Starbucks Challenge: A Report

Both Tara and I took the Starbucks challenge (which we talked about last week) and report no problems in getting Fair Trade Coffee.

From Tara:

One Union Square Starbucks, reportedly one of the busiest in Seattle

Me: I’ll have a cup of fair trade coffee please.

Cashier:  *doesn’t bat an eyelash*  What size?

Me: Tall, please (fully expecting the cashier to tell me they only sell fair trade in Venti size)

Cashier: Would you like room for cream?

Me: Yes, please.

Cashier:  *grabs a tall cup (again without batting an eyelash), marks it, sets it aside*

Barista:  *grabs the cup, takes it to a large, drip coffee dispenser* 

Me: What is fair trade coffee, anyway?

Barista:  *filling the cup*  It’s coffee that’s sold at a set price to benefit the growers.

Me: Dig that. Do you keep some brewed all the time here?

Barista:  *handing me the cup*  Most of the time, yeah.

Me: Kew. Thank you.

With a little cream the coffee was fairly tasty, too.

Tara purchased hers while Estema (Starbucks Fairtrade grind) was the coffee of the week. I, on the other hand, was not so lucky.

Kate: Hi! I’d like some of your Fair-Trade coffee.

Barista: Pardon?

Kate: Your Fair-Trade. Can I have a cup?

Barista: I’m sorry, it was last week.

Kate: So you can’t brew any today.

Barista: Well, I can. It’ll take four minutes to do so.

Kate: That’s fine.

Barista: It’ll be French Press.

Kate: Okay.

Barista: All right. That’s $1.59.

The rest of the transaction went off with no problems. The brew itself is pretty good. A little bitter, and a tad chocolately. Color me very pleased.

But it’s still a shame that Starbucks doesn’t go out of their way to integrate any Fair Trade grinds into their daily lattes. Considering that there’s a fairly successful coffee shop here in Seattle that does do this (that’d be Caffe Ladro, to those of you not in the Puget Sound area), they can’t say that it’s an unproven business practice.


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