Saturday, March 6, 2010

Help my house is surrounded by the Starbuck's Police!

I'm a heretic. I did something unheard of, veritably blasphemous. I don't think there were any witnesses, although I can't be certain. I had to do it. Regardless of whether or not the economy is getting stonger I'm not. I'm still cheap, and unable to resist a bargain no matter how irreverent. I was in need of coffee and because the little brown beans have taken on religious significance as well as social status I always reach for a pound of Starbucks or Peets. The blends continue to confuse me but I usually pick a country I'd like to visit like Columbia, France, or Kenya and remind myself that buying the mindbendingly expensive roast is cheaper than a plane ticket, but not much. So there I was ready to break the bank for beans when I see a much cheaper option. Oh no, oh no , a brand I've never heard of at $5.99 for 12 ounces - be still my heart.

Does anyone else think coffee drinks have taken over our minds, sanity and wallets? What ever happened to Maxwell House and "good to the last drop?" Mom used to make it every morning and I loved the blue blue can. Who can forget Mrs. Folger regardless of her bad hairdo and pathetic taste in clothes? Personally I loved "Chock Full O'Nuts" or was I nuts? Now it's every man for themselves in the line at Starbucks. I've witnessed the madness and yes paid $7.00 for an espresso. I don't even understand what anyone's ordering. Are they speaking a romance language or Latin? All that comes to my mind is "huh?" Ironically no one is even happy about their order. They're angrily pushing and shoving me aside or sending back a "grande" because they ordered a "vente." I'm thinking they're over-caffeinated before the caffeine. "Excuse me but the Valium line is to the right."

I'm also wondering whether nonfat whip cream is an oxymoron? Have the real stuff for God's sake , it's all fattening. I love the order of "grande, but a little less than "grande" with latte but not too latte, half steamed, half air, half nonfat, half mocha and that's "to go." Personally I think it's all the same drink. I bought the coffee for $5.99. I'm richer but a dubious trendsetter. I stare at the cheap little bag of beans and realize I'm not ready or determined enough to buy the sad little beans again.   I am still convinced however, it's all the same drink.


Anonymous said...

Way to go Gail! The best coffee I have ever bought was Chock Full O'Nuts". Since I moved from NYC they were bought out and even that changed.

I have been through countless brands, experimenting with the expensive and the inexpensive. Despite the amount of sunshine and rich soil in the Andes over the Catskills the only difference was the packaging. Some of those could qualify to be exhibited in the Mussee D'Orsay.

The single exception in taste was Starbucks. It's sour and it sucks. That's why they have to mix it with everything from chocolate mousea coco caca to strawberry apple vinegar. Unfortunately some of the copiers have the same crap.

I like the first cup each day to be good so I looked up how to grind and brew the stuff. The water has to be between 195f and 200f and the beans should be ground in a special grinder that grinds evenly and does not create dust. You can do that by purchasing a $250 grinder and a $200 coffee pot or do what I did. Use the grinder in the store and set it on "course". You will have to use more coffee but it's still 1/3rd the price of Starbucks. Buy a $15 tea kettle that whistles when the water is ready. They all do when the temp reaches 195f. Then get a french press for another $10 and you're good to go.
I think I pay $12 for 3 lbs in Costco and they have grinders.

Bye the way on the few occasions that I have to go to Starbucks I still say small, medium and large.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Dunkin Donuts girl. Less expensive than Starbucks but more money than Folger's. Plus now bags of the stuff are available at Target, Walmart and super value at Costco (although I'm not so sure how much I'm really saving by buying the big bag.) Even though I have two grinders floating around here, I buy my coffee already ground. I never could stand the sound of that machine, it was like nails on a black board and way too noisy for early in the morning. And my coffee machine is at least 10 years old. I'm with you, I always felt socially challenged walking into starbucks because I didn't know the "lingo". The only thing I get in there is the Frappacino and when I ask for a medium mocha Wow it's like I committed a felony - a lingo felony. But hey - Barrista is not on my resume and I only splurge on Frappucino's a few times a year.

Anonymous said...

Hey that lady is right. Dunkin Donuts has good coffee and I love their "original" donuts. Would not want to see them made, however. She should try my routine. It works and is not expensive.

I forgot about Mrs Folger. How did she ever get that gig. She has the face of a serial killer. I think she even played one in an old movie.

I can see her sinister smile as she passes a cup of cyanide laced coffee to me. "What's that nutty flavor, Mrs Folger?"