25 January 2008

Cheaper - and Sludgier - Than Your Average Joe

From the world's most expensive coffee machine to the bargain option at the world's most ubiquitous purveyor of mud masquerading as coffee. Yes, it's true: Starbucks is selling a $1 coffee in some Seattle branches of its stores. The Beeb doesn't elaborate but I assume this means filter coffee rather than an espresso and as American filter coffee is dire everywhere, especially in Starbucks, this news isn't something to celebrate.

I remember when Starbucks used to seem like a reasonable idea: six or seven years ago, I quite enjoyed stopping off at one of their NYC caf├ęs for a caramel latte. Back before the caffeinoreceptors on my tongue became so highly developed. I don't think I've been voluntarily for about five years (about the time when I acquired my first cappuccino machine) - by voluntarily, I don't include when it is nine in the morning and there is nowhere else open to provide me with caffeine. Each time it happens, though, I am still disappointed: the "dry cappuccino" is a latte; the beverage is heated to at least 180, even though I asked for it "warm" (at the Sandwich Shop of Dreams we were told people might sue us if we heated it over 150); and when I finally can drink the damn thing, I wish I hadn't bothered because it tastes awful and has an even worse aftertaste - metallic and muddy, not mellow and marvellous.

I won't be too sad, then, if £1 (it's bound to be £ for $) coffee doesn't come soon to a Starbucks near Nowheresville. Still, it could be worse: all these people could be tea drinkers!

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