Cruel Beans

I was about to say “It’s an interesting internet phenomenon,” but really, it’s just a fact that whenever Starbucks makes any news of any kind whatsoever, someone pops up in the comments section to bitch about their coffee.

I find this strange, because I don’t make a habit of slavishly following news about things I hate (unless they’re pretty big, like laws or politicians). I’m not constantly on the website of the place that once served me cold “hot wings” as an appetizer; I’m not even on local fora telling everyone about my hot-wing heartbreak whenever the name of the place comes up. And most of these commenters are not only Starbucks-haters, but go to great lengths to tell you they haven’t been there for years. They don’t drink that swill: they just stalk it!

It also bothers me, for a couple of reasons:

1) Not everyone likes the same thing, all the time. I do see the point of gourmet cooking, experiments, subtlety: I also really like putting raspberry syrup and caffeine together, and I’m not going to stop just because you have the (admittedly cool-sounding) ability to tell where your coffee beans were grown “if it’s brewed right.”

2) These comments always seem to be suffering from some kind of college-town utopian thinking, wherein every little neighborhood in America would surely have a fantastic coffee shop if it weren’t for the Big Bad ‘Bucks. This is absolutely true in some places; where I live, before Starbucks moved in, if you didn’t like the local store or Dunkin’ Donuts, you were SOL. The best indie coffee shop I’ve been to was in Asheville, and frankly, four hours each way is a long trip for a latte.

So, yeah, I’m wondering if my cute little local SB is on the chopping block….

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