Tag-Archive for » Starbucks «

This article pretty much reflects what Roger was ranting about a few months ago…

Coffee shops were the retail pioneers of Wi-Fi, flipping the switch to lure customers. But now some owners are pulling the plug. They’re finding that Wi-Fi freeloaders who camp out all day nursing a single cup of coffee are a drain on the bottom line. Others want to preserve a friendly vibe and keep their establishments from turning into “Matrix”-like zombie shacks where people type and don’t talk.

That shift could gather steam now that free Wi-Fi is less of a perk after coffee giant Starbucks stopped charging for it last month.

“There is now a market niche for not having Wi-Fi,” said Bryant Simon, a Temple University history professor and author of “Everything but the Coffee: Learning About America From Starbucks.”

via Coffeehouses unplugging Internet access to reconnect with customers – latimes.com.

I was sitting at a local Starbucks yesterday afternoon with my laptop in tow, a question occurred to me.  Has the modern day coffee shop taken away a social culture?

As I sat there sipping my coffee, I looked around and saw how many people were like me, taking advantage of the WiFi there and not so much being there for the coffee. This is definitely not the way it was or the way we see it on TV shows like Friends or Seinfeld where a group of friends would gather at a local coffee shop to engage in meaningful or meaningless conversation and enjoy a cup of coffee together. Instead, a new culture has been created where the norm seems to be engaging in conversation through an instant messaging service of some sort rather than with someone a couple of feet away.

What’s the worst part of all of this? I went to a coffee shop to use the Internet and I really can’t recall if the coffee was good or not… My suggestion to us all is that the next time we want to visit a coffee shop, try bringing a friend instead of your laptop.

Paul Martinetti writes:

“Yesterday I bought a Capresso Infinity grinder at Williams-Sonoma for $140. They will refund me if it doesn’t grind fine or consistent enough for the pump machine..haven’t tried it yet. If it is unsatisfactory I will look into the Rancillio.”

Later, he reports:

“I’m pleased with the grinder’s consistency and fineness. The dark oily beans ground in the extra-fine settings stalled my La Pavoni, but the fine settings are perfect. Most important it lets me pull a great decaf for my wife, because it grinds more fine than the Turkish setting at my local Starbucks.

The reviews were accurate that it is tough to clean. There is a groove between the spinning disk and the well wall that is impossible to clean thoroughly. The blunt teeth on the disk push ground coffee out the shoot, but the fine grounds cake up easily and cling to every surface. It’s also a bit clumsy scooping the powdery fine ground coffee from the collection bin to load the portafilter. And I think the motor spins a bit too fast to allow beans to easily drop into the burrs in extra fine settings, beans bounce around quite a bit.

Overall I’m pleased not to have to buy ground coffee, and the improved flavor seems worth the extra cleaning effort. If I were to upgrade grinders I would want an improved dispenser for the ground coffee, and a machine that cleans thoroughly in less time.”

Hmmm…you might want to check this out. It seems cheap from Amazon.