I’m here to beg you to make your own coffee when you can. You’ll save money and drink better.
Not to single out any one company, but Starbucks is utter garbage: the McDonald’s of the coffee world. Most chains aren’t much better, and neither are “good” restaurants, where a cup of weak, badly made coffee costs the same as five or even 10 cups of good homemade coffee.
Back in 1983, when I worked as a PR flack at Yale New Haven Hospital (I didn’t last long) with the late and sorely missed Gene Cooney, our office had a Mr. Coffee. Mr. Coffee was introduced in 1972 and was a major advance in coffee making. Chemex and Melitta already existed, but they weren’t in common use; in fairness, they’re too complicated for offices. At that point, much of America still depended on percolators, which make a special kind of coffee that one can come to love, but which can’t be considered “good.” Away from home, we mostly relied on vending machines that dispensed what are accurately called “coffee-like drinks.”
No matter the system, if you follow conventional manufacturers’ instructions, you mostly get weak coffee. If you use Maxwell House in a can or the like, you mostly get weak, lousy coffee. That was the situation at our office in 1983. But Gene and I figured out that if you used double the amount of coffee everyone in the office was accustomed to, you produced rocket fuel — high-potency bad coffee — which is much better than low-potency bad coffee, in the same way that bad whiskey is better than bad beer: It more efficiently achieves the same goal. In this case, the goal is not flavor but caffeine delivery, although cream and sugar can make anything taste good. (I can still hear Gene, on deadline: “Mark, I think you’d better fire us up some rocket fuel.”)
Gene and I figured out that if you used double the amount of coffee everyone in the office was accustomed to, you produced rocket fuel.
Things have not changed that much: Starbucks has marketed their way into convincing you that you have to stand in line and…