond wife who added way too late
to save herself - I really like yours better but the white chocolate is
good!  So while I'm waiting on all of them to walk home from McAllen (13.5
miles) I'm considering my next course of action.  OK - I'm drinking up the
last of the Isle of St. Helena TONIGHT - ALL ALONE!!
John - still wondering why I did that!
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3) From: R.N.Kyle
WOW Dan , she really spit it back in the cup, and got her money back, =
what a women
Ron Kyle
Anderson SC

4) From: AlChemist John
Sometime around 15:34 12/14/02, John Abbott typed:
Just remember you are not alone in your justified snobbery.
BTW, :-)
John Nanci 
AlChemist at large
Roasting and Blending by Gestalt
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5) From: TFisher511
Way to go John, that'll teach those heathens a thing or two about enjoying 
someone else's coffee. If they want more coffee, B&N is open fairly late and 
only a short walk at that.
Terry F
coffee writes:

6) From: hlhurd
Keep reminding yourself, the reason most non home roasters like Starbucks is
that it is made with a whole lot more coffee than they brew with at home.  A
larger measure of stale dead French roasted coffee does have more flavor
than a little bit of stale dead pre-ground canned coffee.  Yours is better.
I know this without ever having tried it.
Holly, enjoying the Panama Mama Cata today
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7) From: Les & Becky
Please don't forget the concept of  forgiveness!  However, don't forget the
reality that one should not "cast your pearls (St. Helena) to the swine
either!  Enjoy that cup of St. Helena!  I remember that last cup of Napoleon
Estate a few weeks ago, and continue to hoard my stash of St. Helena Coffee
Ground Estate Peaberry.  I think some will get roasted for the New Year!
Enjoying a Kona Blue Sky Americano as I write.
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8) From: Ed Needham
Ahhhh...Mama Cata.  Roasted three pounds of it this week.  Two pounds went to
my work Christmas party...one for a 'Secret Santa' gift (to a co-worker who
truly appreciates my coffee), and the other for a 'White Elephant' gift
swapping game that was 'so' much fun.  Irony of all ironies--both pounds went
to the same household.  One went to my designated 'Secret Santa' person, and
the other to another co-worker who, incidentally lives with her.  Both were
giddy about scoring both pounds.  My coffee was 'stolen' the maximum of three
times before he finally got it.  One of those that it was taken from got with
me after the game and ordered two pounds of it to be delivered on Monday
(grin).  Sorry Tom if this is deemed competition .
The other subject...Starbucks.
Maybe we shouldn't be so hard on them.  They run a business that draws in
quite a following.  They hire people that are unskilled, but that project an
image that Starbucks wants to project.  They have standardized drinks and
equipment that all employees are trained to use, according to company policy.
They don't like to stray from their normal limits and they run a tight ship
with a nice environment, great sensory experience and well executed business
practices.  Drinks are, for the most part standardized from store to store
(with exceptions to be sure).  They roast and grind the coffee that they
think will make the most money for them.  They create the drinks that their
market studies show will turn the greatest profit.  It is 'not' a European
style coffeehouse and, in my opinion should not be compared to them.  It is
an American money making business, that incidentally uses some coffee in many
of the huge milk drinks they serve.  Burnt coffee cuts through milk pretty
well.  They are what they are, and it works for them.  If you like sweet,
coffee flavored hot or cold milk drinks, Starbucks is the place for you.
Evidently most of America likes syrupy coffee flavored milk drinks because
their stores are popping up everywhere.
Hey, we've got the Ferrari.  There's no need to deride those with Yugos.  It
makes us smaller people when we try to show how much better our Ferrari is
than the Yugo.  If your coffee is deemed less enjoyable than Starbucks, then
either consider the source of the comment, or change the way you make coffee
.  Starbucks makes fine milk drinks.  If someone likes their slurpy,
syrupy caramel, white chocolate mocha cappuccino better than yours, get the
recipe and make one with your coffee.  I bet it'll be better.
Back in my college years, I applied at a 'mall type' photo studio for a
summer job.  With photo portfolio and resume in hand, I went in for the
interview and was quickly told that I would not be hired.  The manager
politely told me that they 'preferred' hiring unskilled people for the
photographers position because they really didn't want them to think.  He
said they had very specific ways they did things, and it really didn't take
photographic skill, just adherence to the pre-determined tried-and-true
routine.  Would Starbucks hire a skilled barista?  Possibly, but I bet in
most cases they would prefer someone who would just follow the routine.
Ed Needhamhttp://www.homeroaster.comed

9) From: The Scarlet Wombat
I must say, my wife, for truth or love, displayed the exactly proper 
reaction to a Starbuck's Americano, she spit it back in the cup and made 
them give her money back.  I guess she has the true spirit of snobbery.
Dan, coffee snob, wine snob, beer snob, food snob...guess I'm just a plain 
snob, period.
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10) From: The Scarlet Wombat
Holly said,
Holly, enjoying the Panama Mama Cata today
Isn't that an enjoyable cup?  I got some a week or so ago and roasted it 
right off to a light full city and am delighted with it.  I generally do 
not drink Central or South American coffees, much preferring the Pacifics 
or Africans, but that Mama Cata is an exception, hope it will be available 
for awhile.
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11) From: DJ Garcia
I for one am thankful to Starbucks. I don't think of them in terms of
what they don't offer, but what they save me from. Every afternoon at
work I go to Starbucks, and thank them because I can drink their version
of cappuccino instead of the coffee from the Flavia machine at our
office (shudder) or the coffee in the building cafeteria (double
It's all a matter of perspective - my Starbucks cup is half full :-).
I'm off to New Zealand for a couple of weeks, based in Christchurch -
any recommendations?
Happy Holidays,
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12) From: floyd burton
Only spent time on the north island but try their local vino-great whites
including fab bubbly.  Too little of it makes it up topside.  enjoy-oh if u
do happen to go to the north island-are some great resort sites around
Rotorura (SP??) stayed in one that had own secluded natural hot springs\king
size beds-great for starting a new relationship.
Biggest plus starby's offers is a no smoking environment-also their bean
practices are not like the consumer bottom feeders out there that are in the
process of destroying the coffee market.
enjoy Kiwi Land-if we ever really screw it up here-maybe a last resort and a
fine one.

13) From: Photogal1966
Starbucks ain't so bad IMHO.
At least they have raised the awareness of coffee beyond Maxwell House (gag) 
and Folgers (gag gag) for many people.
I like some of their drinks, even if I don't always approve of their roasting 
of certain varieties of coffee. I tried the Peppermint Mocha the other day 
when I was at the mall, and I really enjoyed it, even though I normally do 
not do the favored thing with my coffee.
And it can be nice to go to a coffee shop, grab something to drink, and leaf 
through the paper. Other than Starbucks, there really aren't that many shops 
like that around here in North Carolina. Maybe that is one of the problems 
that I do have with them, is that they tend to out-compete the little, quaint 
Mom and Pop sort of places that I really prefer.
A friend of mine several years back had a good (and I mean really GOOD) 
coffee shop nearby. I was, of course, one of the regulars, and Bobby and I 
would chat about coffee often. Too bad that he went out of business after a 
while, selling his whole place lock, stock and barrel. Now the only coffee 
shops in town are Starbucks and Caribou Coffee, the later of which I really 
do not care for at all. I get the feeling that at least Starbucks makes the 
attempt to educate their barristas. *shrug*

14) From: sho2go
Must have been that fresh-charred, er roasted, flavor, totally lacking in
body............~10 years ago I became addicted to the americanos at
Starbucks, so much so that it was too expensive (or so I told my wife)
requiring an immediate purchase of a Saeco (Estro) grinder and a progression
of 3 espresso machines, the last of which is still working.  I was using
their espresso blend too.  Now on the rare occasion when I need a fix, there
is a Starbucks somewhere closeby (always)  and I wonder how I ever thought
that was good stuff.  Wine and beer, have always been a snob; when I go to a
party there is at best Mich. and Heini's, whatever I bring  usually
disappears quickly.

15) From: daottman
Great story, John.  Yesterday I had a friend over for breakfast, and wanted to share a decent cappuccino, which I just recently learned to make in a passable form.  (Heck, I can hardly spell it.)  Anyhow, using carefully roasted, properly rested Monkey Blend, I pulled a pair of Guinness shots from Miss Silvia, foamed the milk and turned over the cup.
"Do you have any cinnamon?"  he asked.
Cringing, I replied, "In that drawer," pointing in the general direction of the Cayenne pepper.  >:(  
"Thanks, now where's the chocolate syrup?"  
And to make it worse, he's one of my "converts" to home roasting, and a happy customer of SM's!  
We had a very nice visit, and he enjoyed his polluted drink immensely.  All in good fun.  
Wishing everyone a very nice holiday season, and much great coffee.
Anthony Ottman
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16) From: Andrew J. Lynn
I'm applying to grad schools, and I gave some of my roasts as gifts to 
the professors I asked for recommendations.  I was very pleased when my 
old advisor took the opportunity to mention that she thinks Starbucks is 
overroasted and avoids it whenever possible, and that she uses a French 
press at home.
A few days later I got an email from her.  To paraphrase:  "Andy, this 
is delicious coffee!  BTW, I'm writing you a glowing recommendation."
Andy Lynn
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17) From: John Abbott
Way to go Andy!!   Those guys that wrote the commercials about not
under-estimating the power of cheese weren't even close!!
As a post script to my earlier story - This morning I awoke with a terrible
head cold that I'm SURE I got from Starbucks :O)

18) From: Wendy Sarrett
Cool!  Best of luck with your applications...I know how that can be.

19) From: Andrew J. Lynn
Thanks.  I'll need it.  I'm aiming for Berkeley, but they only take 10% 
of the applicants for their M.Arch. program.
Maybe I should send them some coffee...
-Andy Lynn
Wendy Sarrett wrote:
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20) From: john kangas
My wife does something similar, she makes a cup of Mellita drip every 
morning, adds flavored creamer, sugar, and cocoa. Scary part is that Christa 
can pick out exactly what coffee's in there! We go through anything Kenyan 
at an astounding rate!
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21) From: susan oppenheim
Dan and Marsha
the true defenders of class and quality
The Scarlet Wombat wrote:
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22) From: Prabhakar Ragde
Andy Lynn wrote:
Hands up, professors on this list who have students this considerate.
Thought so. --PR
Prabhakar Ragde                                    plragde
Professor, School of Computer Science      DC 1314, (519)888-4567,x4660
Faculty of Mathematics                 Waterloo, Ontario CANADA N2L 3G1
University of Waterloo                http://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast">http://plg.uwaterloo.ca/~plragdehomeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

23) From: Jim Gundlach
I'd say about two out of 5,000 or so.
    Jim Gundlach
On Monday, December 16, 2002, at 09:33 AM, Prabhakar Ragde wrote:
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24) From: John Abbott
     Tom gets about 250 pounds or so every year from the Island.  He puts it
on the list and limits us to 5# per person.  The coffee is gone in 3 days
max.  Some of us have bought coffee directly from the Island, but it takes 3
or 4 months to arrive via ship.  Only a mail ship services the Island on a
once per month schedule.  You will notice that those of us talking about
Isle of St. Helena coffee use words that would be common for a hoarder - we
use it up very slowly!  Now we are all waiting on April and another pass at
ISH coffee.

25) From: Dale A. Taylor
John where do you get the Isle of St. Helena coffee? I have heard several of
the roasters mention it. Is it a really good cup? Thanks for the info. dale

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