I was at Starbucks the other day, standing in line ready to order my usual, Vente (which means large in Starbuck code) and room for Half n Half. I noticed they raised the price to two dollars and seventy-five cents. As a society we have excepted that a simple cup of java has reached extortion level pricing. What should only cost twenty-five cents is now jacked up in cost by adding presentation and performance which increases our beverage price ten-fold. The proof of this presents itself when you buy their coffee at the grocery store and brew it at home. It turns out that the cost of two large cups of coffee bought at a Starbucks shop is equal to about fifty cups brewed at home. My point here is that, when you go into a Starbucks or some other chain, it’s not about coffee. You are paying for the surroundings, the sights, the smells and the sounds of patrons reeling off silly concoctions to a Barista. Barista is a term that never existed before all of this nonsense began with chain coffee shops. You have to watch the all-mighty barista conjure up everybody’s beverage while you stand there asking yourself, “why do I always end up here?” I’d rather have a lady named Betsy wearing her waitress uniform pour me unlimited dollar coffee. Call me cheap or old fashioned but deep down you agree with me, but a mass of the population can’t help ordering a “Grande soy latte with a pump of caramel. That will be five fifty please!”
Yes, a latte or a cappuccino cost you more than a gallon of gas and won’t get you as far. You see folks fueling up with enormous amounts of caffeine before they can get into traffic. This mix of frustration and a stimulating liquid results in bad decisions made behind the wheel. Have you looked at the drivers in the diamond lane during commute time? There are a lot of drivers giving the big middle finger to the requirements of the commuter lane. There is the usual offering of electric and hybrid cars but when you see a truck with a camper shell come barreling down the road with one lone driver you figure either that guy is late for work or he really has to pee.
We love our coffee and along with all our prescription drugs, diet aids, sleeping tablets, boner pills and a vast array of mind-altering substances. Where is all this leading us? Starbucks figured it out a long time ago. Give the public a place to meet with soft lighting, swanky music and have youngsters with nose rings serve you. It all seems so harmless while you get hooked on the whole show. That will be two bucks for your tall coffee which is really their smallest coffee. See how it works? Reality is distorted but you except it.