Why I Hate to Love Starbucks.

Posted on December 30, 2010

5



I’ve been living in LA for almost two years now and to no one’s surprise I’ve become a coffee junkie, always knowing or wondering where the nearest Starbucks is located.  In a town like LA where there are so many damaged souls it is no surprise that a green looking coffee shop has become a place for teenagers, teachers, artists, actors, homeless people and parents to vent out their frustrations and for a few hours pretend like everything is going normal, that they are cool and up to something.

The reason I wrote this post apart from being bored is that I remembered the quote by Greenberg in the 2010 film by the same name in wish he writes a letter to Starbucks saying and I quote “Dear Starbucks, in your attempt to manufacture culture out of fast food coffee, you’ve been surprisingly successful for the most part. The part that isn’t covered by the most part sucks.”

If you made any sense of the title of this post then I guess you will find the list below interesting, they are the 5 things I hate and love about Starbucks. So here we go.

First the 5 reasons I love them.
1
. They play a lot of Bob Marley
2. You can entertain yourself looking at all the weirdos that walk in, very regularly
3.
The have a variety of drinks not just coffee.
4. Four Shots of Espresso over Ice is only $2.75 while that watery drink they call ice coffee costs $2.90
5. It’s free comfortable space to study, write, be alone or just meet up with friends.

And the 5 reasons I hate them.
1.
The super high prices of the premium drinks (Frappucino’s, Eggnog Latte’s etc)
2. Most don’t really like coffee that much, they just think caring a Starbucks coffee cup makes them cool
3. Starbucks pays around $2.00 for a pound of coffee, yet they sell it to us at a rate of about $12 per pound
4. If you say  “medium” or “large” they will look at you weird and correct you with “grande” or “venti”
5. They are responsible for destroying/closing down many hard working family owned coffee shops.

Whether you hate or love Starbucks it is all a matter of opinion, just like with any other big company in America there will thousands of people screaming “EVIL” about every aspect of it, but in all honestly those who complain find a joy in doing so and those who don’t well they just shut up and enjoy their coffees, When it all comes down most people in American get up every day and go off to work at a job they hate and Starbucks becomes the highlight of their day, in the morning, during lunch and even after work it becomes a gateway from that jail that your boss calls a cubicle.

As far back as I could remember my grandparents would wake up religiously at 5am every day to drink their home made coffee, not a tall, not a grande, not a venti but a straight up shot of good’old Cuban coffee.  With them it seemed more like a tradition, something needed to kick off a hard working day for my oldies.  Now that I live in the US I can’t help but get the feeling that coffee, specially Starbucks coffee has become more of an obsession than a necessity, specially in Los Angeles, its no surprise that Starbuck’s sales have increased 86% in the 3rd quarter of 2010, Just think about that for a second… 86%.

Having said that… I write to you while sitting at Starbucks, on a Thursday.

Hope you enjoyed.

Jorge Alarcon-Swaby

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