Me. Starbucks and Puerto Rican bakeries
A typical Starbucks customer
I don't much like Starbucks, mainly because I think their coffee is burnt, and this:
What is that? A coffee egg cream? A shake with coffee? What exactly is this monstrosity of calories and sugar?
I never got the appeal of their calorie and wallet busting coffee. The only time I can tolerate their noxious brew is in Barnes and Nobles. Otherwise, they just make the most unpleasant brew around. When it's not burnt, it's ladened with sugar and it just doesn't match even te crappy coffee available throughout New York.
Before I get to that, I will say that I love Krispy Kreme coffee. I think it is everything Starbucks isn't. I just love a cup of the stuff with their donuts. Hot KK donuts are a gift from God and the cold ones aren't bad either.
Now, if they redesigned the flag of New York city, there would have to be a blue paper coffee cup with the Acropolis on it. It is a ubiquitous symbol of New York. Now the brew in this cup can range from ugh to sublime. My candidate for sublime is Puerto Rican coffee. Cafe Bustelo is common in these parts, and it's usually served con leche, which is steamed milk. The one thing which I hate, but which is common, is that they load sugar into it. A regular cup of coffee is a couple of ounces of milk and two heaping teaspoons of sugar. I usually don't keep coffee around the house, I usually drink tea. So when I buy coffee, I have to make sure that they don't put sugar in it or I can't drink it.
Puerto Rican coffee is unlike other coffee in that it's sort of espresso like, but usually served in a regular eight ounce cup, It's thick and a warming brew in winter, not the kind of thing you'd serve over ice in summer. It's the kind of thing, which if you know about, don't pass up.
Now, there's all kind of coffee in New York. My favorite from the past is Chock Full 'O Nuts. I used to get a cup and one of their donuts before class. It was a great cup of coffee an interesting chain, their signature dish was a raisin bread and cream cheese sandwich. Not that I liked cream cheese, but even my mother at them in high school. She really liked the Automat, but that's a tale for another day.
It's also a fraction of the price of Starbuck's brew. The green and white witch is all over the place, but her stores are better than her products. You can loiter in her stores, unlike a Puerto Rican bakery. But they do have the best coffee on the planet, so you need to pick another place to loiiter.
Starbucks does serve a need, which is it allows you to go someplace, with someone, and not have to be in a bar. It's a good place to talk, be asked really hard questions and use your laptop. But the coffee...well, no, it's not that good. In fact, it's kind of insipid.
posted by Steve @ 4:44:00 PM