Saturday, 11 June 2011

165: The Source of my Frustration

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

I'm currently drinking coffee out of a plain white cardboard cup, with a plain black plastic lid, and a plain brown cardboard holder. Which is to say, I'm not advertising for the man.

Starbucks. This isn't my picture. I'm not doing this. Click the pic for the source page.
( ^^ Not my picture. Click on it to see the source page ^^)

This is because of a choice I made around twenty minutes ago (although sticking it to the man wasn't on my agenda). Awake way too early for a Saturday and at London St. Pancras, I was trying to decide where to get a coffee. I've got a half-full Caffe Nero loyalty card on me, but I couldn't see one of those. The choices within my line of sight were a) Starbucks, and b) Sourced.

The former is a multi-national corporation that a lot of people seem to take issue with. Although to be fair, there have to be more people that don't take issue with them, otherwise they wouldn't have such a profitable business. I frequently hear people grumbling about the mega-corp, although I never seem to catch what's so bad about them. There aren't babies in their coffee, are there? They don't, like, get orphans to pick the beans or some such thing? I'm not being facetious (well…), I honestly don't know what the deal is. As much as I love coffee, I'm certainly no expert, and as chance would have it, I've never been to Starbucks. There's no agenda behind that, it's just the way things have played out. Anyway, I've still never been there. I went for the other option.

This was a deli/bakery/coffee shop called Sourced. A delightful mishmash of ethically sourced and fair-trade goods, with a (no doubt carefully constructed) rustic layout to the open store to give it that continental-market feel. The young lady that served me was very polite and quite cheery (in fact, cheery to the point that when she spoke to other staff members in her regular voice, you're left in no doubt as to how false the cheeriness was). The coffee wasn't too badly priced for central London, and tastes pretty good. I wouldn't call it large, though. Even though I could see it was the biggest of the cup sizes they hold. And while I don't expect the guy actually making the coffee to do so with a skip and a whistle, it'd be nice if he put a bit of effort into it. It seems to have escaped his attention that the establishment he works for is in a train station. His customers, generally, are on their way somewhere. They haven't casually strolled into St Pancras station for a leisurely coffee, and to see his disinterested face…

Anyway, this business of Evil Corporation vs Ethical Co-Operative wasn't what made me choose David over Goliath. The queue was shorter. I think I fucking know why, now. Had Sourced been the only option, you wouldn't be reading this blog entry. But, as so often in life, it's the things we don't do that we end up regretting.

My need for frightening amounts of caffeine outweighs any liberal sensibilities I may have. At least the people working in Starbucks realise they're there to make coffee. They don't have to like it, they just have to get on and grind the beans to wake me up. The next time I'm faced with the choice (and barring the presence of a Caffe Nero), I'll give Starbucks a go. Then you'll probably be reading me moaning about how they managed to muff up a large white Americano with an extra shot.

Damn, I've finished my coffee.
See? I told you this would happen.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

No comments:

Post a Comment