What's the deal with Starbucks, anyway?

So I am at the gym this morning, and normally I like to get in the steamer after my workout. The steamer feels like a manly place to be...you know, nothing but a towel on, sweating like crazy, feels manly for some reason. So this morning I steamed. I am in there sweating like a banshee when this guy walks in. He is sort of tall, pretty buff, and is carrying a Venti Starbucks cup. Yes, you heard me. In the steamer, this idiot is drinking Starbucks. I sneak a peek - at his CUP - and see the following in big bold letters: NFVL. In the language of Starbucks that means Non Fat Vanilla Latte. In the steamer. Are you kidding me? I can't think of one thing in the world that I would want LESS in a 130 degree steam room than a NFVL. I mean seriously. Then I watched him carry it in to the SHOWER! Come on people!

But that did get me thinking about Starbucks (SBUX on Nasdaq). And how many other places that I would rather go for coffee than Starbucks. And yet...that stupid green emblem keeps me coming back. Why? Maybe because you can find one on every corner. There is a street in downtown Salem that literally has 2 Starbucks in a 1 block span. There are 3 businesses in between them, and yet they both thrive!! However, I will give you a list of my favorite coffee spots, for various reasons: The Back Porch (Bend, OR), Dunkin' Doughnuts (for their coffee!!), Thump (http://thumpcoffee.com/), Espresso News (Best coffee in Boone, NC - http://www.espressonews.com/), Blue Pepper (Salem, OR - http://bpepper1002.qwestoffice.net/), and Sister Coffee Company (Sisters, OR - http://www.sisterscoffee.com/). If you ever get the chance, go to them all. Not in one day, just sometime in your life.

I like coffee a lot - not addicted by any means, I could quit cold turkey if my life depended on it - just like it a lot. I like the aroma. I (secretly) like coffee breath.....that is gross, but I had to say it. I like the way Sco used to smell because he always had a mocha in his hands. But what I really like is to have it steam and make things smell like it. Ashley likes to think this is the only reason that I get coffee - to make my car smell like coffee, or just so I can sit there and smell it and occasionally take a sip. I don't think I have really ever finished an entire cup, in fact.

But I will tell you one thing. There really is nothing better than sitting in a coffee shop on a cold, rainy (or snowy) day talking with someone. It is comforting. It is normal. It is good. So if you want to help the economy and have a good time - grab a friend, go find a local joint (not Starbucks!), and have a conversation!

Come to think of it, I'm a hypocrite. I had Starbucks yesterday. So shoot me, alright?


Ashley O'Dea said...

"Francie loved the smell of coffee and the way it was hot. As she ate her bread and meat, she kept one hand curved about the cup enjoying its warmth. From time to time, she'd smell the bitter sweetness of it. That was better than drinking it. At the end of the meal, it went down the sink."

-a tree grows in brooklyn

I am reading this American classic right now and LOVE it...keeping me very happy while subbing!

Alex Casebeer said...

Wow! Nice find! That sums me up perfectly! Except my name is Alex, not Francie.

P. Ivey said...

I'm currently sitting in Caribou Coffee reading your blog just dying laughing, haha... I really really wish I could have been in that steamer with you...What a goon!! How did you not just lose it watching this guy with his cup of coffee? I love that story, man...I have another coffee shop recommendation...Smelly Cat's in Charlotte, NC...baller. Becca and I just found it in the past couple months and have been going pretty regularly. It's on the edge of the ghetto which makes it that much more exciting to go to. Just a different setting from your normal coffee shop. Best chai I've ever had...ever.

soundguy said...

I need to know, did he actually sip the cup while in the shower? Maybe he just set it on top the towel rack.

Added recommendation...Dunn Brothers

Alex Casebeer said...

He was sipping on his NFVL in the STEAMER. Lame. Not in the shower though, just resting it, from what I could tell. Added recommendation: The Beanery, Salem, Oregon.

j.o. said...

haha. glad you added the Bean to the list. It needs love. I wouldn't want anything hot while in the steamer either. but to each their own i guess...love you mang.

Dylan Ferguson said...

We went to The Sister Coffee Company once, It was great, but yeah that guy shouldnt have been in the steamer, What a fruit cup!