People Still Want Excellent, Plain Ol Coffee!

Big business creates ambivalent feelings for me. I am respectful of their prowess in marketing yet harbor disdain for their 'deep pockets' that give them the power to drive small businesses to close their doors.

Successful businesses from Walmart to MacDonalds are noted worldwide. Today's variety of consumer products is overwhelming and the selection of goods is astounding, and yet, driven by humanity's sheep-like behavior, limited.

Starbucks coffee percolates a brewing of emotions in me. It will never cease to amaze me the magic performed by their marketing .

Coffee was a veritable mainstay on grocery lists and every restaurant; nothing novel or new about coffee until Starbucks' created a giant of a business from this one commodity simply by changing the market. They have been so successful that they are driving small coffee shops out of business. That's what creates my ambiguity.

I wonder if Starbucks' spells the end for all of those places that serve a good cup of coffee and a piece of pie or doughnut. Remember those memorable truck stops and doughnut shops that cops and truck drivers used to frequent? Their presence was the sign of a great place to get a cup of coffee. The choices were simply between black coffee or coffee with cream, and perhaps a bit of sugar.

When I was going to college my favorite place to study was a local coffee shop. If I started with breakfast, I could stay there for hours and they would refill my coffee cup with the 'octane' to keep me studying for a meager price.

Now, people of every age group line up for the opportunity to place an order for a specialty coffee drink that costs almost $4.00. Even the familiar bastions have begun to succumb to the demands of today's society, manipulated by the giant. Doughnut shops, like Tim Horton's and Dunkin' Donuts, and local coffee houses have surrendered to the mocha latte, cappuccino and other mutations of the grocery list mainstay.

As a 'coffee connoisseur', my hypothesis was that the addition of the flavoring syrups and creation of catchy names for the frou-frou coffee drinks was a cover up for what I considered over-roasted coffee beans. Admittedly, it was just my opinion knowing that one man's poison is another man's delicacy.

The other day, out of sheer necessity (coffee lovers understand that concept) I had no other choice but to join the line in a Starbucks. While the aroma of the coffee was delicious, I could almost taste the burnt taste of Starbucks' coffee.

One by one, each of those in front of us silently made their way to the front of the line and ordered their trendy coffee drink. As each person exited the line, my addiction to coffee became more obvious; I wanted my cup of brew! Even the chicory flavored coffee was going to be delicious.

Finally, I stepped up to the counter and asked for a 'grande' cup of coffee. The guy just looked at me like I had spoken in an unfamiliar language. After repeating my request with the same reception from the young man, I became concerned that I had had a stroke while standing in line and that my speech was incomprehensable.

Thank God the server standing next to him understood me or I might have rushed myself to an emergency room!

She asked me if I would be able to wait while they made a fresh pot of coffee.
At first, I was shocked! "What?! There's no coffee for sale in a Starbucks' Coffee Shop? Then I realized that my hypothesis was dead on accurate. Starbucks' doesn't sell coffee, they sell frou-frou drinks! What a marvelous stroke of luck for Starbucks', the flavored syrups mixed with coffee, given the fancy names has generated billions of dollars in sales!

Given the situation I was in, I had no other option than to garner my 'coffee fix' by purchasing one of their frou-frou drinks. The pumpkin spice flavored syrup and milk with the espresso was delightful. The coffee flavor was absent, however.

Hats off to the marketing division of Starbucks'! You did your job well.
As far as my opinion about Starbucks? If it has changed, it isn't for the better. I certainly can't afford the financial requirement of a Starbucks' habit and I know that my metabolism can't afford the caloric addition of a daily frou-frou coffee drink.

I hope all of the frappe drinkers and mocha latte lovers continue to enjoy their specialty coffee drinks. I wish them all well. But I am on a mission to find a place where they serve a fabulous cup of coffee, with nothing extra in it but a smile and a little conversation from a friendly server!

Oh, by the way, I don't think it is possible to put all of the great little coffee shops out of business.

People still want excellent, plain ol' coffee.

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About The Author, Coffee Connoisseur
Donna-Lee Moore-Stout is the CEO of Java Queen International as well as a Critical Care Nurse In Portland, Oregon. coffee drink recipes , visit