I like Starbucks coffee. I’ve developed a taste for its bold flavor and the consistency of taste that is found at every location. I also like the Starbucks cafe environment. What I don’t like about Starbucks is the wait for its coffee. When I go to Starbucks I am most often in the market for just plain ole coffee. What I often find is a line of people in front of me who are ordering lattes, cappuccinos, Frappuccinos (R) and all sorts of specialty drinks. So I wait and wait and wait while the frazzled, smiling barista scrambles to blend, mix and pour a variety of coffee creations for customers who are willing to pay $3.50 and up for a cup. I just want a cup of joe.
Now Starbucks is telling its baristas to slow down, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. What? Now I get to wait even longer? And Starbucks is looking into serving wine and beer after 4:00 p.m. at certain locations. That strategy might work in some locations, but I suspect that it is going to chip away at the Starbucks brand.
So what do I, the everyday coffee consumer do? It’s simple. I go to Broad Street Baking Company and Cafe or Cups, my local coffee shops. Broad Street is a hip eating and meeting place in Jackson, Mississippi that is an excellent alternative to Starbucks. There, instead of waiting in line for a cup of coffee I can just throw a couple of dollars in a basket beside a selection of four blends of coffee and get my own coffee. It’s called the honor system. And the coffee isn’t bad either. And then there is Cups, a collection of local coffee shops featuring art from local artists on its walls and a person behind the counter who seems to not take forever to create those coffee concoctions.
I’m not swearing off Starbucks. Especially when I travel. But in my home town, you’ll find me and my java at my local coffee shop.