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09 September 2010

Starbucks Coffee and the Decline of Good Taste

I bought a new coffee cup yesterday. There are things I like about it and things I don't. The bottom unscrews and there are six slots for the Starbucks type single serving instant coffee powders. I also bought six of those. The way I figured it is my work doesn't have either a coffee maker or a decent cup of coffee within walking distance, so if all I needed was some hot water, then that would be good, and with the powder being measured for the line drawn on the inside of my cup I could consistently have a decent cup of coffee wherever there was water and heat in the same place.
And then this morning I tried one. Don't get me wrong, it tasted like a starbucks coffee, more or less. While I was drinking it, I was satisfied, even pleased at the ease of the process for the result. That is why this is so insidious. It's not that the product met or exceeded the norm in quality of coffee, it is that they somehow lowered my notoriously high standards to the point where an imitation, at best half the depth and richness of a truly good cup of coffee, brought a smile to my face. Humbug! They got me!
The worst part is I have a good quality coffee maker and good quality coffee beans, and I could make a good pot of coffee. But then I'd have to clean it and blah and...

If we continue to accept less in terms of quality and more in terms of quantity and convenience we will have simultaneously lowered our quality of life and raised our destructive environmental footprint. When a person makes something, assembles something, designs something or fabricates something of quality they gain something intangible, a sense of personal worth and dignity that warms and enriches the soul like a full-bodied, well-roasted and supremely brewed cup of coffee.

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