[Homeroast] (resending )The Dreaded Starbucks

Ryan M. Ward silvercro_magnon at hotmail.com
Mon Mar 8 14:50:40 CST 2010


Yes I see that, I now have a little more perspective on it.

-- 
Ryan M. Ward

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> Date: Mon, 8 Mar 2010 00:55:12 -0800
> From: theotherjo at gmail.com
> To: homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
> Subject: Re: [Homeroast] (resending )The Dreaded Starbucks
> 
> Very nice History Sandy,
> Thank you, what a wealth of history and experience being shared here.
> Ryan, your getting your $'s worth in an answer here. You came to the right
> forum.
> JoeR
> 
> On Mon, Mar 8, 2010 at 12:30 AM, Sandy Andina <sandraandina at mac.com> wrote:
> 
> > I lived in Seattle from 1971-8, when I was in my twenties, and Starbucks
> > had yet to become predatory in its practices by the time I moved to Chicago.
> > In fact, they didn't even SELL coffee as a beverage--just the ingredients to
> > make it.
> >
> > Far from Seattle being a "coffee town," when I arrived the only coffee on
> > the Ave. (University Way) itself was in the donut shop Spudnuts (made in an
> > industrial drip urn) and the student-run concession in the Architecture
> > building (a "mocha" made from brewed coffee mixed with instant cocoa.
> > Blech). For the longest time, the only coffeehouse in the U. District was
> > Last Exit on Brooklyn: the home of the funky vibe, open mic, vegetarian
> > fare, turbo-chess, and DREADFUL espresso.  (They used to grind a week's
> > worth at a time and keep it on the counter in a Saran-Wrap-covered bowl. No
> > wonder they did a land-office business in mochas and other flavored
> > coffee-milk drinks, most capped with whipped cream).  And they weren't open
> > past 9 pm most nights. It wasn't until at least 1975 or 1976 that Cafe
> > Allegro opened on the Ave. (and it wasn't easy to find in a little
> > rabbit-warren of interior storefronts without a street entrance).  For
> > really good beans, and the chance to drink them on-site, you had to go to
> > Olive's East in Southcenter Mall or east Bellevue (in a factory and
> > auto-shop district). In fact, I think that at the time they may have been a
> > larger chain than Starbucks. And I forget the name of the place, but on NE
> > Campus Rd., a block n. of my apt. on Pacific & 15th NE, in early 1978 a
> > stand-up espresso bar opened between the coin laundry and Ice-Nine
> > Xerography.  I remember coming home from a week in the Bay Area in '74,
> > seriously jonesing at 9pm on a Saturday night for an espresso or cappuccino.
> >  Not even a Pioneer Sq. cafe was open. I had to settle for a flip-drip
> > Neapolitan demitasse at the Italian Spaghetti House on Lake City Way.
> >  Seattle had yet to become a coffee town until at least 1979 or later.
> >
> > Starbucks hadn't even spread past Seattle yet. When I left, it had the
> > Airport Way roastery, the original store in Pike Place Mkt. (it had a
> > competitor in Pike Place Coffee, Tea & Spice, also not a drink vendor), and
> > the University Village store.  The first branch outside the PNW was here in
> > Chicago, on E. Jackson & S. Wabash in the Loop in 1985, and it was a
> > near-flop.
> >
> > In Seattle, you remember Starbucks becoming predatory, as it later became
> > nationwide, and forcing out indie coffeehouses. But it took years before it
> > even morphed into a coffeehouse chain--after Schultz returned from Italy in
> > the 1980s. And he was such a purist at first that he refused to offer decaf
> > or any milk other than whole.
> >
> >
> > On Mar 8, 2010, at 1:16 AM, Kris McN wrote:
> >
> > > Hey Ryan,
> > >
> > > As well as what everyone's already said about the quality of their
> > product,
> > > I have a personal chip on my shoulder about Starbucks.  I grew up in
> > Seattle
> > > in the 70s, 80s, and 90s.  Seattle was a coffee town before Starbucks
> > > hegemony, a small independent coffee house on most busy blocks.  When
> > > Starbucks decided to take over the world, I watched as they would open up
> > > one of their shops across the street or kitty corner to an established
> > > independent.  Over and over.  Sometimes the independent could hold on,
> > but
> > > more often than not they  would end up closing.  Sure, some Seattle
> > coffee
> > > institutions, particularly around the university, outlived the onslaught.
> > > This isn't based on any data or anything, but to this pissed off
> > teenager,
> > > it seemed like Starbucks nearly killed the independent Seattle coffee
> > scene
> > > for awhile.  I know what they did is probably good business, and maybe in
> > > the long run it ended up just weeding out the crappy small purveyors,
> > > eventually resulting in a stronger coffee scene, I don't know since I
> > don't
> > > live in Seattle any longer.  But it was gross and depressing then, and
> > > whenever I pass a Starbucks today that would look, feel, and smell
> > exactly
> > > the same whether in Detroit, Seattle, or London, I mumble a curse.
> > >
> > > Best,
> > >
> > > Kris McN
> > > _______________________________________________
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> > >
> > http://host.sweetmariascoffee.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast_lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
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> >
> > Peace & song,
> > Sandy
> > www.sandyandina.com
> >
> >
> >
> >
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> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.
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