Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Personal Downer

Years ago someone said to me, "you can buy stock in this company that's going to open stores all over selling specialty coffees. They're going to make espresso, cappucino, and sell some stuff to go with it, and they'll make syrup coffees and whatever. They charge like four or five dollars for a coffee."

At this point in time if you wanted an espresso you could get one in a place for a buck and a half. You got a coffee in the diner for less than a buck. "How many idiots out there will pay four or five bucks for a coffee? This won't catch on as a chain like McDonald's or anything. Maybe as a boutique thing." I passed.

My friend bought the IPO for Starbuck's and I did not. He held on to the stock from issue until about 2002. By that time the stock had split FOUR times, and he held onto every share and really maxed the thing out. And he bought a lot of Starbuck's stock.

People love to line up and pay six times more than they ever did for a cup of coffee and they become totally ADDICTED to it. Who knew? How could I have figured that out, and how is it that my friend was POSITIVE that America would be so into it? Damn. And then look what this barista says. "Karma works." So this means my friend had better karma than me with this coffee bullshit? How discouraging is that? What can I do about some karma thing that's embedded in my existence? Just seems unfair. How do baristas know this?

The other thing I passed on investing in was all those cell phone companies, but that's another story. That's why I have to get back on the ship now.
Gourmet coffee and skilled baristas may raise coffee prices but we still need them for the perfect cup. Here are some of your baristas’ secrets.

1. Drinking two quad-shot, 22oz, vanilla lattes every day is bad for you.

Very, very bad for you.

2. Sometimes the owners of independent coffee/espresso carts buy cheap coffee and sell it as a respected brand.

Not that any of our customers noticed.

3. Please believe me.

If you asked for decaf, I gave you decaf. You don’t need to ask me repeatedly. I am not out to get you.

4. If you’re not at Starbucks, don’t order like you are.

If you want a Venti Caramel Frappuccino, you’re in the wrong place. Order from our menu.

5. You are the reason for the wait.

Customers spend the whole time talking on the phone and only think about what they want when they get to the register. They are the reason the line takes forever.

6. Be nice.

No matter how tired you are, it’s nice to say PLEASE when you’re ordering your first coffee of the day.

7. Just because they’re vegan doesn’t mean our cakes are good for you.

They are LOADED with white sugar.

8. Yes, I went to school for this.

Starbucks sends employees to barista school for two weeks.

9. There is an art to pulling a perfect shot of espresso.

The ideal shot takes 18 to 22 seconds to pull. If a shot isn’t perfect, I won’t serve it.

10. Tip

I’ll carry that happy feeling over to my interaction with my next customer. Karma works, and it only costs you a buck.
11. A bigger cup doesn’t mean more coffee

Starbucks’ Venti (20 oz) and Grande (16 oz) each contain two shots of espresso. The Venti just has more milk. So if it’s caffeine you’re after, size doesn’t matter.

12. Latte art isn’t merely decorative.

If a heart or a pinwheel design holds in the milk it means that the consistency of the foam is good and the shot was pulled well.

13. A real macchiato has just a stain of milk foam and no sugar.

I’ll make someone an authentic drink and they’ll say, where’s the milk? Where’s the syrup?


No comments:

Post a Comment