Starbucks has managed to turn its brand into a grownup’s version of a toy store, selling everything the over-18 yuppie set loves best: caffeine, jazz-infused compilation CDs, an attitude of superiority, and now, as part of its valiant attempt to take over the world, alcohol. Keep reading »
Is there any nation more obsessed with its morning coffee ritual than the United States? Once you admit to yourself that you’re a caffeine addict (you probably are), check out this map of American coffee chains so you know exactly who is profiting off your problem. Not surprisingly, Starbucks (the little green dots) have vomited all over the map, but that doesn’t mean it dominates every region. Dunkin Donuts and Tim Hortons take over a huge chunk of the country too. The map brings up a couple questions, though. West Coast, how are you surviving without the amazingness that is Dunkin Donuts? What on earth are Dutch Brothers and BLENZ? I’ve never heard of them. Are they better than Starbucks (I’m guessing yes)? Personally, Caribou Coffee is my favorite, though I’m not from Minnesota. For a closer look, you can see maps of individual companies here. [Gizmodo, Flowing Data]
Raise your hand if you’re a caffeine addict just like I am? (I’m guessing that’s about 99 percent of us, right?) If we are ready to be slightly horrified at our behavior, UpCoffee, a new app by the life-tracking wristband folks at Jawbone, explains exactly how much caffeine you consume each day. The app hopes to make it easier for users to understand how caffeine effects our quality of sleep and ascertain that the latte or latte they guzzled a few hours ago won’t keep them awake. Keep reading »
Parody twitter feeds are one thing, but opening a parody business takes spoofing to a whole new level. A store called Dumb Starbucks opened this weekend in Los Angeles. Everything about the coffee shop is identical to a real Starbucks except the coffee is free and everything — including the menu and the CDs — has the word “dumb” in front of it. Although no one is taking credit for the “work of art parody,” a FAQ letter that hung inside Dumb Starbucks claimed that legally, the space is not coffee shop but an art gallery:
“The ‘coffee’ you’re buying is considered the art. But that’s for our lawyers to worry about. All you need to do is enjoy our delicious coffee!”
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Hanging out in a coffee shop is always a double-edged sword. On the upside, you get to eavesdrop on the conversations of other patrons. On the downside, you get to eavesdrop on the conversations of other patrons. When the people sitting next to you are engaged in an entertaining interaction like, say, a first date, it’s basically free admission to a live, awkward rom com. But if the people are discussing something boring or annoying, for example, the pros and cons of lining your fireplace with Moravian tiles, well, it’s excruciating. Below, the 10 most annoying conversations that I’ve overheard at the coffee shop…within the past hour.
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Oh, the irony. Leave it to the French to come up with a way to put an end to rude customers. we all know it’s easy to be ornery before you’ve had your morning caffeine infusion, but the the Petite Syrah café in Nice has developed a brilliant way to condition their customers not to be assholes: you pay based on your attitude. Ordering “a coffee, please” and accepting it with a “thank you” will run you about $1.95, while just asking for “a coffee” will bump your cost up to almost $10. That’s nearly an $8 incentive to be polite! Coffeehouse owner, Fabrice Pepino started the shop’s politeness payment policy as a joke, but he says it caught on with the clientele:
“I know people say that French service can be rude but it’s also true that customers can be rude when they’re busy. It’s our way of saying ‘keep calm and carry on…. What started out as a joke to poke fun at the stressed-out lunchtime crowd has had an amazing effect on people’s politeness levels…Most of my customers are regulars and they just see the funny side and exaggerate their politeness.They started calling me ‘your greatness’ when they saw the sign.”
We can only hope that Starbucks takes note and follows suit. [Gawker]
Ever wonder why sometimes your morning cup of coffee leaves you totally energized while other days it seems like it does absolutely nothing? I certainly have, and it’s driven me crazy. Lucky for us, Steven Miller at Gizmodo researched the science behind your caffeine addiction to find out the prime hours for coffee’s effectiveness in your system.
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Just days after 12 people were killed in the Washington Navy Yard shootings, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz penned an open letter to his customers respectfully requesting that they no longer bring guns into their 7,000 coffee shops. The company, which had previously supported by local “open carry” laws, has reversed its stance on firearms due to a recent “open carry” rally gone awry outside of a San Antonio store and some kerfuffles between pro and anti-gun activists. Read an excerpt from Schultz’s letter after the jump. Keep reading »