While I appreciate the fact that Starbucks was instrumental in broadening the American palate to appreciate coffee beyond the scope of what can kindly be called “truck stop swill”, that still doesn’t excuse the fact that their coffee, well, isn’t very good.
A point hammered home for me just now when I ran there for a pastry (I’m weak!) (and needed change ;) ) and was given a sample sized cup of one of their seasonal Three Flavor Adjectives Frappucino. It was tasty, sweet and cold… and about ten seconds after I’d taken that last sip, I got kicked by the acrid afterburn of their beans burnt black.
This explains why, in those moments of weakness when I absolutely positively Must Have Coffee and I have to go there for the sake of convenience (necessity is a mother), I stay clear of anything that doesn’t come with a dollop (or two or three) of flavoring, something I rarely do at any other shop, including my personal favorite, El Diablo, where even their mochas have plenty of room for you to savor the coffee goodness that is currently filling your cup.
I offer this as an apologia to the connoisseurs who are no doubt standing behind me in line wishing that the guy in front of them, you know, the one who seems to have his heart set on some frou frou faux coffee drink, would just accept it and be done with his selection. However, you may take comfort in the notion that I’m not about to get picky about the milk, the caffeination, the sugar… I’m picky, but I’m not that picky.

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