Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Why I Stopped Being A Loyal Starbucks Customer.

I used to be a loyal Starbucks customer. Every morning, I trudged to my local store where my favorite team of baristas concocted a brew that I loved. Yet, I am sad to report that I have stopped this pattern. I am no longer a loyal Starbucks customer.

In order to understand my decision, you need to first accept the fact that Starbucks simply does not take good care of its customers who order drip coffee. These customers are typically heavy drinkers and predominantly male. They tend to drink a large cup of coffee in the morning to get a jump start. These customers have always been treated as second-class.

The evidence for this comes from many places.

First, the new drip coffee brewing machines take way too long to brew coffee. If the coffee you want is not available, you have to wait four and a half minutes- four minutes for it to brew and 30 seconds for an energetic barista to jettison the lukewarm coffee and load the new batch. This is NOT ACCEPTABLE.

Second, some of us have frequented Starbucks for its mild drip coffee. This has proven to be a fool's errand. The demand for mild drip coffee is low. As a result, baristas are likely to not want to brew it at regular intervals. In the location I frequented, it was most common for me to not have mild drip coffee available when I arrived. The baristas were nice and offered to make me a new batch which would take the aforementioned 4.5 minutes.

Third, on more than two occasions, I was served lukewarm drip coffee. If I am paying Starbucks money for drip coffee, I demand hot coffee. The lukewarm coffee is a joke. I had to draw the attention of the barista who brewed another batch for me in 4.5 minutes.

In addition to these reasons, Starbucks has surreptitiously increased the price of drip coffee. At this point, in the Seattle area, I believe a grande drip goes for $1.91. Only a few months back, this was $1.75.

I was recently in New York. What a place! In any case, I found this place there called Guy and Gallard that has unbelievable coffee. I wish they were in Seattle.

As for Starbucks, I think they have lost their commitment to the customer. I worry about their future.