Tag Archive 'verismo'

Automating Mediocrity: The Saeco Syntia Focus Home Espresso Machine, Part II

Posted by TheShot on 23 Oct 2012 | Filed under: Add Milk, Consumer Trends, Home Brew, Machine, Quality Issues, Starbucks

Two months ago we reported on our trials with a superautomatic home espresso machine representing much of the state-of-the-art: the Philips Saeco Syntia Focus. Reading Saeco’s product literature and marketing communications, you’d be led to believe that this machine made “the perfect espresso” every time. But to most people who read our original post two […]

Breaking the Chains: Dispelling the Myth of Consistency at the Big Coffee Chains

Posted by TheShot on 15 Aug 2009 | Filed under: Café Society, Consumer Trends, Quality Issues, Starbucks

One of the things that the big coffee chains do well is consistency. Or at least that’s the conventional wisdom, lifted straight from the fast food chain playbook. A McDonald’s french fry is pretty much the same everywhere, and the coffee served at a big chain is little different. Or so we’ve all been told. […]

Microsoft Unveils Barista Barista Revolution

Posted by TheShot on 18 Jul 2008 | Filed under: Barista, Consumer Trends, Starbucks

We’ve previously posted about the phenomenon of well-heeled consumers paying for the privilege of performing manual labor in food production that our country could otherwise only get illegal immigrants to do. But here’s a new twist on the continued glamorization of the food service industry — yesterday Microsoft announced a new video game for the […]

Starbucks buys Clover, grinds beans, and dumbs down their espresso machines even further

Posted by TheShot on 19 Mar 2008 | Filed under: Machine, Starbucks

We really hate doing Starbucks posts if we don’t have to. After all, Starbucks hasn’t been relevant to quality espresso in over a decade. But if you’ve been following some of the Clover brewer posts here, you may be surprised to learn that Starbucks liked them enough to buy the company: Aroma comeback: Starbucks to […]

A machine with a taste for espresso

Posted by TheShot on 09 Feb 2008 | Filed under: CoffeeRatings.com, Quality Issues

What will those wacky Swiss think up next? Apparently, it’s an espresso-tasting machine: A machine with a taste-for espresso. Yes, it’s the latest invention from the people who brought us yodeling and clandestine overseas bank accounts. But with the Swiss, it’s not all good stuff. They have also brought us brain-dead, monkey-operated, superautomated espresso machines […]

Beverly Tan: Why I F**cking Hate Starbucks

Posted by TheShot on 27 Nov 2007 | Filed under: Machine, Quality Issues, Starbucks

While we’re on the subject of humorous opinions on coffee purveyors… No matter what you might think of Arianna Huffington, you have to admire the cajones to publish today’s op-ed blog piece on The Huffington Post: Beverly Tan: Why I F**cking Hate Starbucks – Living on The Huffington Post. Author Beverly Tan, an admitted and […]

Starbucks, Hershey to offer coffee-flavored chocolate products in the U.S.

Posted by TheShot on 20 Jul 2007 | Filed under: Quality Issues, Starbucks

Starbucks executives bristle at the suggestion that their corporation represents the fast food of coffee. (This despite lamenting memos from the chairman to the contrary.) But when was the last time Starbucks made a corporate decision that favored quality over quantity? Case and point … the new chocolate partnership Starbucks announced this week: Starbucks, Hershey […]

Toronto’s love affair with espresso bars heats up

Posted by TheShot on 18 Jul 2007 | Filed under: Add Milk, Foreign Brew, Machine, Quality Issues

Today’s Toronto Star featured an article on the growth of Toronto area independent coffee shops (many of which call themselves “espresso bars”, per the article): TheStar.com – living – Toronto’s love affair with espresso bars heats up. Toronto now has a mixture of established independent espresso bars and a growing array of newer ones. (A […]

All the King’s Horses, and All the King’s Marketing Consultants…

Posted by TheShot on 06 Mar 2007 | Filed under: Barista, Café Society, Consumer Trends, Machine, Quality Issues, Starbucks

The news of Starbucks‘ death has been greatly exaggerated. That’s all I could think of when reading the media and blogosphere response over the past week to an executive memo written by Starbucks’ founder and corporate chairman, Howard Schultz (as reported here on Feb. 24). In the memo, the founder lamented the loss of Starbucks’ […]

Malabar coffee set to get Geographic Indication mark

Posted by TheShot on 28 Feb 2007 | Filed under: Beans

In the news today from Bangalore, India has applied for a Geographic Indication (GI) for Monsooned Malabar coffee: Malabar coffee set to get GI brand : Malabar Coffee, Monsooned Malabars, Geographic Indication mark, GI : IBNLive.com : CNN-IBN. Some love the stuff, others can’t stand its “funkiness” at times. Whatever it is, it makes a […]

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