Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...


Seattle Thoughts: I Love Starbucks

Since my first reflection on Seattle was a wee bit...oh...blunt, I figured a little session of making nice-nice was in store.

Let's get the dirty little not-so-secret truth out and on the table, shall we? Most coffee nuts, in one way or another, have been influenced by Starbucks, and in many cases, that influence has been for the good. I'm not stupid; it's not been only good, but to depict the company that collectively dons the green apron in a nasty, uncaring light just isn't fair. If you're a coffee-crazed human and you're reading this, ask yourself this: Did Starbucks in some way influence my love for coffee, and for the better? I'm willing to wager that for most of us, the truthful answer is an affirming one. If not, let me ask this follow-up question of you: Do you work in the coffee industry, and if so, is it possible that your customer base would not be nearly so large were it not for Starbucks and their influence on the coffee-drinking world?

A little over a month ago, I wrote about how the coffee scene here in Louisville was found, in my own estimation, lacking. A few may have taken exception to that, but, as I explained to others, my frustration was similar to that of a parent with an underachieving child. I wrote what I did because I care about the state of coffee in this city, and I believe that it can indeed and should change for the better.

I feel much the same way toward Starbucks. That company has done so much for the advancement of coffee in the world, and on many different fronts: Farmers looking to provide for their families, burgeoning coffee aficionados, college students paying their way through college, etc. To look the other way and ignore the influence Starbucks has had would be quite ungracious of me, and I don't want to do that any more than I already do. Sarah Dooley said it best last Friday night at the Coffee Enhancement Lounge when she shared her experience interacting with Howard Schultz. She explained to us that he had a passion to get Starbucks on the right track, pushing the experience of the Starbucks customer to the point where they are tasting great coffee again. Whether or not they'll get there, I don't know. I'll still be honest in my assessment of them, but in the long run, I honestly feel it's for the betterment of coffee that they succeed; their voice is too loud for me not to want that.

posted by Bolo | 6:42 PM
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