My relationship with you up until this point has been blissful and untried. You pick me up when I am at my lowest. You push me forward when I feel as though I cannot continue. You are there for me no matter the time of day. You are warm and sweet. But, Starbucks, I am beginning to have doubts about what we have together.
My life came to a screeching halt on June 2nd of this year. It was on this day that I learned that for the last four years of my life I have been drinking bad coffee. Dr. Leo gave a lecture on coffee production, and as it turns out, coffee is grown all over the world- not sent by airmail directly from the gods. This means that there are flavor variations that occur naturally in every cup. As a business student, I know that when people order a good or service from a business twice, they expect its quality to be consistent. If people go to Starbucks and get a delicious cup of coffee one time and a bitter cup the next, they might not come back for a third cup (or jug in my case).
In an effort to control the quality of each cup, Starbucks BURNS THEIR COFFEE. This way, you cannot detect the subtle flavor variations over the taste of ash, smoke, and lies.
This is the kind of business practice that makes the good people at Sandy Coffee cringe. We toured their facility while they were in the process of roasting one batch of their coffee. We learned that coffee roasting is an art. It takes about 17 minutes to roast each batch. During the first 15 minutes, the person watching the the coffee is free to move around the facility and attend to other things, but in the minutes following, they watch the coffee like a hawk so as not to over-roast. When the coffee is done it should be dark brown, but not black. It should also not be completely dried out. In the two weeks following the roasting process it is allowed to sit in the factory during which time it continues to change chemically and release more oil.
There is a fine line between being fully roasted, and being burned. Evidently, Starbucks finds that line and crosses it. Even still, Starbucks, you have been my constant companion. I know that after I leave Italy, I will come back to you. Your Italian counterpart is better in every way, but you are always right around the corner when I need you.
Starbucks, even though you are flawed, I love you. A latte.
- Emma G