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The new Starbucks affect
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The new Starbucks affect

By Joe Ruvel · December 4th, 2011 · No Comments

I already fell a post behind. Oh well – two posts for tonight.

So I was at work the other day and found myself up against my usual foe, the coffee machine. This “simple” espresso maker makes pretty darn good coffee, but pretty much always seems to need help. I consider it the turtle of coffee makers – on its back and pleading for help. There was no helping it this time. Beans were out, and someone didn’t order anymore. I ask the receptionist where to get a cup of coffee close. The dreaded answer – Starbucks is across the street. I got a cup of Starbucks Pike’s Place blend and went on my way. It was a find cup of coffee. That dreaded burnt, over roasted taste that is usual to most Starbucks coffee was there but mostly subdued. But it was there. It hit me for the first time, that potentially that flavor was totally and completely on purpose.  It wasn’t done to roast all their beans faster or because they are cheap beans, it was done to give Starbucks a distinctive flavor that is all theirs. And people love strong coffee, so you have that going for you too.

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If you start thinking about other beverages, you will find many examples of this. Coke – pretty syrupy if you ask me – but it is definitely coke. And Pepsi is rather different.  In the wine world you get this too. I was watching some local station where they were talking to Ravenswood winery. The owner said something to the affect that every Ravenswood wine will be different, but will have a distinctive Ravenswood taste to it. And they have been doing this for awhile.

It makes sense. You need to make yourself stand out among the pack. So when you grab onto your favorite goto beer next time, think about what is it about that beer that draws you to it. And then enjoy it.

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