Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dear Starbucks,

Scene: Starbucks on 55th and Lex, (and the world over, im sure)

Me: "Hi, may I have an americano please?"
Barista: "Sure, what size?"
Me: "Um, just a regular size. How many shots do you put in them?"
Barista: "Two"
Me: "Ok so yah a small one then please"
Barista: "You mean a tall?"
Me: "um, ok yah I guess, sure. What size is that?"
Barista: "tall"
Me: "Yah, I mean how big is the cup?"
Barista: (grabs a cup that is at least 12 ounces, maybe 16)
Me: "actually, I dont really want so much hot water. Can you just fill it up like half way? or do you have a smaller cup?"
Barista: "We have a short cup"
Me: "those smaller ones over there?"
Barista: "Yah"
Me: "ok that would be great...but not in a paper cup. In a demitasse."
Barista: "a what?"
Me: "A ceramic cup"
Barista: "Oh, um, I'm sorry we don't have any"
Me: "Really? For real, you only serve them in paper cups here?"
Barista: "Yah"
Me: "hmm. ok."

Dear Starbucks,
I hope this letter finds you well.

Fuk you. I want a fuking espresso in a dematisse. Or a glass. or a mug. or bowl. I dont care at this point. anything not paper. WTF?! The worst part is you are serious. And you want me to play along and call it a grande or a tall or use some weird word you made up? Pretending you're some fuking euro at a cafe in Italy? That it's confusing because ppl aren't cultured or something? I can't believe you are serious. You ass, you're a starbucks. When I order an espresso in italy people dont ask me what size i want and they dont serve it a paper cup. Serious. FU. I dont know how you can push this stuff here or anywhere else people have options. You're like a green colored dunkin donuts. Except you charge more.

I have included a photo that you can feel free to distribute to top brass, the head honchos, el numero unos. It helpfully displays the difference between an espresso -which is what I want- and the product you sell.

You did not pave the way for the explosion in cafe's in the U.S. That's nonsensical. You taught America to pay more money than is necessary for hot water, through constant marketing, and a lack of concern on the part of the consumer. And tricks like that only work for so long, until people slow on the uptake figure out your schtick and reject it. And though it took a while, (america is big and has a ton of assholes) I think you've finally tricked everyone more than once.

Unfortunately for you, McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts, the venues selling coffee you did pave the way for, are now eating your lunch, and rightly so. You are selling crap for too much money, and McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts can do that way better than you. No amount of rebranding or store closures will change that. Which is why your stock is in a free fall. People who buy your stock can see that the gig is up. Like George Bush once said, "fool me once, shame on you, if fool me you can't get fooled again."

But you had a good run.

(photo of espresso from sokole oko's flickr)
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