Good Coffee & Crap Coffee
March 25, 2005
I’ve just been reading through the comments on Mark Prince’s “What the heck is wrong?” article over on CoffeeGeek. Mark compares the coffee industry to the wine industry, both in terms of market perception and how each of them treat consumers. There are some great pointed comments about how the consumer is treated in the comments as well.
There damn well should be. I piss and moan a bit about Starbucks coffee, but I still go there and frankly, as common as it is, it’s about as good as it gets for a lot of people. No surprise there. If people want to step up from robusta-in-a-can, then they can go buy old and crappy beans at most supermarkets, go to Starbucks, or an independant coffee house.
Last Saturday I dropped into what passes for an independent coffee house in my area (I’ll avoid mentioning the name, although I probably should), ordered a latte, and seeing that they had what appeared to be a nice broad selection of varietals, I decided to buy a pound of Celebes Kalossi (more properly Sulawesi these days).
The latte was mediocre; it wasn’t bad, but I won’t be writing home about it.
The beans stunk. These f*cking things were so old and stale they might as well have come out of King Tut’s tomb. I paid a pretty penny for them, too.
It’s no wonder people equate Starbucks with “good coffee” — it’s a damn sight better than what I got in this place.
It’d be one thing if I thought this was an isolated incident, but it’s happened to me more often than not buying coffee in a place like this. You’d think I’d learn.