mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Now that's using your bean....

Last week, when I was driving to New Jersey, I had an unusual experience. I bought a cup of coffee, and it tasted really bad. Actually, it didn't taste like much of anything, mostly like water with a hint of burnt. Granted, this was at a gas station/truck stop near Harrisburg (which did sell some tasty Stuckey's Pecan Logs), but I've had lots of decent coffee from gas stations

It's actually hard to find a bad cup of coffee these days - even 7-11 or your average fast food place has a pretty decent joe. Besides the Harrisburg Hess, the only other places I can think where I got notably bad brew was at Hamfests, but since they are usually elderly people using the kind of 50-cup perculators that your grandma probably has in her basement, that's not really surprising.

I credit Starbucks. Sure, lots of people don't like Starbucks, with the usual complaints that it's too burnt or overroasted, or that Starbucks is an evil corporate monopoly that wants to take over the world. Being the evil capitalist that I am, I'm all for corporations taking over the world, especially if MadAnthony gets a decent cup of coffee and the occasional Frappachino Lite out of the deal.

But even if you don't like Starbucks - if you prefer the service or ambiance or coffee of your local coffee shop, or if you would rather go to Dunkin' Donuts or WaWa or whatnot for your brew (or you are a cheapass and brew it at home like me) you have to give Starbucks credit for making people more used to good coffee, for raising the level of coffee awareness, for making people demand that their local c-store have 43 different varieties of java. Technology has helped - better coffee pots, grind-and-brew systems, those little pouches with premeasured coffee so that people can't screw up and put in too much or too little - but the technology has come about because people have demanded it. And I think people have demanded it because Starbucks has made people demand.


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