Starbucks is not the haven for eco-conscious uber-hip Mac-users that it used to be. Now that it’s sold out and gone “corporate,” Starbucks no longer has the cache that it once enjoyed.
For most Seattleites, . . . “the watering down of the Starbucks experience” is stale news — akin to reports that the Seattle SuperSonics (which Schultz sold last year) are a losing National Basketball Association team or that Seattle winters are wet.
“Like, duh, I have felt that way about Starbucks for 10 years,” said Sean Seery, 36, an acupuncturist who sat one recent morning outside Victrola, a popular independent coffee shop on Seattle’s Capitol Hill.
Inside the coffee shop, it was un-Starbucks business as usual . . . Alone at a small table sat James Bullock, 45, a software consultant who said he often spends much of his workday at Victrola. . .
“Starbucks does not define the coffee conversation anymore,” Bullock said. “It is defined by independents like Victrola.
“Look at the baristas!” he continued, pointing to the intense women on the business side of the espresso machine. “This is a calling, what they do, like an old-school European barber. This is not pulling fries out of the vat when the thing beeps at you. With these old machines, you run the risk of variability in every cup. But sometimes you get art.”
Wow. I guess if you have time to sit around in a coffee shop all day and surf the internet then you can tell when a cup of coffee is “art” and when it’s just a cup of coffee. Hopefully, most of us will never know the difference.
For the full story, read: “Is Malaise Brewing at Starbucks?” â€“ Washington Post.