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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

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,536
Points
30
PlannerGirl said:
Tea has become the rage in the DC area, try Teaism in Dupont or there are a couple oriental places in G'town

There is an awesome teahouse on Belmont in Portland that has been around since... 1996 or 1997 I think. It's called Tao of Tea and is a wonderful, relaxing place. We also have a new tea place a few blocks from city hall here in St. Albert, but it's not quite as good...
 

Wulf9

Member
Messages
922
Points
22
I roast my own coffee (in the back yard -- makes lots of smoke). It's pretty easy, and even a bad batch tastes better than premium coffee house coffee.

I roast with a hot air popcorn popper. I have a whirly blade grinder and a Barista brewer -- not what the coffee purists would recommend, but it works.

Prior to the upscale coffeehouse phenomenon, I used to frequent Portofino's in Pacific Grove - a dank cellar with mismatched tables and candles that nearly expired every time the door opened. It went under as soon as the "clean" coffee houses with formica table tops and bright lights started to pop up like mushrooms in a stable. A great loss.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,545
Points
25
Do you actually grow the beans or can you buy them unroasted?

There is a place in Milwaukee, Alterra, where you can drink coffee at a cafe that is located in the roasting factory, the smell is heaven if you are a coffee lover.
 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
7,452
Points
36
not a coffee drinker, but my friends are

I, myself, and not a big coffee drinker, though I do enjoy the occasional cup...I'm more selective with my vices. However, I do like to go to coffee houses mainly because I like the people. I can tell you from experience that people frequenting the local shop are more relaxed and friendly than at a sterile Starbucks.

On an interesting side note...
I live in San Marcos, a city of about 35,000 full-time residents and 26,000 college students. The only place serving Starbucks in the city, that I know of, is the sad excuse for a coffee stand in the university student center. Habanero may correct me on this. I find that funny since some of you have three or more in a city of 9,000. Somebody at Starbucks isn't doing their market research! There are six or seven independent operations in San Marcos, many of which have live music, poetry reading/slamming, etc. The best characteristic of independent coffee houses is how unique each one is. You can get regional flavors like "taste of Abilene" and "Bobcat Brew". If you ever swing through Abilene, Texas, grab a cup of the "Taste of Abilene", it's the best I've ever had, including Europe. Of course, first you have to find a reason to swing through Abilene...
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,300
Points
44
The wife & I serve freshly ground Starbucks in our convenience store/deli. We buy the beans at Costco.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,069
Points
34
In a college town of 14,000, with 45,000 people within ten miles of the city center, we have two places with a full coffee set-up. One (coffee and tanning salon) is rarely open by 9:00 AM. The other (coffee, tanning, and laundry), has better hours and serves Ancora coffee. Neither offers either the atmosphere, or even the opportunity to sit and drink in the shop.
 

Wulf9

Member
Messages
922
Points
22
A good online source for unroasted coffee beans is www.sweetmarias.com. They have a store in Emeryville CA. I usually get my beans at a roastery in Ukiah - about 30 minutes away.
 

martini

Cyburbian
Messages
678
Points
19
I voted for the Bean...

That being said though:

Burn bucks
four bucks
char bucks

you get the idea...

I'd rather go local, no question. All the $tarbucks stores look the same. Homogony is not good. I like different.
 

Greenescapist

Cyburbian
Messages
1,167
Points
24
Yeah, I hear everyone's quibbles about Starbucks. I wouldn't go near that place in college when I was anti-big business and idealistic. But, now I go there all the time. If I have the option to go to a good, local coffeeshop, I will choose it over Starbucks any day. I like really strong coffee and they sell nice teas. Where I work out in the western suburbs of Boston, the coffee choices boil down to Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks. I like really strong, bitter coffee, so I choose Starbucks.

For those of you who wondered how you can make good, coffeeshop coffee at home, get a tea kettle, bean grinder and a french press - it makes perfect coffee.
 

Jessie-J

Cyburbian
Messages
384
Points
12
Flipnotics in Austin, Texas is my favortie coffee spot. The atmoshpere is perfect and the coffee is delicioso!

(nice shady outside deck on a hot summer day with an iced caramel latte, one of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon!)
 

Miles Ignatius

Cyburbian
Messages
367
Points
12
Is There Life Before Coffee?

I'm with Dan; being in Denver, I try to patronize the independents like Common Grounds in West Highlands, Penny Lane in Boulder, and our local chain, Peaberry's.

I do patronize Starbucks when I can't get close to the locals...they have broadened the scope of good coffee availability so I don't have to resort to the swill @ 7-11.
 

bocian

Cyburbian
Messages
212
Points
9
Starbacks - funny I was just in Chicago last week, going to Midway airport on the South Side - and there it WAS, on the crner of.. Cicero and 55th Street - it just looked so out of place there (Starbacks) ... Between old factories and warehouses and identical boring houses, there it was - the sign that something might be "cooking" in the neighborhood - gentrification on the SW side of Chicago, by Midway airport -now for christ that's something that even scares ME...

Well, I stay away from coffee, but I seroiusly overdose on tea everyday... Any advice on how to break a habit (or should I just not worry about it and continue to drink up to 10 cups of tea a day.... see told you it was seroius...)?
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,225
Points
25
Biocian - Much of chicago is gentrifing, not just the north end. I went down to MLK at around 45th last weekend and was very impressed with the area, still very depressed and blighted, but certianly on the upswing. I've not been around Midway recently, but I would not be at all suprised if it were gentrifing as well, especially with the Orange Line nearby.
 

bocian

Cyburbian
Messages
212
Points
9
Yes, it seems that the whole area from Pilsen, Chinatown and south of downtown along the lakefront all the way to the University of Chicago will be gentrified quite soon...

I was just surprised about the Midway area since the are is still in the industrial, not "post"-industrial mode, and the niose levels are just terrible around there..
 
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