Friday, January 4, 2013


Considering the rate through which I am plowing through books, one may conclude:
1) I seriously have nothing else to do
2) Am such a genius that 400 page tomes on breweries are no match to my superior intellect.
3) I read really easy books.

I fear the 3rd is the real reason, assisted by number 1.  Yet, here I am with the third book of the year completed and its only the 4th day.  I read Starbucked by Taylor Clark, a look at the founding and growth of Starbucks followed by a number of the criticisms of Starbucks as a force in the global marketplace.  It's a couple years old, being published in 2008, but it's not like the history of the founding of the company is going to change.  However, I did realized that anything written before the economic crisis of 2008 sounds false and ingenuine.  Everyday luxuries sounds decadent, not an occasional measured splurge for hard-working office drones.

So here I am, writing this post in a Starbucks in a pretty liberal college town.  Looking at the stickers on the laptops of those who have set up shop here, it seems that few are really worried about buying a cup of coffee here and what this means about the homogeneity of the global marketplace.  I can't help but laugh that I'm seeing stickers that spell out "Capitalism" in Coca-Cola scrall and an image of Che wearing Mickey Mouse ears.  In Starbucks.  Starbucks, who just announced that they were starting coffee shops in Vietnam.

As I take another sip of my Pike Place drip coffee with a pound of espresso roast beans in my bag (sitting next to this book that I need to return to the library), I found that the only thing this book really made me reflect on is my own preferences on roasted coffee and why I detest the freeze-dried instant coffee that my mom drinks.  Robusto beans are evil and must be destroyed.  But other than that, I'm not going to fret about buying coffee from a company that lets me park in a comfy chair for an hour and potentially use their internet to write scathing reviews of their company.  Nor will I pick up one of the trendy reusable coffee cups that they are trying to schill (I have my own).  The white and green cup described in the book is no longer a status symbol, but rather a fixture... something that says "I haven't really woken up yet, so don't talk to me about anything too important."  It'll have to do until Caribou Coffee makes its way eastward.

Also, I now know more about the Tully's Coffee chain that Patrick Dempsey just bought. 

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