It’s so simple. You walk into a coffee shop, order yourself a cup of joe:
– with cream
However you like it. In whatever size you want – small, medium, large.
And it will cost you anywhere from $1 to $2.50.
And then there’s Starbucks. The problem with Starbucks is that it takes all these simple givens, chews them up, and then spits them back out in a way we don’t understand, and charges you double for it.
Starbucks is pretentious. Everything they serve pretends to be something else. They refer to their regular coffee as a “Caffè Americano”. Even their cup sizes are camouflaged and ask, “Who, me?”
Take what you and I would call a small coffee. To obtain its Starbucks equivalent, you need to ask for a Tall Caffè Americano. Tall. It’s like they’re afraid of giving the small cups a complex. Next size up is a Grande, followed by Venti.
I won’t get into the more complicated beverages available at Starbucks. There are Web sites devoted to demystifying this, such as:
Besides, you can try for yourself at one of the hundreds of Starbucks available within a 10-km radius.
Then there’s the staff. I’m not sure whether they seek out know-it-all metropolitan Gen Y staff, or whether they have to lobotomize them upon employment, but every Starbucks I’ve been in has them. Same blank expression, different piercings. If you don’t order correctly, they wait calmly and trendily for you to catch on, and then gleefully repeat your order back to you with the correct terminology. Your momma must be proud.
But what gets me is what they charge for coffee. Don’t get me wrong – I make a decent salary, I occasionally splurge on a trip to the spa, enjoy shopping. But out of principle, I refuse to pay 2-3 times what other coffee shops charge. It’s coffee. Adding a dollop of whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel or a squirt of flavouring doesn’t change that.
Last week, after months of avoiding Starbucks, I walked in with a few people for a meeting. I ordered a
small tall peppermint mocha coffee. The smart-ass behind the cash asked for $4.15, to which I replied an indignant “For a small?” (see what I did there? I said small) Response: Blink, blink. “Yes, that’s right.”
But a picture is worth a thousand words, and so, free of charge, I offer an updated logo with a frank appeal: