Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ranting Again About Starbucks: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

My hatred for Starbucks is well-documented. I don't like the place. Every time my wife Ramona forces me to go there, I find another reason to complain.

After Ramona and I went to the movies last week, she made me come with her to Starbucks so she can get a coffee for the morning. Which, in turn, made me rant about Starbucks for the millionth time. Which, in turn, made her ask the following question:

Honestly, Nev, what's your real beef against Starbucks? I really don't get it.

And a blog topic was born. :-)

My "real beef" stems from two things:

1) Starbucks changed the name of a long-existing item, sells it for inflated prices, and makes you think you're buying something different when you're actually buying the same damn thing.

Let me tell you something about coffee: It's been around for hundreds of years. You know what it was called way back when? Coffee. You know what it was called hundreds of years later right before Starbucks came about? Coffee. You know why the name coffee was never changed? Because it didn't need to be changed!! It was called coffee!! It didn't need to be called anything else for the world to keep spinning. And then Starbucks comes in and somehow convinces the world that they're providing you something different by using words like "latte", "venti", "skinny", "no foam" and "frappuccino".

Ever hear of something called bread? Bread has been around since the dawn of time. And what was bread called at the dawn of time? Bread. What is it called today? Bread. Know why? Because there ain't no reason to call it anything else. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. That's why bread is called bread, and not "omega grain sandwich slices."

And 2) Starbucks sells you things that don't exist.

Starbucks regulars routinely buy the following non-existent items:



And sugar-free vanilla syrup.

Question for you: What is chai? Can you honestly answer the question? Can you? No. Why? Because there's no such thing. A "skinny chai latte with no foam" is a small black coffee. There's nothing "chai" about it or in it. It's just a word Starbucks made up to make a longer coffee title to make you think you're buying something really cool and fancy when in fact you're just spending $2 extra for a made-up word.

And then there's makiato. You know what makiato is? Caramel. Makiato is just another made-up word by Starbucks for caramel. Only you people are so stupid that Starbucks will call their drink "caramel makiato" and you're too stupid to realize that the makiato is not making their caramel coffee any more caramel.

And another thing: Why the hell do you need to put caramel in your coffee in the first place? WTF? Since when is cream and sugar not enough? You want caramel? Have a sundae. Or a Twix.

And finally, there's sugar free vanilla syrup.

Two things to point out here:

A) When did people start choosing how many pumps of sugar-free syrup they wanted in their coffee? When we made chocolate milk as a kid, we didn't say "two pumps please, Mom." We just pumped until our instincts told us when. This is a natural skill humans have.

But nowadays, people insist on putting a number on their syrup pumps. Ramona, for example, asked for three pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup in her coffee. No more, no less. A number other than three wouldn't work for her. It's three pumps that defines who she is as an individual.

And B) Does anyone ever actually see the Starbucks worker pump the sugar-free vanilla syrup into their coffee?

The answer is no.

And why is the answer no?

Because there's no such thing as sugar-free vanilla syrup.

Because you can't have vanilla without sugar.

Which means sugar-free vanilla doesn't exist.

You know what's being pumped into your coffee?


Three pumps of air.

Which is free.

Except at Starbucks.


And now for this week's:


OK, this will officially be the greatest movie of all time:

The Expendables. An action firm scheduled to be released this August about an assembly of hired guns are sent on a mission to a South American country, with the objective to overturn the cold-blooded despot in charge. As the mission begins, the mercenaries discover that the situation is not as it appears. The men find themselves trapped in a deadly game of deception with a traitor among their ranks.

Why this will be the greatest movie of all time?

It stars Sylvester Stallone. Dolph Lundgren. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Jet Li. Bruce Willis. Mickey Rourke. Jason Stratham. Terry Crews. Randy Couture. And Stone Cold Steve Austin.

OK, you can put these guys around a table, doing nothing but playing Crazy 8s for two hours, and it would still be the greatest movie of all time with this cast.

By the way: You gotta hand it to Stallone. The dude is doing a masterful job of resurrecting his career. First he did Rocky VI, a surefire hit. Then he did Rambo 4, a surefire hit. Now he's going to do a movie surrounded by a bunch of big-name action stars and UFC and wrestling legends.

Sly is back, people. Deal with it.


blurredreality said...

Awww yes! Starbucks strangles puppies. I've been trying to tell people this for ages, but they just dont seem to get it :)

Also, "chai" is a Hindi (/most other Indian languages) word for tea. Why not just call it tea? Or have they found some hybrid of tea and coffee and think it would confuse people to call it "tea coffee"? In which case, they're really just looking out for us. Which is considerate.

Amber said...

Actually what you're ordering when you order chai at Starbucks should be called "masala chai". Chai just means tea. Masala means spiced. It's spiced tea, no coffee involved.