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A reluctant admission, I don't hate Starbucks by Lou Pescarmona
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loupe
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Posted Sun May 12, 2002, 12:00am
Subject: A reluctant admission, I don't hate Starbucks by Lou Pescarmona
 

A reluctant admission, I don't hate Starbucks
by Lou Pescarmona

Although I don't (willingly) drink their coffee, I  give Starbies credit where credit is due.
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dana_leighton
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Posted Sun May 12, 2002, 1:59pm
Subject: Coffee bad, Hardware good
 

While I, too, eschew charbuck$ cofee, I have nothing but praise for their hardware (certainly for beginners, and as an intermediate user, I'm still learning from mine). My rebranded Saeco Rio Profi has been going for over 5 years, grinds ok, and makes good espresso (I'm not sure yet what "great" is). For the price at the time for a grinder and machine ($299 rebuilt), it was a great value. SERVICE! They're great at customer service, even sending me a free portafilter after mine gave up the ghost, even well after warantee.
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coffeebeing
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Posted Sun May 12, 2002, 3:15pm
Subject: They did break the "black study fluid" paradigm
 

I gotta' admit, before Starbucks, coffee was just this stuff you could add lots of sugar and milk to and stay awake for cramming.  It also helped after a wild night.  Starbucks showed it could be a moment of quiet, a talk with a friend, good music in the background and something halfway decent to drink. It started me on the path. Loved the article..hope you write many more!
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BillZ
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Posted Mon May 13, 2002, 7:03am
Subject: Re: A reluctant admission, I don't hate Starbucks by Lou Pescarmona
 

Come to find out, Starbucks coffee does have limitations, but they should be credited with elevating the awareness of coffee beyond Maxwell House (no offense!), Wawa coffee, etc. My wife still looks for their 'signature' burnt taste in her cappas!  More than a signature taste, their stores have exposed the general population to more than just a signature taste to what is more of a lifestyle!  Every Saturday, people gather at the local Starbuck's feet from Rt. 202 outside of Phila!  Nothing but a concrete highway - - to sip their Starbucks and talk about like with their friends. Signature taste or not, there are still way too many variables with respect to their roasting, grinding, and delivering a quality coffee consistently.
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loupe
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Posted Mon May 13, 2002, 12:37pm
Subject: Signature taste
 

How great is it to define your market? I'm sure there are scores of people who, if served a coffee that didn't have the "burnt" taste, would reject it simply because it is not the familiar ol' Starbucks? And as for the consistency factor I fear that the only way to acheive a level of consistency is to set the bar very low (as they have). That's the reason they use that super dark burnt roast, in my opinion. Not only is it easy to acheive that roast but it takes a lot of the guess work out of brewing/coffee prep.
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malachi
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Posted Mon May 13, 2002, 12:47pm
Subject: life before starbucks
 

"Because letís face it, before Starbucks, coffee was that dreadful black muck in the urn at the 7-Eleven"

where do i start... i suppose with Peet's as an example. or Cafe Trieste. or perhaps with your own example of Italy.

before the "Starbucks Revolution" there was, in fact, great coffee all over the world (including the US). while Starbucks has, in fact, made it possible to get an over-roasted espresso pretty much anywhere its primary contribution has been to make the lives of baristas at true caffe bars miserable (if i get one more order for a half caf no foam low fat triple latte i'll scream).
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loupe
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Posted Mon May 13, 2002, 6:08pm
Subject: Before Starbucks
 

Even today, Peet's is not an alternative for many since they have so few locations (relatively). Cafe Trieste, sorry I don't know where that is. And Italy, yeah I'll just pop over for a quick coffee. Be right back.

" I donít want to give Starbucks too much credit since there were certainly other coffee places springing up at the time." Sorry if Starbucks made the baristas job more difficult, but then again there would be maybe 6 people employed in that position nationwide (an exaggeration for emphasis) but for Starbucks. Oh, and if you choose to earn your living serving the public, you will have to deal with, well, the public. Maybe the coffee revolution would have happened without Starbucks. Then again....
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Fitzcarraldo
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Posted Mon May 13, 2002, 6:22pm
Subject: I'm with Malachi
 

I never would have discovered the pleasure of steak if it weren't for McDonalds's.  Can you really make better espresso on a "barista" than a trained monkey can on a La Marzocco?  Thank goodness for articles like this, or else Starbucks could fall from favor.  Now I won't be embarrassed if anyone catches me ordering a 20 oz. "caramel macchiatto".
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Foxbat
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Posted Mon May 13, 2002, 8:02pm
Subject: Ah, Peet's...
 

You know, Starbucks may have saved Peets from over-expansion. Peet's was poised to open a string of shops all over the San Francisco Bay Area when Starbucks crept into the area. Peet's pulled WAY back on their plans. While you can find a good number of Peet's stores around here now, they expanded slowly, and with an eye on their quality.

My sister, while living in Tennessee, got all of her co-workers hooked on Peet's. She'd fly back to the Bay Area for work and return to Knoxsville with a suitcase full of Peet's pound bags for her coffee-starved friends. :)
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JeffL
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Posted Tue May 14, 2002, 8:45pm
Subject: Appeasing  the Coffee Gods
 

Articles like this one make me think of wine aficionados. Yes its fun to enjoy a perfect wine, to scour the countryside for it, to talk of it’s irrefutable bouquet, but sometime you just want a decent grocery store bottle with a meal. Lets face it Starbucks serves many purposes to many people. Yes you can have your home brewed, specialty ordered high browed cup, and still pop into a local Starbucks while traveling for a fairly decent cup  (especially considering the 7-11 alternative) without, I hope, fear of betraying the almighty coffee gods.
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