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Thread: The Berkeley "Coffee" Thread (was I could't make up something this stupid...)

  1. #1
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    I couldn't make something this stupid up if I tried!

    Politically Correct Coffee Gets Creamed
    Wed Nov 6, 7:30 AM ET

    BERKELEY, Calif. (Reuters) - Too little, too latte.

    Berkeley voters on Tuesday poured cold water on a ballot measure that would have made their California city the first in the nation to mandate "politically correct" coffee -- deciding nothing should come between a thirsty consumer and a cup of mocha-java.

    Berkeley's ballot Measure O sought to slap tough new restrictions on the city's many cafes, bars and restaurants by requiring them to sell only coffee that was organic, grown in environmentally friendly conditions, or "fair trade" -- meaning growers are paid at least $1.26 per pound.

    But with coffee shop owners facing up to six months in jail for selling the wrong brew, city voters soured on the measure and it trailed by almost three to one.

    Supporters of "Fair Trade" coffee had hoped to win victory in Berkeley, saying the city's liberal electorate would back their drive to pay more for coffee and protect rural agricultural workers from wild swings in commodity markets.

    But the coffee campaign provoked a sharp reaction from major retailers including Starbucks Corp., Peet's Coffee and Tea Inc. and the National Coffee Association, which spent thousands of dollars on mailers in an attempt to sway voters their way.

    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...tion_coffee_dc

    What's next? Where do those wacky liberals get the energy to come up with this stuff? (pun intended)

  2. #2
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Re: I couldn't make something this stupid up if I tried!

    Originally posted by El Guapo
    What's next? Where do those wacky liberals get the energy to come up with this stuff? (pun intended)
    One more reason behind the downfall of the Democrats, IMHO. Moderate and progressive liberals get tossed into the same camp as the radical left. Who wants to be associated with those behind such radical ideas? A liberal is a liberal ... I'll just pull the lever with the little elephant beside it instead. Sigh ...

    I doubt that such a law would hold up in court, anyhow. Is non-fair trade coffee a thread to the public health, safety and welfare of the city's residents or properties? Is the product legal?

    Here's the initiative, in all its glory.


    EVIDENCE RESTRICTING THE SALE OF BREWED COFFEE TO ORGANIC, FAIR-TRADE, OR SHADE-GROWN CERTIFIED COFFEE

    The People of the City of Berkeley do ordain as follows:

    WHEREAS, coffee growers often use synthetic chemical pesticides and fertilizers; and

    WHEREAS, coffee growers often cut down trees; and

    WHEREAS, the growing of coffee in the manner described above produces an adverse effect upon the environment which is injurious to the health, safety, comfort, convenience, welfare and happiness of the residents of the City of Berkeley; and

    WHEREAS, the sale of the hereinafter enumerated beverages would reduce the adverse effect mentioned above and benefit the citizens of Berkeley and others outside the City of Berkeley; and

    WHEREAS, the sale of the hereinafter enumerated beverages would encourage others to sell the same; and

    WHEREAS, the passage of a City of Berkeley ordinance restricting the sale of brewed coffee to the hereinafter enumerated beverages would encourage others to do the same; and

    WHEREAS, the regulation of the sale of brewed coffee within the City of Berkeley is a municipal affair and in the public interest.

    NOW THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED AS FOLLOWS:

    Section 1. DEFINITIONS.

    For the purposes of this ordinance, the following terms shall be defined as follows:

    a. “Brewed Coffee Beverage” shall mean all beverages brewed from coffee beans, including but not limited to café au lait, café mocha, caffè latte, cappuccino, and espresso beverages.

    “Brewed Coffee Beverage” shall not include dry coffee beans, either as whole beans or in ground form.

    b. “Business Vendor” shall mean any person, firm, individual, corporation, partnership, association, joint venture, vendor, or any combination thereof, selling or offering for sale brewed coffee beverages.

    c. “City” shall mean all that territory within the corporate limits of the City of Berkeley.

    d. “City Manager” shall mean the City Manager of the City of Berkeley or said Manager's designated representative.

    e. “Fair-Trade” shall mean Fair-Trade Certified coffee as defined by TransFair USA, 1611 Telegraph Ave., Suite 900, Oakland, CA 94612.

    f. “Organic” shall mean organic as defined by the final rule establishing the National Organic Program under the direction of the Agricultural Marketing Service, an arm of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), located at 7 CFR Part 205, issued pursuant to the Organic Food Production Act of 1990, as amended 7 U.S.C. 6501 et seq.

    g. “Sale” shall mean a commercial transaction by any person, firm, individual, corporation, partnership, or vendor, in which transaction beverages are sold directly to the public for a
    monetary consideration.

    h. “Shade-Grown” shall mean coffee that carries either the "Bird Friendly®" seal of approval developed by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, National Zoological Park, Washington, DC 20008, or the “ECO-O.K.®” mark developed by The Conservation Action Network of Rainforest Alliance, 65 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10012.

    Section 2. THE SALE OF BREWED COFFEE IS RESTRICTED TO ORGANIC, FAIR- TRADE, OR SHADE-GROWN CERTIFIED COFFEE.

    a. Every brewed coffee beverage sold or offered for sale by any business vendor in the City of Berkeley shall be brewed solely from coffee beans that are either certified:

    (1) Organic, or

    (2) Fair-Trade, or

    (3) Shade Grown, or

    (4) a combination thereof.

    Section 3. INSPECTION.

    The City Manager or the Manager's designated representative is authorized to enter the business premises of any business vendor engaged in the sale of brewed coffee beverages in the City and which business vendor is licensed by the City to conduct a business, for the sole purpose of inspecting said premises and determining whether the business vendor is in compliance with this ordinance.

    Section 4. VIOLATIONS.

    Any business vendor found in violation of any provision of this ordinance shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not exceeding One Hundred Dollars ($100) or imprisonment not exceeding six (6) months, or both such fine and imprisonment.

    Section 5. SEVERABILITY.

    The provisions of this ordinance are hereby declared to be severable and if any provision, sentence, clause, section, or part hereof is held illegal, invalid, unconstitutional, or inapplicable
    to any person or circumstance, such illegality, invalidity, unconstitutionality or inapplicability shall not affect or impair any of the remaining provisions, sentences, clauses, sections, or parts of this ordinance or their application to persons and circumstances.

    Section 6. CONSTRUCTION.
    This ordinance shall be liberally construed to advance the purposes of this ordinance as described in the Evidence section above.

    Section 7. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    This ordinance shall take effect three months after it has been adopted at election.

    Section 8. POSTING.

    Copies of this Bill are hereby ordered published by posting with the vote thereon as required by law.


    The organic coffee law promoters have a Web site at http://www.geocities.com/coffeelawinfo/ .
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    mmmm...I'm drinking a nice hot cup of coffee right now, made fresh from beans picked by a guy making $1.00 a day. Good stuff!!

  4. #4
          Downtown's avatar
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    Originally posted by Mike DeVuono
    mmmm...I'm drinking a nice hot cup of coffee right now, made fresh from beans picked by a guy making $1.00 a day. Good stuff!!
    Me too - Delicious Vanilla Folgers. I can't even begin to imagine the time and energy that went into crafting that proposition.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    Ok maybe the folks that wrote this need to agree to the same rules for the WEED they must be smokeing

    ORGANIC, FAIR-TRADE, OR SHADE-GROWN CERTIFIED GRASS!!!!

    sheesh now i KNOW why i dont want to live in Cali-strange folks
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    Originally posted by PlannerGirl
    Ok maybe the folks that wrote this need to agree to the same rules for the WEED they must be smokeing

    ORGANIC, FAIR-TRADE, OR SHADE-GROWN CERTIFIED GRASS!!!!

    sheesh now i KNOW why i dont want to live in Cali-strange folks
    No....those fools are on the pipe (crack pipe)!!!

  7. #7

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    Berkeley (Supposed to be coffee thread)

    Oh, I don't know, Planner Girl. An entire metropolitan area dedicated to the federal government and its carpetbaggers, politicians, lawyers, lobbyists, and fundraisers (DC)? That has its own strangeness-and I will take our's Besides, you guys have Takoma Park, which is almost as BOBO (Bohemian Bourgeoise).

    Seriously, though. You can be legitimately "radical" or "left wing" and still not go for this kind of irrational boutique politics. I actually sympathize with the PHILOSOPHY behind their ballot, but making it a LAW is absolutely crazy. I would rather have a more left wing Democratic Party, rather than one that tries to be Republican-Lite. How such a party could avoid being hijacked by identity politics and boutique silliness is something I don't know The Democratic Party is utterly rudderless. I blame Bill Clinton.

    Of course, one could accuse the Republicans of similar, even scarier crazyness. Their leadership (Tom DeLay, for example) belongs to or cozies up to organizations like the Chalcedon Foundation that want to make Leviticus and Deuteronomy the Amercian criminal code (got a recalcitrant teenager, stone 'em to death or sell 'em into slavery), so . . .

    On a more positive note, Berkeley did overwhelmingly reject major height limits in the commercial corridors. These corridors are aging 1950s and 60s lovelies that are only now beginning to see redevelopment. Smart Growth in action (whatever that means). The proponents argued that Berkeley, a City of 110,000 with tens of thousands of jobs and a location in the middle of a metro area of five million should retain its "quaintness" and that the ugly commercial strips (San Pablo Avenue and University Avenue) would easily and immediately be developed under the lower height limits if those evil developers woul just not be so greedy. The measure lost by 4-1!

    OOPS, I meant to post this under the coffee thread. Can you move it?

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    Actualy i think this is good as its own topic, local politics
    wanna rename it in such a way?

    D
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Habanero's avatar
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    I've got to sing "Too Much Time on My Hands" now-
    When Jesus said "love your enemies", he probably didn't mean kill them.

  10. #10
    I hate to be the lone dissenter here, but anything that could hurt Starbucks can't be all that bad. I'm glad that they spent a lot of money trying to stop this thing.

    Sure, the idea of criminalizing coffee is ludicrous, but I just think of this as a creative way to extort time and money from one of America's most phony, preditory and generally evil corporations. Anything that would distract such a company from expansion and inane marketing/advertising (albeit only temporary) is a good thing.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Habanero's avatar
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    Yes, but why start with coffee? What about every other mass produced commodity out there offers the same low wages to workers in different countries?
    When Jesus said "love your enemies", he probably didn't mean kill them.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Some one please call Kathie Lee Gifford. We need her valuable opinion on this.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Originally posted by Super Amputee Cat
    [B]I
    Sure, the idea of criminalizing coffee is ludicrous, but I just think of this as a creative way to extort time and money from one of America's most phony, preditory and generally evil corporations. B]
    The last time I checked extortion was illegal and was conducted by the Tony Sopranos of this world. We live in a country which thrives from free enterprise. The fact that you can hate a company for successfully marketing a product that people want is beyond me. Starbucks is successful because people want it, and if you can't perceive that then I'm sure you can find a nive ranch in central Wyoming with no Starbucks in the area.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Habanero's avatar
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    Originally posted by Mike DeVuono


    The last time I checked extortion was illegal and was conducted by the Tony Sopranos of this world. We live in a country which thrives from free enterprise. The fact that you can hate a company for successfully marketing a product that people want is beyond me. Starbucks is successful because people want it, and if you can't perceive that then I'm sure you can find a nive ranch in central Wyoming with no Starbucks in the area.
    Couldn't have said it better myself. It's not that those haters don't drink coffee, and why be jealous that they've [Starbucks or any other chain for that matter] made millions off the business. Starbucks does the ABC (All Books for Children) program where you can exchange a children's book for a free small cup of joe and then they donate the books to a local library. They also try to start recycling programs, give used grounds to horticulturists, stopped "double cupping" and started the cup sleeve , and offer "fair trade" coffee for sale (in the brown colored bag).

    I hope you don't use any Microsoft products-
    Last edited by Habanero; 07 Nov 2002 at 4:43 PM.
    When Jesus said "love your enemies", he probably didn't mean kill them.

  15. #15

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    Starbucks

    I try to patronize the little, indie-owned local coffee places when I can. At their best, I just like them better. And, as a free American consumer, I choose to support a local business over some guy who bought a franchise. Plus, my local is three blocks closer than Starbucks.

    BUT, I can't particularly get all hyped up about the evil green monster. I prefer the locals, but hatred is a bit too strong. In some towns, they are the only place to get the yuppie coffee drinks I am (sadly) addicted to. And, their roast is not that bad.

    The Berkeley folks would argue that consolidating the coffee market into a few hands leads to abuses at the producer price level. They have a point, which is why I VOLUNTARILY try to buy local coffee shops' "sustainable" coffee. I think consolidated agribusiness does have some problems. But, I'm not sure legislation is the way to do this in a Global economy.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Anyone know Coffee?

    My mother and sister (who has spent much time in the Pacific NW) have conspired to gift me with a....wait for it.....Starbucks Espresso Barista. Weren't those the people Reagan tried to funnel guns too?

    Anyway...does anyone know how to make coffee drinks with this thing. It comes with a VHS tape showing the operation and cleaning, but no receipes. I have made three lattes so far. They don't taste quite right.

    I have never been in Starbucks or even seen one (Truly - On my hono(u)r) and I am on record on this very website deriding people that buy $3.50 coffee drinks, I have bought maybe six coffee drinks in my lifetime that were not basic cups of joe...so what is a fellow to do?

    Please help the fundamentally coffee clueless el Guapo.

    PS does this make me Yuppie vermon?

  17. #17
    maudit anglais
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    El Guapo - if you ship your new toy to me, I'll take real good care of it for you. I'm not a big "fancy-coffee" drinker either, but Starbucks makes the best cafe Mochas...Mmmmmmmmm.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    Guap yes that makes you a YUPPIE

    now ill be happy to help you rid yourself of such a loathsome lable....just send it my way and you will never have to worry about yuppiedom again

    thats my thing

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  19. #19
    maudit anglais
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    Originally posted by PlannerGirl
    Guap yes that makes you a YUPPIE

    now ill be happy to help you rid yourself of such a loathsome lable....just send it my way and you will never have to worry about yuppiedom again

    thats my thing

    Hey! Sorry PG, I got dibs!

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    pouts but ill make it feel more at home, ill hang my Burberry beanie and scarf beside it

    falls out of her chair laughing
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  21. #21
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    There are many variables to consider when trying to match the flavor of a $5.00 latte. First, the beans have to be fresh and of high quality. They should also be the proper blend. The beans should be ground just prior to use. They also must be ground to the proper consistancy, too fine and it's bitter, too course and it's not strong enough. (trial and error is best here)
    Then you must use carbon filtered water, chlorine makes coffee taste like crap.

    Consult this guide for all of this and more:

    http://www.cappuccinococktails.com/c..._Contents.html

  22. #22
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    The cost is actually associated with amortizing the investment in a machine like this

    Suggested retail price is $1200 USD, and this is a consumer model.

    I have a cycling buddy who won a similar machine one in europe and rewired and plumbed his kitchen to get it to work properly
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  23. #23
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Originally posted by giff57
    There are many variables to consider when trying to match the flavor of a $5.00 latte. First, the beans have to be fresh and of high quality. They should also be the proper blend. The beans should be ground just prior to use. They also must be ground to the proper consistancy, too fine and it's bitter, too course and it's not strong enough. (trial and error is best here)
    Then you must use carbon filtered water, chlorine makes coffee taste like crap.

    Consult this guide for all of this and more:

    http://www.cappuccinococktails.com/c..._Contents.html
    Giff, If you really recommend that book, I'll get it. Do you have a copy of it yourself?
    Thanks all

    TP and PG, It is yours to use when you visit. But I need to hold on to the unit because the two ladies that gave it vist often and may notice it missing.

  24. #24
    maudit anglais
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    Let me know when you figure out how to use your new toy 'guap, and I'll consider making a road trip

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Originally posted by TexasPlanner
    Yes, but why start with coffee? What about every other mass produced commodity out there offers the same low wages to workers in different countries?
    Compared to other chains Starbucks isn't bad at all. They're all over the place but they do respect their surroundings and locate in existing buildings more than, say, KFC. They can also add some street life to an area. They also don't have as much advertising. I'd welcome them to our Main Street.

    Starbucks and Ben & Jerrys earn people's resentment because they have a reputation as being vaguely "progressive" businesses but when people look further they still (rightly) are in it to make money like anybody else.

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