So, as I do almost every day, I went for coffee this morning. But instead of going to the independent, locally owned coffee shop in Old Town, I decided to walk three minutes the other direction to visit Starbucks. Yes, we live in a great location.
It's been a while. During the France years, we went once to their shop in Paris, but mainly to use their bathroom, I did not even order any drinks for myself.
Most likely I am late to the party, but it can't just be me noticing the gentrification of that chain? I do recall a decade ago in Las Vegas, my standard order being a double short latte (still is, I don't enjoy to much milk in my coffee) and a slice of coffee cake.
Back then it seems that from region to region, or even from city to city all baked goods were done locally and the coffee cake was displayed on a big sheet that the staff would cut into mostly even sized pieces, but not always. So sometimes you'd end up with a bigger than usual slice in the middle of the sheet, with no crust, which was my absolute jackpot. The top was crumbly with a hint of cinnamon, while the cake itself tasted like vanilla. Fresh and flavorful.
Ehm. That cake display today looked sadder than the pastry section at Lidl and nothing like the Boulangerie Starbucks pretends to be. Each and every item in that case looked uniform in size, somewhat wilted and though I did not taste any, my guess is that their baked goods taste not as good anymore as they did ten years ago. The coffee cake is now a mini loaf, a shadow of it's former greatness.
Granted, the convenience will continue to make Starbucks that third place to be, just as their CEO predicted a long time ago. It's now as generic a place to hang out at as your cubicle at work or your Home Goods furnished living room.
And what's with that name misspelling on their cups? My name is Peter and since when have you ever spelled that with two ee? OK, if your name is Raquel and the Starbucks is in Pocatello, Idaho, maybe. I think it's just a marketing shtick as the pictures of grossly misspelled names continue to show up on Reddit and Instagram. Free advertising for sure.
On the positive, I read that Starbucks is a great company to work for, it's one clean place wherever you visit them, even in Shaoxing China you know what to expect and in the sum of all things, convenience is OK.
Beige is the new black. Hello Stepford people.
And now I am going to look for a new Espresso machine
7 AM LINE UP AT STARBUCKS USA
CONVENIENCE FOR SURE, TASTE NOT SO MUCH
NOT EVEN IN THE HUNGER GAMES MOVIE
AT TWO/DAY + TIP , MY ESPRESSO MACHINE PAYS FOR ITSELF IN 4 MONTH
AND THIS PASTRY DISPLAY LOOKS A LOT TASTIER
GLUTEN FREE BUTTER TARTS, COURTESY GF PATISSERIE