Thursday, March 8, 2012
A Coffee Shop By Any Other Name
By Allen Bacon, The Daily Bosco
I'm writing today from my favorite indy coffee house. For several years I have patronized the small local coffee shops over the corporate-coffee shop-on every corner coffee house aka Starbucks.
I have been waging this personal war on coffee for a couple of reasons. Number one, I just don't like Starbucks coffee. It's just a personal taste thing. To me it tastes over-roasted. I have a couple of friends who are Coffee Roasters that tell me, that Starbucks coffee in fact...is over-roasted. And the other thing, is I just like supporting local businesses. Many times, it just has a better feel for the texture of the community. They're just more interesting than any cookie cutter coffee shop. Throw in some local entertainment and art and you can't beat it.
That being said...I realize now I actually could be sitting in a Starbucks-owned coffee shop with a different name.
This is because I was reading not to long ago that Starbucks opened a coffee shop in Seattle that looked like an indy coffee shop. It even has a different name so unless you were paying real close attention you wouldn't even know it was a Starbucks. By the way, when I'm in Seattle...I go to Zeitgeist for coffee over by the train station.
Which raises the question. Why would they do that? They've spent millions of dollars to get the Starbucks name brand name out there with obvious success. When you are on the road and you are in an airport and looking for consistency..you go to a Starbucks, McDonalds, HoJo...the same from coast to Coast. And Starbucks has been quite good at putting some great independent local mom and pop coffee shops out of business in their take-no-prisoners approach. Do you want to know what I think? I think my fellow soldiers and I in the Coffee House Wars have Starbucks on the retreat. They even have started selling food and wine there to compensate for their lack of coffee sales. We may be turning the tide in this fight afterall. But then again, I saw another Starbucks go up recently and there always is a full house at every Starbucks I go by.
This coffee house I am at this morning...pretty sure it's not affiliated with Starbucks. The coffee is actually pretty good.