Give Me Coffee

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.