What is wrong with Starbucks? - Page 2

Talk about your favorite cafes, local barista events, or plan your own get-together.
pacificmanitou

Postby pacificmanitou » Feb 13, 2013, 5:34 pm

I think they wanted to keep training more focused on the myriad of other things they do there. Espresso in its own right is a lot to learn. The more they move to dessert lattes and blended drinks, the less focus can be put on proper coffee. Places with good espresso usually under emphasize or omit entirely the starbucks type drinks. The ones with tons of syrup and a full gallon of milk. The focus is not on great coffee, its on liquid desserts.
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jonny

Postby jonny » Feb 13, 2013, 5:43 pm

I can't even credit Starbucks for my coffee hobby even though they got me interested, because if they had their way, they would have liked me to stay ignorant and drinking their coffee.
Starbucks hires tons of people, a lot of whom don't even like the taste of plain coffee. Also they spend several hours on training (including milk steaming) and they still do a crappy job at that simple task. I'm sure it would be nearly impossible to train the entire company to actually steam good milk and then stay accountable to their quality, let alone give them real equipment and expect them to everyone to perform well. Starbucks is fast food and a lot of people that work there are just there for the paycheck and care little about coffee.
Beans: I have no idea what the logistics are for roasting millions of pound of coffee and distributing them, but I doubt it's a simple decision between fresh or months old. When I worked there, the youngest beans I saw come in were 2 months old. Most averaged about 4 months old.
Starbucks has no problem with customer turn out. I don't think they are too worried about getting more people in the door. As long as they have sugary things to entice the addicts *ahem* customers, I mean. Sugar is the sex of the fast food coffee industry, and boy does it sell! Starbucks' main priority is keep costs as low as possible while still keeping the customers happy. They hardly care about what they are serving.
Source: I worked at Starbucks for a couple years. I have a pretty good feel for their philosophies and the dynamics of a Starbucks cafe.

Dan, maybe we need a Starbucks specific forum so people can let off steam when they are having a bad day :lol: I guess that's why ihatestarbucks.com exists... but, for other reasons, I dislike that concept even more than I dislike Starbucks, so maybe not!

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Spitz.me

Postby Spitz.me » Feb 13, 2013, 6:51 pm

This is gonna get ugly....
I know I've pulled a great shot when the flavour is 'like a beany taste that tastes like a bean'.

pacificmanitou

Postby pacificmanitou » Feb 13, 2013, 8:19 pm

I think starbucks, for the average consumer anyway, not the home barista or coffee geek or what have you, has raised the expectation level for coffee everywhere. Before starbucks became widespread, coffee was generally poor. It is still generally poor, but companies seem to be trying, at the very least, to compete with starbucks.
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keno

Postby keno » Feb 13, 2013, 8:27 pm

The problem with Starbucks is supersizing and standardization - two things the US excels at. Starbucks supersized coffee drinks in the US like 7Eleven supersized soda, so the proportions of their drinks are all off. When a tall (12 oz) is a small, it's pretty tough to taste the coffee among all that milk in any espresso based drink, especially a 24 oz Venti! So they roast the coffee too dark and run their machines too hot which makes their espresso very bitter, but that way it is able to cut through all the milk and impart a coffee like flavor. Similarly, Starbucks wants their coffee to taste the same everywhere. Roasting too dark reduces the local varietal flavors in the beans they source and makes it easier to produce large amounts of similar tasting coffee. It may have been a decent place when it first started, but their overgrowth has made them the McDonalds of coffee.

Other things that I don't like about Starbucks:
-Paper cups, when you pay more than $4 for a drink it should come in a proper porcelain cup
-Untrained baristas, every time I order a cappa at Starbucks it is a struggle to get them to do it in the right proportion
-Resteaming milk and scalding it, yuck!
-Terrible food

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Spitz.me

Postby Spitz.me » Feb 13, 2013, 8:36 pm

Starbucks hasn't been about the coffee in ages. It's become about making Starbucks the place you want to go to get your coffee. We know you don't need to prepare quality coffee to get people lining up in 15 minute queues (Ahem! Tim Hortons, Dunkin' Donuts). People like to hold the giant white cup with the green logo on it and treat it like a status symbol, which is appalling. What is wrong with Starbucks? It's not about the coffee.
I know I've pulled a great shot when the flavour is 'like a beany taste that tastes like a bean'.

pacificmanitou

Postby pacificmanitou » Feb 13, 2013, 8:58 pm

keno wrote: It may have been a decent place when it first started, but their overgrowth has made them the McDonalds of coffee.

Other things that I don't like about Starbucks:
-Paper cups, when you pay more than $4 for a drink it should come in a proper porcelain cup
-Untrained baristas, every time I order a cappa at Starbucks it is a struggle to get them to do it in the right proportion
-Resteaming milk and scalding it, yuck!
-Terrible food


That was my point earlier. Its too big to do a good job. Baristas know nothing and their equipment would hinder them if they did. The coffee is done in a way to make it stand out in the volume of milk they put it in. Everything comes in paper because so much of their volume is out the door rather than sit down. Ive been to a starbucks that has porcelain on request, but they dont advertise that fact. Scalding the milk is just a result of the mass volume and poor training. A competent barista would not re-steam, and so much is steamed at once theres a left over portion because they mass produce it.

keno wrote:-Terrible food


why get food at a starbucks?
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Randy G.

Postby Randy G. » Feb 13, 2013, 8:59 pm

Spitz.me wrote:Starbucks hasn't been about the coffee in ages. It's become about making Starbucks the place you want to go to get your coffee. We know you don't need to prepare quality coffee to get people lining up in 15 minute queues (Ahem! Tim Hortons, Dunkin' Donuts). People like to hold the giant white cup with the green logo on it and treat it like a status symbol, which is appalling. What is wrong with Starbucks? It's not about the coffee.


I read that for every beautiful, scantily-clad, drop-dead-figured, shaved and tanned woman on the beach, there is at least one guy sick of dealing with her.. errr.. attitude [I am not sexist, and it works both ways, except most of the guys who fit that situation also have a guy sick of his attitude, but that's another story].

Yes, the green-logo'd cup is tantalizing, but as you said, it's just a cup, and for everyone carrying one, there are plenty of people who would no more put their lips to the cup than would use this device to shave in the morning.
Espresso! My Espresso!
http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com

Mark08859

Postby Mark08859 » Feb 14, 2013, 10:28 am

I smiled when I saw the subject of this post - knowing it was going to turn into another sbux bashing thread. But when you look at what they used to be and what they are today, it is clear they did it to themselves.

It has been all about the money for a long time with very little thought given to the bean. As I've stated in other posts, there's a real reason nobody orders just an espresso at a sbux. I'm sure we all remember when, only a few years ago, sbux made a big deal about shutting the US franchise down a few hours so they could re-teach employees how to push a few buttons.

As other posters have noted, a lot of us probably owe sbux a "tip of the cap" for getting us started on our journey. While we still walk it, sbux strayed a long, long time ago.

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spressomon

Postby spressomon » Feb 14, 2013, 11:24 am

Always get a chuckle out of these types of threads...

Starbucks is simply providing what their customers want to buy. Believe me...if their market demographic demanded better/different product they'd tune in.

I don't lay blame with businesses like Starbucks...but the customer's that drive them.

Just my $.02 and maybe all its worth.
No Espresso = Depresso