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Starbucks or the local java hut?

Starbucks just a better bean?

  • Starbucks is the root of all burb evil

    Votes: 12 30.8%
  • They do their marketing to drive out mom and pop

    Votes: 8 20.5%
  • Whats Starbucks?

    Votes: 3 7.7%
  • Its all in who has the better bean, no foul play involved

    Votes: 16 41.0%

  • Total voters
    39

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
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6,377
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Curious as to planners views on Starbucks vs the local java spot. This debate is one carried over from non-planner friends. Does Starbucks push out the mom and pop places or do they just make better coffee and the better bean wins?
 
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At my last job, there was a starbucks right directly across the street, and then up two blocks was the local hippie coffee place. If I was in a hurry, it was Starbucks, but the rest of the time, the local place. I didn't start boycotting Starbucks until there was the whole big thing with the Starbucks ONLY carrying the NY Times, or whatever paper, and they wouldn't allow any local papers at all. That's when I started my boycott. Until one of my friends got a job and i could get free coffee. But to be honest, nothing makes me weak in the knees like one of Starbucks Heath Bar Brownies. oh, the deliciousness!
 

PlannerGirl

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6,377
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29
Have you tried their Godiva hot cocoa? That stuff is orgasem in a cup I tell ya!

D
 
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I haven't tried it, but i'm a huge fan of the caramel macchiato. I got right into suger hyper drive after one of those babies. As for the Godiva O...
i wonder... would that kill a kitty, or maybe just a small baby chick?
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
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29
What's a Starbucks?

Just kidding.

For some reason we don't pay much over a dollar for coffee in my neck of the woods. The infection is limited to TRENDY places.

I have, however, heard their radio commercials for coffee that they now sell in our local grocery stores and a bigger collection of new-age gibberish I cannot say I have ever heard.

"Starbucks coffee is about sharing, about relating and empowering your inner wisdom"

Bullshit. It’s about making money off of freaks that will pay $5.00 for a cup of coffee. You can buy a can of Folgers for the same amount.

Sorry, sometimes I can be soooo Midwestern.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
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The area where I live doesn't have the demographics to support a "real" coffeehouse -- we're taking about middle and upper-middle class families, a disproportionately large number of which are blue collar/building trades. Nextel telephones and Carhartt jackets don't seem mix with espresso and lesbian folk singers -- it's sports bar country out here. No talk of a cobranded Starbucks/United Rentals yet.

The only coffee places near me include the cafe at the Borders bookstore not too far from my house (I'm amazed that we even have a Borders), and a Starbucks inside a Super Target a couple of miles away. Otherwise ... nothing. Outside West Orange County, there's a Starbucks every few square miles.

Borders is my home away from home, although I prefer independent coffeehouses. Independents seem more comfortable"and condusive to just hanging out; there's less of the "get my caffiene and go" crowd.

In Denver, "Common Grounds" on West 32nd Avenue was my favorite; a 25 minute walk or three minute drive from my house.



Buffalo was developing a wonderful coffeehouse scene when I left several years ago. My favorites include Stimulance, Common Grounds (different then the place bearing the name in NW Denver), and Spot Coffee's stores on Elmwood and downtown.
 

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
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27
Addicted

I'm just addicted to coffee. I do know that Starbucks is evil considering it drove my current man insane when he was a manager and he had to start taking Paxil to be able to go into work.
Thank God that was before me!!

Starbucks coffee rocks, but The Original Pancake House Coffee is even better. We go there every Sunday just for Eggs Benedict and coffee.

Speaking of coffee...
what is everyone's ratio or coffee grinds to cups of water. The engineers make it too stong and its so weak in Planning you can see thru it. I just bring my own from home (which is Starbucks, the man has all of the Starbucks shwag anyone could ever want).
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
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34
I have a second office. On some days when I am meeting friends in Madison, or particularly nice Fridays, I leave the office early with all of the mail, magazines, reports, etc. that I need to read or things I need to look over and think through. I go to a coffee house on State Street in Madison, sit at a table in the window, and work. The atmosphere is conducive to great thinking and there are no interruptions.

There is a Starbucks across the street that I think I was in once or twice in the 2-3 years it has been there. It comes down to the coffee (well cappucino or lattes, usually). Espresso Royale is better. I've been to every coffee house on State Street, and think I could rank them in order. Starbucks is about the middle of the pack. In terms of atmosphere, maybe better than most, only because it is close to the most active part of the street and has big windows looking onto it. But it still has a canned feel to it.
 
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Depending on the coffee type, I usually use 1 tbs coffee for 8 oz of water. My husband's family used to own a Dunkin Donuts, so that's what we keep in the canister at home. Best coffee ever, IMHO.

In our office everyone makes their own cup of coffee, since NOBODY likes their coffee the same - we've got a very strong decaf, a full caf, a half caf and 2 1/2 tea drinkers.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
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7,903
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35
Count me in amongst the tea drinkers, though I do enough a cafe mocha from Timothy's World Coffee (Only in Canada?) once or twice a week. Although I was born and raised in the land of Tim Horton's Donuts - I can't stand their coffee.
 

NHPlanner

Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator
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Not a coffee drinker...

...but when I want a jolt of hot caffeine, I'll go for a Dunkin Donuts Vanilla Chai....great mix of tea, honey, and spices...
 

adaptor

Member
Messages
123
Points
6
charbucks

That's what the local coffee shop my wife used to roast for called the bean scorcher from Seattle. You can't tell their Java from their Kenya from their Brazilian beans because they roast them too fast and too hot. Am I being a bit snobby about this?

Sorry, it gets worse. If I could set up a coffee maker in my cubicle I would. I pack my own coffee rather than buy from the gourmet coffee shop on the street. Mine is fresher and better prepared. If they make coffee in a Bunn -- RUN! I like cappucino (but I'd rather go back to Italy for an unpretentious frothy brew) but that's as far I go with the additives. If you're going to add all the syrups and junk you might as well use Folgers.

The proportion for a good cup? We use one scoop for two cups, with an extra half scoop for an 8 cup pot. (I think 1scoop = 1rounded table spoon.)
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
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I grad school I had a night job from 5 PM to 1 AM so I drank a couple of extra big mochas triple espresso, during the day. Then at work two 64 oz. Mountain Dews. Now if I have even a little caffine my heart starts kicking out PVCs for hours....quite disturbing, but not dangerous according to the cardiologist. I do sneak in a couple of $5.00 mochas a month but that's it.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
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Tranplanner wrote:
Although I was born and raised in the land of Tim Horton's Donuts - I can't stand their coffee.
Traitor. I bet you can't stand donuts either.

Some Canadian you are. Excuse me, while this 'Merkin goes off to watch "Don Cherry's Blood on the Ice! #16."







;)
 

Mastiff

Gunfighter
Messages
7,181
Points
30
Portland Dowtown.

Literally...

Has a Starbucks or a Seattle's Best on every other corner. I'm not kidding. Now, how bad is it when you can't walk two blocks before you need another fix?!

I'm in a town of 3,000... and we have a drive-up coffee stand.
 

Journeymouse

Cyburbian
Messages
443
Points
13
Resistance is futile - you will be assimilated!

Which about sums up my attitude to Starbucks. There are three in Guildford (which is actually quite a small town, say 9,000 people ish not including the university). One is next to the GAP store, one a MacDonalds and one a BKs. All of which are international chains started in the States. And most high streets in the UK have got at least one of each (along with KFC, Blockbusters and so on) along with our own homogeneous chains (Dorothy Perkins, Oasis, River Island, Firkin pubs, Wetherspoons pubs, etc.)

Confession: I don't actually like coffee, I'd rather have hot chocolate or iced tea.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
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29
Coffee

I am more of a sugar fiend. Starbucks makes their mochas with chocolate liquid, for God's sakes. So, I go the local (Ghiradelli powder-yum). Its closer (ten minute walk), and funkier, and, call me an Un-American communist, I just like supporting the local guys (or gals, in this case) rather than some unimaginative dweeb who bought a franchise.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
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7,903
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35
I Love Donuts!

Dan Tasman wrote:
Traitor. I bet you can't stand donuts either.
No, no - I love those deep-fried rings of dough. And Tim bits too... Tim Horton's is pratically a religion here. I just hate their coffee. Must be the Brit in me. They can't make a cup of tea worth a damn either...

Some Canadian you are. Excuse me, while this 'Merkin goes off to watch "Don Cherry's Blood on the Ice! #16
Watch what you say there, buddy. I was up until almost 1a.m. watching hockey last night...


 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
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10,624
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34
I hate starbucks

...not for who they are, but because their coffee sucks ass. Yech.

Ever see the movie "Best in Show"? There's a scene where hubby and wife are recalling how they met - it goes something like, "We met at Starbucks... Well... Not the same Starbucks... I was at the one across the street from the one he was in..."
 

petrushka

Cyburbian
Messages
30
Points
2
Cringing at the pain of inevitable loss

I seriously fear the day when I am denied the satisfaction of ducking into my coffeeshop in the East Village, or my old coffeeshop back home in Denton, Tx., for a good relaxing cup, a comfortable chair, and good conversation without the sterile aura of forced corporate legitimacy. When that day dawns, I will definitely be on the next flight to Europe.
 

Virtue City

Cyburbian
Messages
52
Points
4
In Cleveland

Reminds me of that Simpson's episode where Bart goes in to get his ear pierced and after he does, the whole mall consists of Starbucks. "Better make it quick, in five minutes we're turning into a Starbucks." hahaha

Anyways, in downtown Cleveland, there's a Starbucks right across the street from a little independent coffeeshop in the Theatre District. Starbucks sells the worst coffee I've ever had, but people still go there. On the contrary, the place across the street sells great coffee for a substantially lower price.
 

Nemesis

Member
Messages
51
Points
4
Local guys are painfully slow and service is the pits. Just because they play the role of the strung out granola type doesn/t mean the can make better coffee. We have 3 Starbucks, Three Seatles Best and 5 local shops, two Dunkin Donuts and a local donut shop in a town of 35k. This does not count the grocery stores that serve coffee such as Fresh Fields, Trader Joes, etc. Starbucks at least is predictable and consistant. My sister from NYC says the staff in my Starbucks should be ashamed for their lack of prompt service and attentiveness at making orders.
Dunkin Donuts is the best--lots of sugar and creme YUM> and their English skills are improving with every order. Oh, and I will take a Kruller for a total of $2.65
 
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North and South

Just a quick note about service in "The North" as opposed to "The South".

I remember standing in line at Winn-Dixie in South Carolina with my husband who was approaching bleeding from his eyes at how S L O W the cashiers were. And not just one cashier, all cashiers. I guess they never had to take productivity tests like the cashiers in my beloved Wegmans to see how fast they could swipe groceries. But then, Rob was also being the "typical" Yankee and working himself up into an anuerism over how slow the cashiers were. So I don't know which is worse. Being the "typical" slow southerner or married to the "typical" hyper aggressive Yankee.

But as for NYC, no one ANYWHERE in the world move as fast as people from The City.
 
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Starbucks is known around these parts as "Starsucks." Yeah, I know.....REAL ORIGINAL. Anyway, given my affinity for frozen caffeine and caramel on incredibly hot southern spring days, out of sheer desperation I reluctantly went to a Starsucks and ordered a Caramel Crappacino. Surprisingly, the clerk did not hear my Freudian slip (probably due to the automatic expresso machine) or maybe she knows that their frappacinos, along with their other drinks, are just crap after all.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
God meet Coffee - Coffee meet God

In my little town (79K) one of the big box retailers offering the true word of God - our new mega church - has a very nice coffee shop. The church has the foot print of a super Wal Mart and the parking lot to match. The coffee shop is combined with a Christian Book Store/Reading Room. All that is missing from the God Mall is the "Jesus Loves You - Christain Tattooing and Piercing Parlor." Coincidentally, they are the only church in town that is a member of the chamber of commerce. Humm?

I prefer a God that is Old Testament mean and doesn't care if your beverage is a refreshing quick pick me up.
 

peter lowitt

Member
Messages
42
Points
3
Coffee at Work

We all know that consuming vast quantities of caffine is part of our job description. (how else can we stay awake for those 7 hour planning commission meetings - er. sorry wrong thread). Tired of drinking that last cup from the bottom of the coffee pot? The one thats been burning for the last week? Coffee Pause is the answer (no shit). Individual sized coffee for that just in time caffine jolt. 50 different flavors to choose from in your very own office environment. No wonder its so hard to get things done. If you can get over the packaging garbage (tee hee) then you can sit back and enjoy the java. Or Belgian Chocolate, or mocha java or Sumatra or Decaf French Roast. or.....
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
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25
Lyrics from the band "Sewing With Nancie"

"Tastes like piss and costs big bucks, I hate Starbucks, Starbucks sucks"

Luckily in the Milwaukee area there are numerous better-tasting, cheaper alternatives including Stone Creek , Alterra, Fuel Cafe, etc.

We had a visioning committe and one of their main complaints was that there was too many fast food chains in the City, yet they are begging for a Starbucks, Panera, and other "upscale" chains. For some reason, people here equate having a Starbucks in the community with being considered an upscale community.
 

H

Cyburbian
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jordanb said:
...I don't like Starbucks...,
I wish I could say that. I know they are an evil corporate chain and all, but mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……….

grande iced americano with room, por favor!!!!!!!!
 

jordanb

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Well, I don't like Starbucks because I don't like coffee and there's way too many of them. They're like every block in Lakeview. They seem like a pretty nice company though, I've not heard any employee or supplier abuse complains, and they are far less damaging to the community than most chains.

One thing though, how the **** did they get so popular? It seems to me that it completly defeats the purpose of a coffee house. Going to a coffee house to me means ordering some tea and enjoying the ambiance of a local locally operated little eatery for a while.

I can't get over these people who go to starbucks because it's cheap. I mean, come on, you're already indulging in a relatively expensive luxury, you can pay an extra fifteen ****ing cents for your latte.
 
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H

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jordanb said:
One thing though, how the **** did they get so popular? It seems to me that it completly defeats the purpose of a coffee house. Going to a coffee house to me means ordering some tea and enjoying the ambiance of a local locally operated little eatery for a while.
Summer between my freshman and sophomore year of college (mid 90’s) I worked in a local Jamaican family owned coffee house in atlanta. I thought the coffee was awesome. I loved the atmosphere, the prices, the coffee, ect…

Around mid summer a Starbucks (first I had ever seen) moved down the street and Caribou Coffee moved across the street. At first I was mad, because I became friends with the owners, naturally. But, I had to try the competition.

Caribou…I did not like.

Starbucks….Awesome. That was and still is the best coffee I have ever tasted. Soon (within a year) both Caribou and the Mop n Pop were out of business.

As far as enjoying the ambiance, I prefer my coffee to go. This is another win for Starbucks because they have great convenience packaging.

This weakness of mine pains me, I see the evil, but it is just so good.

We have free coffee and espresso at work, but I still walk down to Starbucks and plop my money down.

So sad.
 

michaelskis

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19,398
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44
Amercian Coffee House

American Coffee House is a local place, that has the same looking logo as starbucks (green circle thing) the center pic is alittle diff though.

It is way better, way cheeper, and I use it.
BUT, there is the Hard Bean Cafe that makes the best spiced CHI I have ever had.

We are in a area where the MSA is a half million, and we only have one starbucks.
 

SGB

Cyburbian
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3,387
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25
OK, so I voted "What's Starbuck?"

Yes, I know who they are. But no, (thankfully) we don't have them here.

I get my fix at a locally owned drive through coffee joint. Great location (corner lot, signaled intersection, state road), great owner and staff, and great coffee. Plus they recongnize both of our cars and know my regular order so it's ready by the time I get to the window.
 

Trail Nazi

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The only time that I ever get into a Starbucks is for the Tazzoberry and cream frozen beverage. Personally, I am not a coffee fan. I think the aftertaste and other people's bad coffee breath turns me off to the whole concept of drinking coffee. I do love the smell though.

I don't know why they won't make more teahouses or formal places for afternoon tea. I would go often. How yummy to go in and have some tea and scones or other snacky cakes to chow down on.
 

Seabishop

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Huston said:
We have free coffee and espresso at work...
Hot damn! Fax me an application!


I like Starbucks, especially their cafe mochas. I like indie places too. There are some trendy coffeehouses though where I feel like I'm just not cool enough, like if they found out I went to a state university, got married and had kids they would call the cops.

I've been told by out of staters that the proportion of donut and coffee shops here is shocking. We probably rival Canadians with our love of drive thru donuts n' coffee.
 

biscuit

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Trail Nazi said:
I don't know why they won't make more teahouses or formal places for afternoon tea. I would go often. How yummy to go in and have some tea and scones or other snacky cakes to chow down on.
Try some of the nicer hotels in Arlington or DC. I recently read an artical in the paper that places here such as the Omni and Renaissance have formal afternoon teas.

As for Starbucks...I've tried to hate it, but I just can't. Their Caramel Mocciato is the shizzneet. I usually go to the local shops when I can but most of those are in other areas of the city leaving the Au Bon Pain as the only quasi-alternative to Starbucks in the downtown. And Au Bon Pain is not really a coffee shop.
 
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Habanero

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As I've admitted before, James used to manage a few different Starbucks locations, so we've got the Barista machines and he's got every recipe stored in his brain. I love coffee, personally I love any kind of coffee, but I'm only allowed to bring Starbucks into the house. (Not that I mind when I'm woken up by a caramel macciato on the weekends). :) mmmmm, coffee.
 

Repo Man

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Habanero said:
so we've got the Barista machines
I have wondered about that Barista coffee maker...is it any good? I have been searching for the ultimate coffee maker so I can reproduce that coffe-house coffee flavor.
 

donk

Cyburbian
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6,970
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30
The saeco machines are supposed to be really good, but they are really expensive.

They also get bonus points for having a pro cycling team.
 

Mud Princess

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I didn't start drinking coffee until relatively recently -- I was an avowed tea drinker, but nearly falling asleep on the drive to work a couple of times forced me to give coffee a try. I'm on the 2- to 3-cup a day plan now.

I'm not sure I've ever tried Starbucks coffee. Usually I make my coffee at home. Occasionally I'll get coffee from Dunkin' Donuts or the local coffee house.

Funny, I tried the coffee at Tim Horton's when we were in N.S. and I thought it was good. I also liked their cheese danish and muffins - far superior to Dunkin' Donuts!
 

Cardinal

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I am still waiting for El Guapo to put on Birkenstocks and hemp clothing, get his tongue pierced, and let his java addiction lead him to open a combination feminist bookstore, gun shop, and coffeeshop.
 

Mud Princess

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Michael Stumpf said:
I am still waiting for El Guapo to put on Birkenstocks and hemp clothing, get his tongue pierced, and let his java addiction lead him to open a combination feminist bookstore, gun shop, and coffeeshop.

Now THAT would be one for the "Weird Businesses" thread!
 

Wannaplan?

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jordanb said:
One thing though, how the **** did they get so popular?
Perhaps good coffee and fast service? If the coffee is good and the service fast, I'll spend my money at that coffee shop. Nothing like the coffee shop where the staff takes an eternity to operate th espresso machine. If you sell coffee, the you oughta be able to operate the equipment in an efficient manner.
 

Habanero

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Repo Man said:
I have wondered about that Barista coffee maker...is it any good? I have been searching for the ultimate coffee maker so I can reproduce that coffe-house coffee flavor.
It's got a cone filter so water filters through and picks up more of the coffee flavors. Also, it doesn't have a burner to keep the coffee hot (no scorching), it's a carafe, and I've notcied after making coffee at 7.a.m. it's still hot when I get home at 6 p.m. It has the digital timer so you can set it up to make coffee for you and once it's done brewing it shuts off (great for those of us with half a brain functioning int he morning rush).

I've also heard good things about the Capresso machines, but my one complaint is they do have burners so it can scorch coffee.
 

PlannerGirl

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Tea has become the rage in the DC area, try Teaism in Dupont or there are a couple oriental places in G'town

oh my GOD its soooooo good
 
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