Both the Seattle Times and Post-Intelligencer did fairly lengthy stories on Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz's memo, which was leaked to Starbucks Gossip earlier in the week. (Starbucks, of course, is based in Seattle.) || Also: Here are the Wall Street Journal and New York Times stories.
LIVE FREE OR DIE gets published.
February 24, 2007 at 07:36 AM
Unfortunately, too true.
No matter how trendy the staff looks. No matter how the signage snaps a little more cleverly than your average menu board. The outcome was the same.
The sign said
'Have it your way (haven't I heard that before?) Just ask!'
I asked for nothing out of the ordinary for me. Double tall Mocha Valencia, my regular drink.
"Sorry, we don't have orange any more" was the reply. HUH? It was explained to me that both orange and lemon are no longer available. But they DID have Kiwi. I can't believe I had a Kiwi Mocha. Not even close.
I would venture to say that both orange and lemon are favorites with many folk world wide with coffee. A twist of lemon with espresso, come on it's like peanut butter and jelly isn't it?
So, Mr. President, you are absolutely right. And even though I love the offbeat glasses my barista wears, I may not see her for a while. I have to think of a new option to my Mocha Valencia.
Lynda Swanson |
February 24, 2007 at 08:34 AM
I remember a time when going to Starbucks was a pleasant experience. At that time, Starbucks had less than 2,000 stores and now it has more than 12,000 stores. Starbucks has a centralized control structure which makes it very difficult to evolve successfully. Most of you may not be familiar with Complex Systems principles so that's all I will say about evolution. Check out Howard Schultz memo
These days, many times in the morning, Starbucks is out of coffee. Isn't that ironic, coffee store is out of coffee? If it happened a few years ago and if it did (rarely) you got a free coffee for the inconvenience. Now, it is every week occurrence and there is no free coffee or apology.
Another example, I order a no-room grand drip coffee (medium black coffee) every morning and more than 60% of the times, they get the order wrong. I could not think how someone could get a simple coffee order wrong. So, I tried various tactics to place my order. Mainly, I changed sequence of words and pauses. They are:
1. Grande drip, (pause) no room
2. Drip coffee (pause) no room, grande size
3. Grande, no room (pause) drip
4. Grande drip no room-no pause
5. Grande no room drop-no pause
6. No room, grande drip-no pause
7. No room (long pause-count 123 in your head) grande (short pause-count 1 in your head) drip
Number 7 is the winner! If you follow 7, you have the highest likelihood of getting the medium black coffee you want. Statistically proven.
Let me know if you noticed changes at Starbucks in last ten years. To learn more about complex systems check out NECSI
February 24, 2007 at 11:10 AM
NECSI poster... thank you, it's an interesting site.
"It's too late baby now it's too late.Although we really did try to make it."
February 24, 2007 at 11:26 AM
When Valencia died...I cried myself to sleep for weeks. Black Tea Lemonade will never be the same. I tried it with Classic and with Melon. Not even close. Tragedy.
Annapolis Barista |
February 24, 2007 at 11:51 AM
BTL with raspberry is good.
Howie Schultz |
February 24, 2007 at 01:33 PM
I unforunately fail to see where my posts was in any of the stories. Can you please point out the dirrect situation. Thank you!
LIVE FREE OR DIE
ALEA IACTA EST
STARBUCKS REBEL ALLIANCE
LIVE FREE OR DIE |
February 24, 2007 at 01:47 PM
Wow! I was a partner for 9 years and left in December 2005. This article speaks so much of the truth and most of the reason why I left.
The culture is gone. The reason I came to Starbucks....Is gone!
February 24, 2007 at 03:41 PM
I just read the Seattle times article, and unfortunately, I agree. However, part of the lack of excitement about Starbucks coffee is plain and simple: Starbucks coffee sucks. Ok, let me clarify. Starbucks DRIP coffee is good (for the most part). Starbucks espresso is horrible.
I've been a Starbucks barista for the past 2 and a half years, and never did I use the La Marzocco machines. Going to other coffee shops around Seattle, particularly Cafe Vita and Vivace, I am still able to enjoy that good quality espresso taste that Starbucks no longer has. And unfortunately, I've ALWAYS thought Starbucks has had a reputation for bad coffee specifically because I have always used the automatic machines.
Something worth noting - is the poor quality of Starbucks espresso due to the machines, the coffee beans, or both? The on-campus cafes at Seattle University have switched to automatic machines. However, they're different than the ones Starbucks uses, and the espresso still tastes great.
So, once BIG step to resolving this problem, I think, is improving the quality of Starbucks espresso. Again, I'm not sure if this will require new machines, higher quality beans, or both...but plain and simple, the quality of our espresso needs improvement.
February 24, 2007 at 04:28 PM
Grande no room...ask for a grande in a tall cup.
February 24, 2007 at 11:07 PM
I started working at Starbucks ten years ago with the La Marzocco--best latte you could get in my opinion. I really think it's the automatics that are doing it. Used to be you could make a HORRIBLE latte with La M, or a really great one, depending on your skill level, but with auto's, all you get is so-so, no matter what. I would give anything to go back to hand-cranked original, like they do it in Italy, kind of espresso. (I think sbux espresso beans are great.)
February 24, 2007 at 11:30 PM
I worked at Starbucks for 2 years and before being a Barista at one of their stores I worked for a local coffee shop that roasts their own beans and only buys Fair Trade Organic beans. When I worked at this local coffee shop the machine were pretty consistent and the operator needed to adjust their tamping for consistent shots. When a shot was pulled it had a beautiful creme. Unfortunately when I went to Starbucks they still had the Marzocco machine. As soon as I had been fully trained on coffee bar and really had the feel for a good foam on the milk and consistent shots, Starbucks went to the automatic machine. I felt like it was the worst decision they could have made. Employees now are trained to scald the milk at 160degrees and that's if the machine is calibrated properly it shuts off automatically. Most employees have learned the fine art of walking away from a drink they are making. But to save an extra 5cents they then learn that re-steaming is a legitimate practice. Who can resist a cappucino with double scald milk and espresso that a computer makes? Are we spending five dollars per cup on a poor cup of coffee? Might as well go to the local shop and pick up a 6 dollar cup of joe that is made properly.
May 04, 2007 at 01:35 PM
...Grande no room...ask for a grande in a tall cup....
Is that supposed to be sarcasm? Am I that tired?
May 04, 2007 at 05:02 PM
I need some guidance about getting a good quality home espresso machine that will last, and the best way to learn how to use it without destroying it. Should I also get a separate grinder?
I'd prefer to hear from baristas and regular folks, versus corporate shill types. Thanks for your time.
Richard S. |
June 19, 2007 at 12:13 PM
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