The London Review of Breakfasts

"Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper." (Francis Bacon)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Starbucks, Anywhere


by H.P. Seuss

I fucking love Starbucks. Say it proud! I fucking love Starbucks and what they have done to coffee drinking in this country. It's fucking great.

Gone are the days of tepid brown piss in a cup. Gone are the days of Nescafé. Fling open that door. Bowl up to the counter. Say: "Get me a venti extra-hot soya milk toffee-nut latte, no cream, extra sprinkles". Say it with conviction and say it with pride. Don't obfuscate. Don't pretend you don't understand the ordering system. Don't be all bashful and go "I just want a cup of coffee". (If you just want a cup of kawffee, you schmuck, you have two choices: filter or Americano. Don't say you don't know what filter coffee is. Americano is espresso plus however much hot water you ask for, you complete dickhead. If you're so offended by global captialism in action, ask for fair-trade coffee. Your friendly barista will be happy to oblige, you lily-livered liberal gimp).

Don't give me that jive about the nice Italian café round the corner. They had it coming. Go to Starbucks instead. Better still go to Starbucks in Borders. Don't give me that jazz about that charming second-hand book store across the street, either. Go to Borders, take whatever magazines you want off the shelves - Heat, Horse & Hound, Home Pornographer, I don't give a shit - and take them all to the in-store Starbucks, where you can peruse them to your heart's content for the price of an eggnog frappuccino. Fetch some books. Bone up on free markets. Read a poem. Meet a friend. Share a skinny choc-chip muffin. Dust it with nutmeg. Buy a pouch of House Blend to brew at home. Plug in your laptop. Turn Starbucks into your office - rent: one latte every two hours. Just don't, whatever you do, order the egg and bacon roll. It tastes like shit.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Starbucks? The McDonalds of coffee! They're
everywhere, they all look the same and the
product is shite.

Try Flat White or Monmouth and you'll never be
able to drink a Starbuck's again...

6:14 PM, November 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear HP,

I used to share your view, but now, no. Every Starbucks I've ever been in feels like a basement. Bad lighting! Weird cakes glowing in the dark! Cold sandwiches filled with beans and eggs in fridges waiting to be cooked! Nick Drake playing on repeat reminding you of reasons to kill yourself, then a bit of Norah Jones - oh god! no no no! Everything you touch is sticky with the person who went before. They are coffee brothels and you don't even get to have a good time! Don't give in to your baser urges Seuss. Think of your Lady.


8:23 PM, November 16, 2006  
Blogger Mangonel said...

Yes but don't you cut your argument off at the knees? Gone may be the days of 'tepid brown piss' but the stuff they serve still doesn't taste of coffee, it tastes of 'toffee-nut', 'soya', 'eggnog' and fucking 'nutmeg'! Can't comment on the ambience as there is no smell of coffee enticing me in.

'Weird cakes glowing in the dark!' had me snorting with laughter in a very unladylike manner.

11:03 PM, November 16, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Starbucks rarely have any character, the tables and toilets are rarely cleaned and my local now sells newspapers instead of providing them for whoever wants to read them.

The coffee is overpriced and, despite their claims, they're as inept at making cappucinos as everyone else in this fucking country.

Starbucks is not ace, it is dull, homogenising and mediocre, as is Borders, which only has music and magazines to lure in the normos who are intimidated by the atmosphere of intellectualism and calm of proper bookshops.

Pride in being a part of the lower echelons of consumerism does not, despite what the author seems to think, show resolute individualism and character. Plebian.

5:26 PM, November 17, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I almost pee'd myself with laughter reading this. I hate Starfucks too! Hang on... this was an ironic blog wasn't it? :-)

10:59 PM, November 19, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Flat White actually serves Monmouth beans.

I love Starbucks. They over-roast their beans, but they still make a good latte.

Their toasted rolls are a bit dire, but I like the super-sugary cakes.

Plus, you have to admire the chain that succeeded in making coffee globally expensive. Somehow they suckered us all into thinking that the more we pay for a coffee, the better it tastes. Bless 'em.

7:34 PM, November 24, 2006  
Blogger Dalai Dahmer said...

I fucking love Starbucks and what they have done to coffee drinking in this country.

well, that's great.
only one thing; they didnt do it.
the deed was done by the 'seattle coffee company', then another chain entirely.
starbucks bought their eighty or so stores some years back, just before the millenium to begin their homogenisation, their tyranny of inadeuacy.

it is arguable that they set cofffeee in this country back, both raising the price per cup and introducing their own unplatable roast in place of the SCC in house blend.
they cancelled many fine lines of SCC coffee as they switched everything over, preferring to aim for their trademark borg-like one-ness over the best cup of coffee around.

if you are going to sing the praises of coffee-capitalist success in the british market, you should look to the owners of the SCC, who made millions out of selling our one brief glance at decent chain coffee to the plastic purity machine and it's mundanity.

i have to say as well, anyone who sits in a starbucks and thinks they are doing anything other than playing patsy to these unimaginative racketeers is a deluded fool.
i think it's actually worse than mcdonalds; at least none of their patrons think that being fleeced for shitty product makes them in some way special or clever; at least buying a big mac is only ever seen as just buying a big mac.

3:44 AM, December 04, 2006  
Blogger EHoward said...

hee-hee... you all are so cute!

Starbucks is McDonald's but we all still eat McDonald's. And it is true... the UK idea of coffee (dehydrated Nescafe crap) is the sorriest shit I have ever put in my body.

I love Starbucks, even though my local has the worst bathroom ever. But then so does my local pub.

10:49 AM, December 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I enjoyed the commanding voice of the reviewer, so powerful that it almost had me obeying its command to like Starbucks. Nevertheless, a witty review one of the chains that is helping to destroy our country's character.

We Brits shit coffee, but that's why we have Italian cafes! And anyway, there's always tea...

8:14 PM, December 30, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Probably the least eloquent review on this site - real shame. Glad to know you rent a place at Starbucks - we won't be running into each other.

2:06 AM, July 07, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gone are the days of 'tepid brown piss'? Starbucks??!!! They fucking invented tepid brown piss. Ubiquitous, vile, milky, frothy crap. The US idea of coffee tarted up with froth or some other flavouring is a gimmick. Yuck! Its why we have always had the Italian caff. And why we drink tea. You know it makes sense when someone posts a comment suggesting 'you all are so cute!' when you dont like it. Nothing cute about taking a ...never mind.

1:04 PM, August 20, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this review.
I always buy the FairTrade stuff. That way you can help feed African children for a lifetime.
So that's like, two days.

1:10 AM, October 12, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes....but the cheese and marmite toastie is perfectly tasty with its rather random-seeming addition of holandaise...

11:46 AM, August 27, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has nobody heard of irony here?

I love Starbucks too, the coffee is fantastic. Craps all over that rubbish you get in a proper coffee shop.

12:49 PM, March 08, 2010  

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