Sunday, April 30, 2017

Mobile Ordering is Ruining the Coffee Shop Experience - Starbucks, are you listening?

I did not understand why it took so long to get my order from the Starbucks at the bottom of my building.  

They always have plenty of baristas.  In fact, they almost appear to be running over each other.  I make an effort to go during "off-times" to avoid the early morning crowd, but it just seems to take an unusually long time to get my pastry or breakfast sandwich.

And then last week, I ran into two of my co-workers.  I was patiently (okay, losing patience) waiting for my order to be prepared and they walked right up and snatched their orders from the counter.  What was happening?  Did they have an "in" at Starbucks?

They did.  And it's called "mobile ordering."  And the long-term effects of this new "mobile ordering system" are ruining the coffee shop experience.  In my opinion.  

It happened again yesterday.  Saturday morning.  No long lines yet a 15 minute wait for a mocha.

I'm all for technology and changing times, but the mobile ordering is making a great day for those who are just too busy to bother with standing in line or detaching from their phones long enough to stand in line and take a chance on making a new friend or interacting with a barista.

No offense to the millennials (or Starbucks) but there's something very wrong with a system that leaves me with a good cup of coffee and a very bad attitude.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Café Bristol Coffee - Santa Francisca Romana Estate

When I received my bag of Café Bristol coffee, my initial reaction was "nice packaging."

When I opened it and poured out the beans, I thought, "they look a little dry."

So, I wasn't expecting much when I ground up the beans and brewed a pot.

With little to no enthusiasm, I poured myself a cup, added some raw sugar and non-fat milk, let it sit for about two minutes and took my first sip.

With a "biased" mind, I thought, "okay, it's coffee."

To my surprise, by the time I reached the bottom of the cup, I had to admit this is really good coffee.  It really is good.

Fast forward to the second day and I'm enjoying another cup.

The moral of the story:  Don't be fooled by looks.  It's what's inside that counts.

Order directly at: 

or on Amazon

*Cafe Bristol provided me with a free bag of coffee beans for the purposes of preparing this review.  Views expressed are my own.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Coffee for Good Friday! Fonté Viennese Blend

In my never ending quest for the best Viennese blend coffee (and Viennese is not an easy blend to find), I've stumbled upon this delightful blend from Fonté Coffee Roasters in Seattle.

A blend of Central and South American coffees similar to French Roast but not quite as "smokey."  The perfect balance of dark, spicy and delicious.

$13.50 for a twelve ounce bag and worth every penny.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

To Thomas, the Starbucks Barista, with love for the Clover with Care

To be perfectly honest, in this world of fast technology and everything being ready now - or even before you order - I can sincerely appreciate it when someone takes the time to make sure that my caffeine is carefully crafted.

And that's why my post today is all about Thomas.  Thomas, the wonderfully gifted, incredibly patient, Starbucks barista  in Oakland.

I've had my share of Clover coffees.  And to be honest, some of the results have made me stop ordering a Clover.  Why bother when it's rushed and it's just not that "extra special" cup of coffee.

I came in after the "12 o'clock hour" cutoff for a "dark" roast Verona, and Thomas didn't blink twice.  He just went over to the Clover and did his thing!  And he did it so well.

I didn't stop until I'd savored every last sip in my tall cup.

Dear Thomas:  Thank you for making my weekend special. Starbucks is very lucky to have you and so are the customers.