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C'mon guys, be honest
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Discussions > Coffee > General > C'mon guys, be...  
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lifeandpeace
Senior Member
lifeandpeace
Joined: 9 Nov 2007
Posts: 745
Location: PBI

Espresso: Arrarex Caravel
Grinder: BUNN G1, Zassenhaus knee
Vac Pot: Cory / Hario / Silex
Drip: cloth, glass Hario V60;...
Roaster: RK Drum, WBP II
Posted Sat Mar 21, 2009, 8:55am
Subject: C'mon guys, be honest
 

I haven't had Starbucks coffee in a long time because I found much better coffee. After working at an Intelligentsia retailer and later for Groundwork, going to the SCAA show in Longbeach, and now home roasting, I struggle to find a reason to go back.

The few times (count on half a hand) I've had Starbucks coffee in the last 3 1/2 years only reminded me why I don't drink it. Ashtray and char--yup, just what I remembered.

Certainly nothing there will stack up to your favorite C'soE. However, have any of you found one or two that jus' ain't too bad?



[If you're only going to rail against Starbucks, please don't reply. Instead, start your own site. You can call it coffeespazz.com]

 
www.lampmode.com
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MarkPrince
Moderator


Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,584
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Compak K10 WBC
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Clive Coffee Drip Stand
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Sat Mar 21, 2009, 1:20pm
Subject: Re: C'mon guys, be honest
 

I routinely sample Starbucks' offerings (both drip and espresso) just to see where they are headed. I also try to bias it in Starbucks' favour, going to a couple in town with more seasoned counter people (though that's proved nearly impossible in the last three years; it used to be easier to find the "good" Starbucks in Vancouver).

Last trip was to one of the oldest Starbucks in Vancouver, and the first one I ever saw, back in 1993 or so - the location on W. Broadway at McKenzie (1 block west of Macdonald). Went about 3 months ago. It's a pale version of what it once was - a great coffee shop with dedicated Baristas back in the 1990s.

The drip was much superior, overall as a taste experience to the espresso. They didn't have any Black Apron stuff on at the time, and I had some random Ethiopian, but it was quite nice, I'd rate the cup in the high 70s/low 80s (great coffees score a 90 from me as a cupping; best coffees I've ever had probably a 92 or so). The espresso on the other hand -- keeping in mind that great shots of espresso rate an 80 for me (scale's lower than a cupping), and a WBC winning shot is barely 90 -- the Starbucks espresso shots would garner something in the high 50s. Char is the main profile taste, and they are, IMO, undrinkable without sugar.

mark

 
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sweaner
Senior Member
sweaner
Joined: 16 Nov 2007
Posts: 1,125
Location: Yardley, PA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vetrano, Arrarex Caravel, La...
Grinder: Mazzer SJ, OE Pharos
Drip: Bunn Trifecta MB
Roaster: Poppery II
Posted Sat Mar 21, 2009, 2:03pm
Subject: Re: C'mon guys, be honest
 

OK, I will admit that I still use some at home.  Not for espresso though.  The lightest roast I have found is the Breakfast Blend, which as a drip is not too bad.  It works when I am really lazy and don't want to grind.

 
-Scott
“Coffee - the favorite drink of the civilized world.”
Thomas Jefferson
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,845
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Sat Mar 21, 2009, 2:15pm
Subject: Re: C'mon guys, be honest
 

I remember the old days, 15 years ago, when i was on the Gold Club Starbies plan, when the "Arabian Mokha Java" blend was $16 a #...and worth it.
Seems like about 10 years ago the 'Char" reared it ugly head. Add that to Super Automatics, etc, and the result (as for espresso) is as Mark says.
I use no sugar, or any sweeteners, so the 'bucks is for me a no go.
Marks attitude towards giving a fair shake is why this web site continues to be valid.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
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Bitches_Brew
Senior Member
Bitches_Brew
Joined: 4 Feb 2009
Posts: 775
Location: indiana
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: yes
Grinder: yes
Vac Pot: no
Drip: no
Roaster: yes
Posted Sat Mar 21, 2009, 3:00pm
Subject: Re: C'mon guys, be honest
 

we had one in our town for about a year or so before it closed. i used to go there sometimes when i was waiting for a roast to degas. it was 100 times better than our other coffee shop, plus i liked the convience of the drive up window. now there is just a brand new, empty building for sale, and i'm sure it will stay that way because they want too much for it.

 
"You can write down how to make the perfect cup of coffee. But to make it really good, you have to play something fictional, you have to dress up, you have to think, This is the most important thing."
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rabbit
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Sep 2008
Posts: 234
Location: maine
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: v.3  miss sylvia
Grinder: baratza  vario, encore
Vac Pot: presspot
Roaster: fresh roast sr300
Posted Sat Mar 21, 2009, 4:20pm
Subject: Re: C'mon guys, be honest
 

when i go out to the local shops what is see lackin is.......if they brewed stronger it would be a leap in flavor!!!!sounds easy to me what do you think??
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lifeandpeace
Senior Member
lifeandpeace
Joined: 9 Nov 2007
Posts: 745
Location: PBI

Espresso: Arrarex Caravel
Grinder: BUNN G1, Zassenhaus knee
Vac Pot: Cory / Hario / Silex
Drip: cloth, glass Hario V60;...
Roaster: RK Drum, WBP II
Posted Sat Mar 21, 2009, 5:52pm
Subject: Re: C'mon guys, be honest
 

IMAWriter Said:

Marks attitude towards giving a fair shake is why this web site continues to be valid.

Posted March 21, 2009 link

Right.

I'd certainly give it a go again. I do remember trying the Breakfast Blend some time back (considering that it was on the lighter end), but alas . . .


MarkPrince Said:

Black Apron stuff

Posted March 21, 2009 link

Speaking of--what exactly does that mean? Before I branched out I specifically remember finding their Black Apron Sumatra to be much better than anything else I'd had there.

I looked at the current BA page. The coffees are listed, but they appear to be 'merely' good estate coffees ala everyday SM offerings. Half of each description is about the community program. It is pretty clear what goes on with CoE, for example, but what are the parameters here?

 
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rabbit
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Sep 2008
Posts: 234
Location: maine
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: v.3  miss sylvia
Grinder: baratza  vario, encore
Vac Pot: presspot
Roaster: fresh roast sr300
Posted Sat Mar 21, 2009, 6:22pm
Subject: Re: C'mon guys, be honest
 

do the sales people taste what they are serving?
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BrainInAJar
Senior Member
BrainInAJar
Joined: 28 Aug 2007
Posts: 319
Location: Vancouver
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Vibiemme DoubleDomo
Grinder: Mazzer SJ, Rancillio Rocky
Vac Pot: Yama 3 cup
Drip: no thanks
Roaster: Behmor 1600, 49th Parallel
Posted Sat Mar 21, 2009, 6:30pm
Subject: Re: C'mon guys, be honest
 

lifeandpeace Said:

Speaking of--what exactly does that mean? Before I branched out I specifically remember finding their Black Apron Sumatra to be much better than anything else I'd had there.

I looked at the current BA page. The coffees are listed, but they appear to be 'merely' good estate coffees ala everyday SM offerings.

Posted March 21, 2009 link

Correct. That's precisely when they are. If you can get them fresh ( which is rare, you have to be in a big market close to a roasting plant ( read: Seattle, Vancouver ) and get them on "rollout" day ) they aren't bad, though still dark

lifeandpeace Said:

Half of each description is about the community program. It is pretty clear what goes on with CoE, for example, but what are the parameters here?

Posted March 21, 2009 link

*$ is, as far as I can tell, free to use their discretion with respect to extras dished out for BA estates though there does seem to be extra compensation awarded. I seem to recall something about building a school for one of the African offerings.
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lifeandpeace
Senior Member
lifeandpeace
Joined: 9 Nov 2007
Posts: 745
Location: PBI

Espresso: Arrarex Caravel
Grinder: BUNN G1, Zassenhaus knee
Vac Pot: Cory / Hario / Silex
Drip: cloth, glass Hario V60;...
Roaster: RK Drum, WBP II
Posted Sat Mar 21, 2009, 7:50pm
Subject: Re: C'mon guys, be honest
 

BrainInAJar Said:

you have to be in a big market close to a roasting plant

Posted March 21, 2009 link

Right--I was in LA. It was shortly after they appeared.

 
www.lampmode.com
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