I am not now, nor have I ever been a Starbucks loyalist. That being said, I consume (on average) one Venti coffee purchased at a Starbucks each day. Not so much because their coffee is good, which it usually is, but because it’s consistent.

From day to day I am Mr. Routine. For years I used to go to Tim’s coffee shop each morning and drink a pot of coffee over a few hours of reading before going to work. This changed to Charlie’s when Tim’s closed and over the years this changed to grabbing a cup of coffee at the Stop and Go on the drive into work and more recently it has graduated to stopping at the local Starbucks on the way into the office.

For the most part I walk in, pay my $2.11, get my coffee, go to the counter and doctor it up the way I like it (1 Splenda, a dash of half and half and a sprinkle of cinnamon) and move on.

Here lately Starbucks has changed their brewing policy so that they they never serve coffee that has sat out more than 30 minutes after being brewed. This has lead to a few occasions where I am informed by the “Barista” that I’ll have to wait a few minutes for my coffee while they brew a fresh pot.

This bugs me because Mr. Routine doesn’t like to idle waiting to satisfy the coffee component of his daily grind. But I’ve been letting is slide. Mostly because my regular Starbucks near my house will usually comp my coffee for having to wait or offer me an Americano as a substitute. They are always polite and apologetic and the coffee is always “almost ready.”

Yea, I was all about changing from Mr. Routine to Mr. Flexible. Goin’ with the flow and taking it as it comes in the name of fresher than fresh java…until last night.

The one slight variation in my coffee routine is on Wednesday nights when I stop at the Starbucks on the corner of Montrose and Hawthorn before heading over to the radio station to get ready for Technology Bytes.

I gotta say, this is not the shining star of the Starbucks fleet. The store itself is shabby and rather unclean. There’s a slight odor when you walk in and the area where the cream and sugar is kept is usually in disarray with a garbage can filled to overflowing. On top of that they’re usually out of cinnamon and you have to dig into the grimy back of the little doohickies that hold the sugar, Sweet n Low and Splenda to extract a wrinkled and possibly (often) water stained packet of sweetener.

But I put up with it because it because it’s hard to screw up a cup of coffee and I like having a full cup to drink at the station while I prepare for the show.

Last night I walked in and was happy to see there was no line and I ordered my coffee. I was told it would be a few minutes while they brewed a fresh pot.


I took the opportunity to use the men’s room figuring that would kill part of the wait time. On a side note, the bathroom was surprisingly clean and that put me in better spirits about the wait.

Upon exiting the men’s room I do what I always do when I am waiting for the coffee to brew, I look at the timer to see how much time is left.

This time when I do I am somewhat startled to realize there is no coffee brewing. They are just now filling the filter to start a pot so they’re not only far from done, they’re rather far from starting as well.

For crying out loud, when the name of your company is predicated on the product you sell you darn well better be able to sell it when a customer orders it.

It’s a coffee shop. Is it unreasonable to expect the employees of said coffee shop who’s job it is to make coffee to be sold have coffee ready for sale to those ready to purchase coffee? You would’t think so.

It’s not like going into Bob’s Zebra and Giraffe Emporium and discovering they’re fresh out of Zebras. If that’s the case just give me your best estimate as to when the Zebra delivery man will be coming by and I will come back for my Zebra when the stock is replenished and oh, give me a giraffee to take home for the lil lady would ya? Thanks very much and have a lovely day.

It’s coffee. Hot water, coffee beans and a pot. It’s what you do and you should be REALLY good at it by now.

Here’s hoping the Dietrich’s down the road stays open for the foreseeable future because I am done with that particular Starbucks location.

Give Me Coffee
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9 thoughts on “Give Me Coffee

  • June 26, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    I rise up in the mornin
    I’m seein’ black and white
    dreams of stripey horses
    were haunting me all night

    give me zebra whoah!, even so…
    give zebra, whoah, Equus quagga, oh.

    i crawl into the kitchen
    and shrivel in dismay
    the zebra that i rode last night
    completely ran away

    give me zebra, whoa!, say it ain’t so
    give me zebra, yo, Equus quagga, oh.

    fumblin for my car keys
    i crawl into the seat
    find my way to the corner zoo
    and order zebra meat

    give me zebra whoah!, even so…
    give me zebra, yo, Equus quagga, oh.

    i raise the meat up to my lips
    the stuff, it tastes like chaff
    the guy behind the counter says
    he made it with giraffe

  • June 26, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Consider getting your coffee from an Exxon Tiger Mart or a 7-Eleven. Both have excellent coffee and are way cheaper than Starbucks. Plus, they have such high traffic for their drip coffee that there’s always a fresh pot waiting.

  • June 26, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    it was like the time i went to red lobster and, oddly enough, they didn’t have lobster… this was about 10 years ago

  • June 26, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    I’m a big fan of the Montrose Diedrich’s. You’re making the right decision, sir. On a sidenote, once I went to Burger King and they were out of Whopper buns.

  • June 26, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    Starbucks has never been my favorite coffee shop. My antipathy started way back when they were just a small roasting company out of Seattle. OTOH, you’re right, they are consistent. But I’ll take my little local drive-through, given a choice.

  • June 30, 2008 at 8:37 pm

    NICE EYE. One of Tom Waits’ crew hipped me to a Russian camera that is super flexible, cheap and crazy unique.
    The ‘HOLGA’ uses 120 or 35 mm (35 is taped over since the
    sprockets won’t work so you fim over the holes!). Since it’s
    plastic the times let some light into play. ENJOY!

  • July 9, 2008 at 10:09 am

    Venti? Is that some kind of nazi-speak??

  • September 20, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    I am a former Fort Bend area Starbucks employee (of course I don’t disclose that on my blog.) I see your point. I can’t even count how many times people would order coffee only to hear us tell them they would “have to wait for 3 minutes” (when really it takes a bit longer than that) for their coffee to brew. We would either run out (usually in the mornings), or the timer would go off alerting time to make a fresh batch. It was quite annoying. I think that Starbucks should have made a way for there to be brewed coffee available to customers at all times. They wanted to focus more on the “freshness” aspect of it, rather than availability.

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