Tag Archive: coffee

Starbucks’ Pavlovian training

I recently bought a new coffee mug for use here at work. My other ones, which are great for keeping things piping hot for hours, are all stainless steel on the inside and susceptible to staining. I was therefore hoping for something ceramic which would keep the coffee hot enough for at least a bit longer than Starbucks’ paper cup.

So I bought a mug at Starbucks that looks like…a Starbucks cup. White body, little check boxes on the side for types of coffee, milk, etc, and a cap that even looks just right.

The weird part is that, even though I know this mug sitting on my desk is a travel mug, bought to be reused (obviously), I have this instinct to toss it into the trash. Somehow. Starbucks, through its commoditization of just about every possible coffee & espresso drink and the proliferation of these cups, I have been trained to want to throw this thing away.

It’s kind of sad, really…

I am not, therefore I am

Just a random observation and thought – a while ago, while discussing exactly what ‘being bad at making coffee meant,’ I made that statement that ‘I am not a coffee snob, but I really do prefer…”

Before I could finish the sentence, a comment was made that if I say ‘I’m not a coffee snob’ then I therefore am a coffee snob.  I found the comment neither offensive nor accusatory, though I was a bit befuddled at the specific moment.

Maybe I am a snob.  But at least I’d like to think that there are degrees of snobbery, then.  Like, I enjoy a good Kona roast, and I can tell the difference between, say, Peet’s Reserve Kona (which I drink black to truly enjoy the flavor, which is so smooth) and a Safeway Kona.  I can also tell you that Kauai coffee is quite nice, too, with a lot of flavor but a tad bit bitter at the end with the two roasts I’ve had.

But it’s not like I will refuse to drink other coffee, nor am I a diehard, French-Press, dark roast guy, which is apparently what ‘real coffee drinkers’ prefer.

I do wonder whether caring about and having preferences about stuff like that make one a snob – that there is a very broad definition of what a snob is.  If one notices the differences between a Kendall Jackson Reisling and a Fetzer one – is that person a wine snob, even just a little bit’