Badly? Surely (yes, your goddamn name is Shirley) you know where this is going, especially if you’ve read a post here before. So now I’ll wander off in some direction you don’t care about: coffee. I’ll begin with the topic of beer.
I will only drink your average American mass-produced swill (B, C, B-, C-, ect.; PBR gets a pass, because I genuinely like them) if I’m really thirsty, and it’s free (i.e., post-bike ride, and it’s being handed to me). In other words, if I go somewhere wanting a beer, I will not buy that crap. Just the same, unless I’m about to kill myself after driving across the country for about 15 hours, I will not buy coffee at a truck stop; it’s usually the worst you can find anywhere. Apparently, the employees at these places (you know who you are) are told that as long as you can still see coffee grounds in the filter, they can be reused as many times as you’d like. No, fuckhead.
This rant brings me to Starbucks, where I’ve probably been going with some regularity since about 1998. I don’t just like coffee; I need it. Usually, I do not require more than a cup a day, but that cup needs to be good, sharp, and packed with the happy stuff (caffeine, not fat and sugar). When I say coffee, I mean nothing other than plain old coffee, to which I may add sugar and half and half. I do not mean fluffy bullshit that comes in a plastic cup bursting with whipped fatass propellant, a Slurpee top, and sprinkles. When the addict says smack, he does not mean aspirin, Nyquil, or Benadryl; he wants a needle full of the big-H in his fucking vein, stat! At least 85% of the time, over all these years, in many states throughout the country (as well as the UK), Starbucks has given me what I needed; I’ll leave the 15% failure to typically shitty employees/management you get anywhere (general humanitarian deduction). Peet’s, which I’d prefer, just is not as available, but I’d put them at about 95%, although they are not nearly as common…
This morning, I found myself in Woodland, CA, at about 11:00 in the morning, desperately in need of some caffeine; I’d been up since 5:30, and was really not firing on many of my cylinders; this isn’t to say that Woodland really required them, but to be me… So in desperation, my eyes landed upon a Dutch Brothers Coffee–these places have been popping up all over northern CA, and they’ve even been hyped on a Sacramento morning TV show. I’ve carefully avoided this place, as there is just something that made me think that their coffee would suck; the drive-through focus kind of suggests this, as they are arranged to avoid having disgruntled/analytical customers come back. I couldn’t find a Starbucks, so I gave the place a try; my experience began by not being able to hear the dude/bro who was working the cash register (the ambient tunes were too fucking loud).
I just asked for a medium coffee. It was $2.25, which immediately sucked, since it was 30 cents more than Starbucks. The dude/bro asked me if I’d like sugar/creamer; I said yes, and was unfortunately provided with these things, in the cup, without a visual, by the dude/bro. Suck number two. Before my coffee was ready, I was presented with a large sticker (Dutch Bros Mafia? Really? Fuck who?) and a schedule of future special purchase days, whereupon I was invited to return to spend more money on crap I didn’t want. Awesome, dude/bro. I was then provided a cup of coffee within another cup (no sleeve), with a plastic lid that had a huge nipple on it. Seriously, it was like a high-flow funnel bottom, perfectly round and ready to chug–you could fit a Sharpie though the fucking thing. Unfortunately, I took a sip right off the bat, and found that their urn/bucket was kept at about 300 degrees or so; the big nipple was like a supercharger for burning the fuck out of my mouth. The coffee was also far worse than that which I last experienced at a truck stop somewhere outside of Dallas, TX. It was lighter on discernible coffee flavor than B- is on (advertised) alcohol content. It was essentially dishwater, with an immense marketing push. What else do you idiots do? Do you do it all this badly?
By the way, that fucking lid with the huge nipple on it was mostly dumped (nipple worked great!) out the window of my rolling truck; I did suffer through drinking enough to know that there was more discernible caffeine in a glass of Donald Duck orange juice. I would have consumed all of the fucking swill, out of desperation, but it was just too fucking hot after holding the stupid thing for nearly 15 minutes. I want my money back. I want you fuckers to treat me to an extra-large cup of Peet’s finest. Maybe you can switch to making fries or horse-meat cheeseburgers. Coffee is not your strong suit.
Do one thing and then what? Fail.