Starbucks move into instant coffee market

Is it actually possible to find a good shot?

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Postby bruceb » Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:51 pm

Aadje wrote:
[...] their business is making money.

As any capitalist company, I would say.


Yes, of course, Aadje. At the same time it is possible, on a smaller scale, to do both. Every one of us probably knows many places that manage to do both. But on the level that Starbucks does business it isn't really possible. Pretending you can make an instant coffee that is indistinguishable from freshly brewed shows where their priorities are and they're not in the cup.
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Postby Aadje » Wed Feb 18, 2009 3:34 pm

Well said.
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Postby mattmills » Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:16 pm

I know a lot of people have been saying that Starbucks have sold their soul doing this, but if you look at it, it is an intersting move.
It has been widly reported that we will see an increase in the in home market, allowing people to save money, and we are also seeing a decrease in the of coffee shop consumption in the emerging markets.
With this in mind it is quite a sensible move, as they need to try and ensure that their coffee gets into the home rather than just the coffee shops.

The funniest thing of all of this is that the UK has been put into the same catagory as the developing markets, certainly in appreciation of coffees.
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Postby CakeBoy » Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:50 pm

We are such troglodytes! :lol:
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Postby Carl » Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:59 pm

Chicago Tribune: "Critics say the move smells of desperation

... which may be better than the coffee :twisted:
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Postby ianboughton » Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:11 am

The Guardian (here : http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/ ... ks-instant ) has been far less polite than I ttried to be!

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Postby bruceb » Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:29 am

Whooosh! That is some review. My favourite line is "You might as well be drinking green tea."

Oh my, it looks like Britain really is not ready for Starbucks, regardless of what they produce. :? :lol:
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Postby CakeBoy » Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:35 am

The Times was less than complimentary in the printed edition yesterday too :)
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Postby triptogenetica » Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:09 pm

mmmm, green tea...

I think you'd be better off drinking this, not just "might as well". By a long way.

I should own up, I do like my green tea. In the home, looseleaf tea is a superior product to most other hot drinks you get from cupboard-and-kettle.

Joking aside - this is totally about getting their product into the home. Which is pretty new for them, so I'd expect the hype to outpace the product. I'd agree it shows where their interests lie, though.

'Not in the cup' - couldn't put it better myself.

(as an aside, I did have some starbucks-in-the-home a while ago. A bag of their beans, whole beans (!), roasted to v v shiny. A supermarket was selling them off.

The espresso from that actually made excellent tiramisu. But I doubt most of their customers would have had a grinder at home, or the patience, or the urge to make a dessert, not a beverage - the supermarket knew it, and just wanted to shift the stuff).
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Postby Eschatologist » Sat Feb 21, 2009 7:12 pm

I know a lot of people have been saying that Starbucks have sold their soul


Wait, what. They have souls now? I couldn't care less what they do, honestly. For a multitude of reasons they feel the need to expand into instant coffee; since their product is almost indistinguishable from instant coffee anyway, I fail to see why this is even news-worthy. Though I am by no means an expert in all things SB, I seem to remember hearing that when they first started (back in the 80's?), that they actually gave a shit about coffee; this has not been the case for a while now.

Good things about SB (I can think of two, from the top of my head): they helped poplularize coffee drinking; and they provide much needed employment to thousands of people (frequently students, travellers and migrants who need money and don't fancy working in MacD's).

Often bruited as a good thing. 'at least they are consistant: they taste the same the world over'. To which I leave you with the immortal words of Bill Hicks (who was talking about New Kids on the Block at the time), 'Fuck that. Since when have mediocrity and banality been a good role model for your kids?'
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Postby Tinseljim » Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:08 am

I walked into a starbucks and asked if they had any instant coffee. The girl behind the counter looked at me like i was from another planet and said "we don't do instant coffee". I said I had heard that they did and I 'read it on the radio' etc. Then a young guy said do you mean this and then handed me a few small sample packets - the girl looked at them and said "oh, i thought those were sugars".

In a quest to improve the coffee breaks at work (which is fairtrade instant) I bought a nespresso machine cheaply in the hopes that it might outperform instant in a convenient fool proof way.

Anyways i tried all the instant blends head to head with my nespresso machine and have to say nespresso pulled ahead each time!

(btw has anyone else noticed the tasting notes accompanying the nespresso capsules? - "notes of wood and cereal with acidity" - if I was closing my eyes with one ear plugged I would also add "notes of cardboard and stale coffee" - who would buy them based on "notes of cereal"??? the world is going mad yet again)

Both don't come even close to any of the small number of espresso machines I've owned and or aeropress 'shots'. But for the office I'd rather have a cup of acidic wooden cereal than flat stale coffee bilge. But nespresso is really the lesser of two corporate evils taste wise, at least.
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Postby Sico2 » Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:46 pm

For me Starbucks to real coffee is like /\/\cDonald's to healthy, nutritional food.
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Postby Skippy » Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:33 pm

Sounds like they do an espresso version from that review :s But they are a big brand, will no doubt make them a lot of money when this gets onto the supermarket shelves
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Postby leecb » Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:41 pm

nespresso is really the lesser of two corporate evils


I'm sure that there are many "third world" countries that would heartily disagree with you there. It is Nestles aggressive selling of baby milk formulas that has aggravated child malnutrition in many poorer communities where mothers have been led to believe that it is more hygienic and therefore better than the alternative! Because they cannot really afford it they water it down to such a degree that it is completely unsuitable to feed children.
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Postby triptogenetica » Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:03 pm

very true, leecb -

starbucks is often singled out for criticism, very unfairly, when you realize what Nestle, Kraft etc are getting away with...
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