Last week, the Contra Costa Times published an article announcing the Bay Area arrival of McDonald’s specialty coffee drinks: McDonald’s new coffee drinks ignite breakfast wars – Of course, none of this info is really new, so we’re a bit perplexed over how someone can “ignite” something with a two-year-long fuse. But the article cites some local coffee lovers who didn’t find McDonald’s specialty coffee drinks up to the task.

Is anyone surprised? We already have the McDonald’s of specialty coffee: it’s called Starbucks.

The article also highlighted one of the more ridiculous aspects of the consumer marketing industry: the art of packaging everything as a “solution”. Quoting Matthew Ramerman, principal of HL2, a Seattle-based advertising agency that focuses on restaurant chains: “Consumers have been saying ‘I’m looking for a breakfast solution.'” Huh?!

Perhaps has missed this all along: all we’re really looking for is an espresso solution. It reminds me of an old joke I used to tell my marketing friends: “It’s not a chair, it’s a seating solution.”

The reporter also interviewed Michaele Weissman, author of a forthcoming book called God in a Cup: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Coffee. Which, curiously enough, sounds a lot like like last month’s release of Instaurator’s The Espresso Quest, proving just how difficult it is to come up with an original idea.

We received our copy of The Espresso Quest in the mail from Australia a couple weeks back and are still well behind posting a book review here any time soon. But stay tuned… Miracles can happen.