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Really Good Coffee Fast – Starbucks!

Really good coffee fast – Starbucks The first time I ever saw a Starbucks label in the mid 90’s I was intrigued.  I was on the road driving to Florida with my daughter and I wanted coffee but not hot coffee.  I stopped into a convenient store somewhere on the east coast-maybe North Carolina and there was a Starbucks Frappuccino.   Honestly, I didn’t know what a  Frappuccino was but I did know what a cappuccino was and I love cappuccino so I bought it.  Thus began my passion for Starbucks.My first impression when I saw the Starbucks label and drank my first Frappuccino, was that this company was going to soar.  I immediately began to look for Starbucks.  I didn’t always find it and I remember being dissappointed.When the first Starbucks opened in Manhattan sometime in the early to mid nineties I was elated. I was working in Manhattan and hated convenient store coffee and I was not about to carry a thermos to work with me even though I was drinking Gevalia coffee at home and really liked it.  Starbucks fast became my favorite whenever I could get it.Of course, I knew nothing about Pike Place Market in Seattle or the fact that Alfred Peet had begun a roasting operation in California.  I had no idea what was happening in the world of coffee which was exploding on the west coast.  All I knew was what tasted good to me and that I wanted more Starbucks.  I had no idea what was coming….Now a lot of people out there who know really good coffee; they know good beans, they know stale, they know the crema and the finer elements of a primo cup of espresso; some of those people say Starbucks is not what it was and that it is becoming the McDonalds of coffeehouses.   That may all be true.  But, depending on your scale of comparison, I’d say that Starbucks is still the best cup of coffee, latte, espresso or cold blended coffees you can find anywhere in a hurry on the highway or almost anywhere you go.  When I see a Starbucks sign, I know I am getting a good tasting latte and that if I don’t like it they will make me another or use a different coffee to make me happy.  I know that.Since my first Frappuccino in the mid 90’s I have become much more of a coffee connoiseur and I have made a point of looking for and drinking the best coffee I can find in my travels across America.  Frequently, without fail, when there is nothing else but convenient store or diner coffee around, there is a huge green star and Starbucks is welcoming me for a break from driving, a clean and comfortable place to relax and refresh, and a feeling of home no matter what state I am in.  I love that, and further more, I count on that.It didn’t take long for me to replace Frappuccino’s with Starbucks Doubleshots.  The Doubleshots in the can were convenient for traveling with and I could pack half a dozen cans to take with me in the days when Starbucks locations were harder to come by. I still like to have a supply for traveling. First thing in the morning in a strange city where I haven’t yet had time to look around the Doubleshot takes care of my coffee needs.  I just don’t drink hotel coffee anymore unless it is Starbucks. Most of the time I really do prefer it hot.Since the nineties I have come to enjoy French Roast, Kona, and Kenya coffee beans.  I like it fresh ground and fresh period. I like my coffee strong but not bitter.  Personally,I prefer latte because it is easier on my stomach than black or espresso.  My guy loves a Dopio or Americano and after all he was a barista and  he says he can’t really enjoy the finer flavors of the crema when he adds cream.The Starbucks EnvironmentIn my opinion Starbucks has raised the standard for coffee houses and coffee stores in America in all ways.  Since Starbucks came on the scene I have become very spoiled.  When I walk into a Starbucks I expect to find beautiful leather chairs and wood tables and cozy little tables for two or three with coffee art from around the world and beautiful ceramic coffee cups along with other supplies for the at home barista.When I walk into the occasional-very occasional- Starbucks which is worn and not so clean and inviting; it feels strange and weird and wrong to me. I notice it  immediately and wonder what is wrong that this should have occurred. In other words, it is completely out of the norm.   That is when I find myself wanting to travel the country for Starbucks making sure that the standard they have established is maintained in all their stores.That folks, is what happens when you set the standard.  People get it and they expect it.  Nationally, there is no doubt that Starbucks did create a standard for coffee stores that taught us what we could have and expect.  Even though others have followed that model really well and in some cases even outdone it, Starbucks does it largely and consistently. They make it look easy but it isn’t.Starbucks Commitment to ExcellenceAnother aspect of Starbucks that makes them a leader in American business and in the coffee specialty business is their customer service. I am actually a customer service corporate trainer and I specifically pay attention to customer service when I travel.  After having been in hundreds of Starbucks stores I can honestly say they have consistently the best customer service of any large retail chain of any kind that Ihave ever been in. And no, I did not do their customer service training. They do it extremely well.Starbucks employees are clearly well trained to make customers priority one.  They consistently greet and smile and welcome their customers in a way that feels authentic and good to the customer rushing through the door in their busy morning, afternoon, or evening.  Only a couple of times-out of hundreds-have I ever found Starbucks employees too busy gossiping to really pay attention to me and my order in the usual manner.  That is such rare behavior that I even remember the store.   Starbucks employees are exceptionally well trained and I believe that they genuinely love their work.  You can’t fake that kind of authenticity 99% of the time.Starbucks is one of the top 100 corporations in America to work for out of hundreds of thousands.  That is no accident.  It takes a strong commitment to excellence to be in the top 100 companies in American business to work for. I don’t know about you but that impresses me.As you can see my enthusiasm for Starbucks and what they have created across the country is unwavering.  As a road warrior, I expect to stop at a Starbucks and be able to count on relaxing in a comfortable, homey chair, with great tunes playing in a clean environment and to enjoy a great cup of really good coffee or in my case a delicious latte breveThat is how I relax on the road. Like most road warriors, I am always glad to see a Starbucks sign wherever I go, to get Really Good Coffee Fast – Starbucks!

Really Good Coffee Fast – Starbucks!

Really good coffee fast – Starbucks The first time I ever saw a Starbucks label in the mid 90’s I was intrigued.  I was on the road driving to Florida with my daughter and I wanted coffee but not hot coffee.  I stopped into a convenient store somewhere on the east coast-maybe North Carolina and there was a Starbucks Frappuccino.   Honestly, I didn’t know what a  Frappuccino was but I did know what a cappuccino was and I love cappuccino so I bought it.  Thus began my passion for Starbucks.My first impression when I saw the Starbucks label and drank my first Frappuccino, was that this company was going to soar.  I immediately began to look for Starbucks.  I didn’t always find it and I remember being dissappointed.When the first Starbucks opened in Manhattan sometime in the early to mid nineties I was elated. I was working in Manhattan and hated convenient store coffee and I was not about to carry a thermos to work with me even though I was drinking Gevalia coffee at home and really liked it.  Starbucks fast became my favorite whenever I could get it.Of course, I knew nothing about Pike Place Market in Seattle or the fact that Alfred Peet had begun a roasting operation in California.  I had no idea what was happening in the world of coffee which was exploding on the west coast.  All I knew was what tasted good to me and that I wanted more Starbucks.  I had no idea what was coming….Now a lot of people out there who know really good coffee; they know good beans, they know stale, they know the crema and the finer elements of a primo cup of espresso; some of those people say Starbucks is not what it was and that it is becoming the McDonalds of coffeehouses.   That may all be true.  But, depending on your scale of comparison, I’d say that Starbucks is still the best cup of coffee, latte, espresso or cold blended coffees you can find anywhere in a hurry on the highway or almost anywhere you go.  When I see a Starbucks sign, I know I am getting a good tasting latte and that if I don’t like it they will make me another or use a different coffee to make me happy.  I know that.Since my first Frappuccino in the mid 90’s I have become much more of a coffee connoiseur and I have made a point of looking for and drinking the best coffee I can find in my travels across America.  Frequently, without fail, when there is nothing else but convenient store or diner coffee around, there is a huge green star and Starbucks is welcoming me for a break from driving, a clean and comfortable place to relax and refresh, and a feeling of home no matter what state I am in.  I love that, and further more, I count on that.It didn’t take long for me to replace Frappuccino’s with Starbucks Doubleshots.  The Doubleshots in the can were convenient for traveling with and I could pack half a dozen cans to take with me in the days when Starbucks locations were harder to come by. I still like to have a supply for traveling. First thing in the morning in a strange city where I haven’t yet had time to look around the Doubleshot takes care of my coffee needs.  I just don’t drink hotel coffee anymore unless it is Starbucks. Most of the time I really do prefer it hot.Since the nineties I have come to enjoy French Roast, Kona, and Kenya coffee beans.  I like it fresh ground and fresh period. I like my coffee strong but not bitter.  Personally,I prefer latte because it is easier on my stomach than black or espresso.  My guy loves a Dopio or Americano and after all he was a barista and  he says he can’t really enjoy the finer flavors of the crema when he adds cream.The Starbucks EnvironmentIn my opinion Starbucks has raised the standard for coffee houses and coffee stores in America in all ways.  Since Starbucks came on the scene I have become very spoiled.  When I walk into a Starbucks I expect to find beautiful leather chairs and wood tables and cozy little tables for two or three with coffee art from around the world and beautiful ceramic coffee cups along with other supplies for the at home barista.When I walk into the occasional-very occasional- Starbucks which is worn and not so clean and inviting; it feels strange and weird and wrong to me. I notice it  immediately and wonder what is wrong that this should have occurred. In other words, it is completely out of the norm.   That is when I find myself wanting to travel the country for Starbucks making sure that the standard they have established is maintained in all their stores.That folks, is what happens when you set the standard.  People get it and they expect it.  Nationally, there is no doubt that Starbucks did create a standard for coffee stores that taught us what we could have and expect.  Even though others have followed that model really well and in some cases even outdone it, Starbucks does it largely and consistently. They make it look easy but it isn’t.Starbucks Commitment to ExcellenceAnother aspect of Starbucks that makes them a leader in American business and in the coffee specialty business is their customer service. I am actually a customer service corporate trainer and I specifically pay attention to customer service when I travel.  After having been in hundreds of Starbucks stores I can honestly say they have consistently the best customer service of any large retail chain of any kind that Ihave ever been in. And no, I did not do their customer service training. They do it extremely well.Starbucks employees are clearly well trained to make customers priority one.  They consistently greet and smile and welcome their customers in a way that feels authentic and good to the customer rushing through the door in their busy morning, afternoon, or evening.  Only a couple of times-out of hundreds-have I ever found Starbucks employees too busy gossiping to really pay attention to me and my order in the usual manner.  That is such rare behavior that I even remember the store.   Starbucks employees are exceptionally well trained and I believe that they genuinely love their work.  You can’t fake that kind of authenticity 99% of the time.Starbucks is one of the top 100 corporations in America to work for out of hundreds of thousands.  That is no accident.  It takes a strong commitment to excellence to be in the top 100 companies in American business to work for. I don’t know about you but that impresses me.As you can see my enthusiasm for Starbucks and what they have created across the country is unwavering.  As a road warrior, I expect to stop at a Starbucks and be able to count on relaxing in a comfortable, homey chair, with great tunes playing in a clean environment and to enjoy a great cup of really good coffee or in my case a delicious latte breveThat is how I relax on the road. Like most road warriors, I am always glad to see a Starbucks sign wherever I go, to get Really Good Coffee Fast – Starbucks!

Latte Art Videos At Really Good Coffee

Around the world baristas are pouring cup after cup of latte as they practice the art of latte art techniques.

Really Good Coffee co-author Alexandra, has been using the some videos she found in an attempt to surprise her (former barista) partner with the perfect and beautifully artistic latte.  I think you will actually enjoy some of these videos if you are a latte lover and especially if you have an espresso with steam machine at home. 

I think it would be a great idea to create your own video and show us your technique.  Of course after one such session I did end up staying up all night with caffeine jitters and a "wired" brain but I got a lot done and it was fun for this boomer gal who doesn’t normally stay up all night (anymore ;-)).  Yep, those days are pretty much over, but I really did have fun and I got a lot of writing done too when I couldn’t drink anymore latte.  LOL!!

Here are some of the great videos I found at YouTube!

 

Chasing Hearts Alfredo
Zebra Alfredo

 

 

Heart Alfredo

Hopefully, with VALENTINES DAY coming up you can create a beautiful heart full of latte love for your sweetie. 

Have fun and maybe this actually would be a great time to stay up all night!!!   How romantically immature…;-)

Last but not least is this one

 

Melting Heart Latte Art

Another really outrageous romantic idea, if you’d like to do something latte related that costs a bit more than a homemade latte heart, you could buy tickets for two and fly your "Angelove" to Australia for the Gourmet Coffee Institutes Barista Latte Art Workshop.   Now we’re talking Lover!

 

Latte Art Videos At Really Good Coffee

Around the world baristas are pouring cup after cup of latte as they practice the art of latte art techniques.

Really Good Coffee co-author Alexandra, has been using the some videos she found in an attempt to surprise her (former barista) partner with the perfect and beautifully artistic latte.  I think you will actually enjoy some of these videos if you are a latte lover and especially if you have an espresso with steam machine at home. 

I think it would be a great idea to create your own video and show us your technique.  Of course after one such session I did end up staying up all night with caffeine jitters and a "wired" brain but I got a lot done and it was fun for this boomer gal who doesn’t normally stay up all night (anymore ;-)).  Yep, those days are pretty much over, but I really did have fun and I got a lot of writing done too when I couldn’t drink anymore latte.  LOL!!

Here are some of the great videos I found at YouTube!

 

Chasing Hearts Alfredo
Zebra Alfredo

 

 

Heart Alfredo

Hopefully, with VALENTINES DAY coming up you can create a beautiful heart full of latte love for your sweetie. 

Have fun and maybe this actually would be a great time to stay up all night!!!   How romantically immature…;-)

Last but not least is this one

 

Melting Heart Latte Art

Another really outrageous romantic idea, if you’d like to do something latte related that costs a bit more than a homemade latte heart, you could buy tickets for two and fly your "Angelove" to Australia for the Gourmet Coffee Institutes Barista Latte Art Workshop.   Now we’re talking Lover!

 

For Really Good Coffee In Seattle – Have You Tried Lighthouse?

Did you try Lighthouse Roasters while in Seattle for Really Good Coffee because if not you better go back to Seattle ASAP!

My partner, in this coffee lovers romance, has his own tale to tell about Lighthouse Roasters in Seattle but I am getting the jump on him and telling you mine first.  It’s one of those love affair stories that one tells over and over for the sheer satisfaction of the memory.

It’s like this; we pulled into Seattle after driving across country from the east coast about three weeks earlier.  We had worked two back to back week long events in L.A. for a T. Harv Eker seminar called Train the Trainer II and it had been a grueling but life changing two weeks. After that we drove up the coast to San Francisco then on to Washington via Mount Shasta. We had been on the road all night and  I was really excited and looking forward to my first sight of Seattle.  I didn’t know what to expect but I felt like a seven year old in anticipation of Disney World.  Just for the record, I was not disappointed. My first sight of Mt. Rainier was orgasmic.  I am a mountain loving woman. 

Now everyone knows that Seattle is synonomous with coffee.  It’s a fact.  Like many people from the east coast, when I think Seattle and coffee I usually think Starbucks, right?  That’s a tale for another time, but on this occasion I got my comeuppance from a real self made barista. He started driving the back roads of a neat old neighborhood that led us to the smell of coffee roasting that made my body leap for joy in anticipation. 

"Wow!  I smell coffee and I can’t wait to get my hands around a cup!", I all but shouted as we got nearer to the Lighthouse Roasters.  " How do they make it smell so good from blocks away?" I asked. 

"Lighthouse is a microroaster." he said,"you’re in for some really good coffee." Thus began my coffee education in February of 2006.  I think that must have been about two centuries ago. 

Anyway, I was craning my neck looking for an impressive, large, Starbucks type structure when we pulled up to this little coffeehouse that looked like a small neighborhood bar. The scent of the coffee lured me out of my car and into the building where we promptly got into a long line of highly educated caffeine addicts.   I was drinking with my nose as I stood in that line soaking up the scent of freshly roasted coffee beans.  This is heaven, I thought. 

The place wasn’t much to write home about. At that time, it was actually kind of funky to this patron of a hundred Starbucks who was spoiled by big comfy leather chairs and hip coffee art and coffee supplies of all sorts to choose from.  I like Starbucks and I count on Starbucks but this was something different and unique.  I wanted to buy this place and move to Seattle immediately!  I do have love affairs with places and I was in love! 

I felt as though I had discovered – well been led to – a secret treasure hidden in the heart of Seattle for real coffee aficionados and my Honey had just brought lucky me into the loop of the secret inner circle.  I felt really good as I stood there checking out all the people in the packed coffeehouse and waited impatiently for my cup-a-joe. 

Actually it was a rather large latte that they placed in my hands and the first taste was something to write about in my travel diary.  In fact, as I sat there making love to that latte, I wrote in my journal about Lighthouse Roasters and how I would never ever forget this first latte there.  True to my word I have not. 

Sadly, I have yet to get back to Seattle for a rendezvous at Lighthouse on the corner N.43rd and Phinney Ridge in the Fremont District. When you are in Seattle I beg you, dare you, to take the time to check out Lighthouse Roasters and their special brand of espresso, latte, coffee anyway you like it cup of joe.  Oh my. 

I can only say you are in for a treat and you will need to take some home.  In fact, I am due for a shipment of Lighthouse Roasters brand of Really Good Coffee and I am antsy with anticipation.  

 

For Really Good Coffee In Seattle – Have You Tried Lighthouse?

Did you try Lighthouse Roasters while in Seattle for Really Good Coffee because if not you better go back to Seattle ASAP!

My partner, in this coffee lovers romance, has his own tale to tell about Lighthouse Roasters in Seattle but I am getting the jump on him and telling you mine first.  It’s one of those love affair stories that one tells over and over for the sheer satisfaction of the memory.

It’s like this; we pulled into Seattle after driving across country from the east coast about three weeks earlier.  We had worked two back to back week long events in L.A. for a T. Harv Eker seminar called Train the Trainer II and it had been a grueling but life changing two weeks. After that we drove up the coast to San Francisco then on to Washington via Mount Shasta. We had been on the road all night and  I was really excited and looking forward to my first sight of Seattle.  I didn’t know what to expect but I felt like a seven year old in anticipation of Disney World.  Just for the record, I was not disappointed. My first sight of Mt. Rainier was orgasmic.  I am a mountain loving woman. 

Now everyone knows that Seattle is synonomous with coffee.  It’s a fact.  Like many people from the east coast, when I think Seattle and coffee I usually think Starbucks, right?  That’s a tale for another time, but on this occasion I got my comeuppance from a real self made barista. He started driving the back roads of a neat old neighborhood that led us to the smell of coffee roasting that made my body leap for joy in anticipation. 

"Wow!  I smell coffee and I can’t wait to get my hands around a cup!", I all but shouted as we got nearer to the Lighthouse Roasters.  " How do they make it smell so good from blocks away?" I asked. 

"Lighthouse is a microroaster." he said,"you’re in for some really good coffee." Thus began my coffee education in February of 2006.  I think that must have been about two centuries ago. 

Anyway, I was craning my neck looking for an impressive, large, Starbucks type structure when we pulled up to this little coffeehouse that looked like a small neighborhood bar. The scent of the coffee lured me out of my car and into the building where we promptly got into a long line of highly educated caffeine addicts.   I was drinking with my nose as I stood in that line soaking up the scent of freshly roasted coffee beans.  This is heaven, I thought. 

The place wasn’t much to write home about. At that time, it was actually kind of funky to this patron of a hundred Starbucks who was spoiled by big comfy leather chairs and hip coffee art and coffee supplies of all sorts to choose from.  I like Starbucks and I count on Starbucks but this was something different and unique.  I wanted to buy this place and move to Seattle immediately!  I do have love affairs with places and I was in love! 

I felt as though I had discovered – well been led to – a secret treasure hidden in the heart of Seattle for real coffee aficionados and my Honey had just brought lucky me into the loop of the secret inner circle.  I felt really good as I stood there checking out all the people in the packed coffeehouse and waited impatiently for my cup-a-joe. 

Actually it was a rather large latte that they placed in my hands and the first taste was something to write about in my travel diary.  In fact, as I sat there making love to that latte, I wrote in my journal about Lighthouse Roasters and how I would never ever forget this first latte there.  True to my word I have not. 

Sadly, I have yet to get back to Seattle for a rendezvous at Lighthouse on the corner N.43rd and Phinney Ridge in the Fremont District. When you are in Seattle I beg you, dare you, to take the time to check out Lighthouse Roasters and their special brand of espresso, latte, coffee anyway you like it cup of joe.  Oh my. 

I can only say you are in for a treat and you will need to take some home.  In fact, I am due for a shipment of Lighthouse Roasters brand of Really Good Coffee and I am antsy with anticipation.  

 

Really Good Coffee Was the Alfred Peet Legacy

Alfred Peet was the son of a coffee trader in the Netherlands – he grew up in a coffee house.

I remember when he opened his first coffee store – located at Walnut and Vine in my hometown of Berkeley in 1966. It became a success very quickly.

Not long after, the Air Quality Control Board of California came knocking and told him that he could not have a roasting operation in that location.

"What’s the problem with this location?"

"The neighbors are complaining and this is fundamentally a residential neighborhood. You have to move it."

So Mr. Peet had to move the roasting operation to a different location to accomodate them.

At the time, Emeryville (a town adjacent to the south west of Berkeley) was kind of an industrial wasteland with many old warehouses and empty factories – left over from an era when America had been the foremost manufacturing powerhouse in the world. It had not been renovated yet.

Square footage was cheap there and abundent.

So Mr. Peet leased a commercial space in Emeryville, California and set up his roasting equipment. Looking inside the building was this huge warehouse space (relatively speaking) and this little tiny roasting machine way down at the end.

Now he had a roasting facility.

How was he going to pay for it?

He needed a commercial customer to generate the cash flow to accomodate the rent.

Peet’s first commercial roasting customer was a little company in Seattle named Starbucks.

Peets Coffee is a Berkeley icon and has set the standard for really good coffee and quality espresso since.

More about Peets Coffee and Tea.

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