We, especially those of us in the good ol’ U S of A, love convenience. We’ve been raised believing that convenience is the sign of world domination. As long as we can get ours, fast (and at a reasonable cost), we’re leading the world. After all, it’s important that we get what we need, whether gas, breakfast-in-a-bag, or our drive-through venti iced soy mocha. That’s how I know we’re winning the war on terror.
Speaking of convenience and coffee, last night I ran a quick errand to our local Target, with the convenient Starbucks just inside the door. I needed some coffee beans, and rather than having to drive a couple of miles out of my way to go to my regular dealer, here was one right in front of me as I came through the check-out!
So, I drifted over to the bean display, and was glad to find the variety I was looking for. I took my selections to the girl at the counter, told her how I wanted them ground (ok, so I’m really lazy), and then I realized the true cost of convenience. These pocket-sized Starbucks, as convenient as they may be, are no substitue for a real, full-sized store. If anything, they are Starbucks “light.”
On one other occasion I had dared purchase a bag of beans at this particular store, and as is my usual habit, requested the beans be ground for a paper cone filter. I’ve done it for years. The girl replied, “what’s that?” I knew I was in for trouble, and I was right.
So, I should have known better, but again, this was convenient. Besides, I had carefully examined the machines at the other Starbucks, and now knew which setting I wanted the beans ground on. So, I walked up to the counter with self-assurance and made my request, only to discover that these mini-stores don’t have the same grinders! Ooops.
Convenience has its costs. You can’t always get what you want. There is no free lunch. And, you can’t get a properly ground bag of coffee at a mini-Starbucks. I think at some point the Starbucks Corp. will have to realize that these “express” are a corporate irresponsibility, and it will cost them… unless, they know the real truth: that their coffee contains a secret addictive ingredient, and they’re assured that you have to have their coffee, no matter how badly the beans are ground.
So, count the cost of convenience. I am, as I sit here typing, drinking my morning coffee made from poorly-ground Sumatra beans. But, I have to go now; my cup is empty.