I Suppose It Makes Me a Hypocrite...


I work right by 15th ave coffee and tea and refuse to go myself. I walk the extra blocks to Ladro.
Why does SeaTac wi-fi suck so bad?
I'm reminded of a Will Durst line about Starbucks: "I even like Starbucks. I know, I know, they're the great Satan of coffee, but when you're stranded in an airport in Akron, Ohio and you see a Starbucks across the concourse... rainbows appear, you're running through a wheatfield in slow motion..."

Never been stuck in Akron but apart from that, yeah, pretty much...
Starbucks will always do in a pinch, but if you have a better option nearby (and honestly, is there any place in Seattle where you can't walk a couple of blocks to a nice indy*) then going to Starbucks, whether it's real or faux, is a silly thing to do.

* I'm exaggerating slightly to make a point, so don't tell me about all the neighborhoods in Seattle that don't have something on every corner.
Airport Starbucks are independently run by the airport so that makes them okay maybe this isn't really a complete thought.
Sooo many rules. It's not okay to like Starbucks. It's not okay to like this Starbucks but not that Starbucks. If you do, you have to confess to being a hypocrite.

Maybe at the level of coffee, it's okay to just like what you like, when you like it, without so many rules?

Like sex?

When you get up to promising people things like marriage, invading nations or creating credit default swaps, maybe on those things being rule obsessed is a good thing.

(No wonder this town has a mayor who loves having 46 new rules when taking office. I like the one "have fun!" Oh, okay, if it's in the rule, then I have permission, so I will.).

I'm sorry Dan. I'm going to have to ask you to turn in your Hipster Badge and gun.
I wish you didn't feel the need to be so perfect. We would love you anyway.
@3, my feelings exactly: no matter where you are, there is a Starbucks for your espresso fix. It may not be fantastic, but at least you know what you're getting and how it will taste. Nothing worse than spending $4 at a teensy drive-thru in Butte, Montana only to find it tastes like sweetened foamy decaf Folgers.
Airports are about the only time I will go in a Starbuck's.
I love the one at Sea-Tac too. But I miss when they had Chanticos ...
My thoughts exactly Dan. I'll happily patronize the Gaybucks on Olive, but outright refuse to go into the 15th Ave or Roy st Coffee & Tea. If they think that they can sell more coffee by deceiving their customers, by giving your money to either establishment you just encourage those deceptive practices.
For the sake of argument, don't you feel like the "lie" has more than been exposed when it comes to faux Starbucks? Frankly, if the choice is between Starbucks and 15th Ave Coffee and Tea, I'd go to 15th Ave. I like their ambiance and selection better. Friends who work there (or at the Roy St one) really enjoy getting a creative say, being able to support local artists, etc. We all know it's actually Starbucks. Can we stop being mad at them now?
I finally went to 15th Ave. Coffee & Tea this weekend. I live two blocks away so I figured it would happen eventually. The espresso wasn't any better than an actual Starbucks, and afterward I just felt dirty. I'll be back at Vivace this weekend.
What, exactly, is the "lie" of 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea. I don't go there, but can't figure out why people are still so up in arms about corporate redecorating and a move to selling local food and hand-pulled shots.
Jesus christ. What are you - 15?
For the record, the Starbucks on 15th Ave was there long before Victrola.

Victrola, like most indy coffee houses, was inspired by Starbucks.
I rarely drink any coffee, despite living in Capitol Hill only a few blocks from 15th Ave and Victrola. But once every few weeks or so, I do go to these places and order a french press with some bean I've never heard of before. And I must say, in terms of comfort, the fake Starbucks beats out Victrola every time. It's less noisy, the decor is more pleasant, and I just enjoy sitting there.
Now I wonder what Loveschild would have to say about all this.
15th Avenue says it right on the door "inspired by Starbucks" so I don't see how they're lying to anyone. I can out-hipster anyone, but I like 15th Avenue over Victrola because they serve actual lunch (sandwiches, salads, soup) rather than just a bunch of sweet pastries.
15th Ave Coffee & Tea is a lie

I call BS on this. you're upset that Starbucks isn't playing by the rules as you see them. they have a right to try to sell whatever they want. there's absolutely no deception in it.

if Starbucks is so bad, then what are you worried about? are you afraid people will LIKE 15th Ave C&T if they didn't know it was Starbucks?

i know - let's pass a law that any non-independent business has to post a sign at all entrances that says "corporate owned". because otherwise how will consumers know the difference, right?

stupid consumers - they don't know what's best for them. only you do, Dan.

In many many parts of the country (and world) Starbucks is a beacon of passable coffee in a Maxwell house nightmare. Unfortunately, airport and supermarket starbucks are franchised and frequently have far inferior standards. Few things are as misery-inducing as finally finding "decent" coffee only to have it be nearly-but-not-quite right after however long the exile has been.
It must really freak you out to drink a cup of Seattle's Best Coffee (which is owned by Starbucks) or Tazo Tea (which is owned by Starbucks). Or shop at QFC or Fred Meyer (which are owned by Kroger). Or drive a Scion (Toyota). Those damn corporations hide everything!
@15 - It's a lie because they know that lots of people, particularly in that neighborhood, prefer to give their money to small independent businesses when possible. Starbucks is hiding their brand to capture more of that business without people knowing where their money is going.

@20 - "Inspired by Starbucks" is a perfect example of why this bothers people. It's not "inspired" by Starbucks, it's OWNED by Starbucks. And that's pretty much the only place you'll see the brand name. The stickers that advertise their Wi-Fi look like hand-written chalk. It's all a movie set.

Maybe it would help to imagine if it were another corporation doing this. Say Wal-Mart opened a little shop in your neighborhood called "Neighborhood Threads" that looked like a funky boutique and didn't have (or barely had) their name on it. No problem?

I agree with Dan. I have nothing against Starbucks when it's Starbucks, but I don't like being lied to.

If it didn't cost money to park there, SeaTac would be a cool late night hang out any time.

I don't dispute your claim that many people in that neighborhood may prefer to give their money to independent businesses.

My problem is that you and Dan believe that the onus is on Starbucks to educate customers on this issue.

You think all the small businesses on Broadway are so innocent and pure? Like the liquor shops and the stores that sell garbage clothes manufactured in sweatshops and the restaurants selling garbage trans-fat msg-laden corn-syrup coated "food"? (And I'm not saying they're all bad, but come on - Broadway is not the bastion of local goodness). How come they aren't being paraded around SLOG as "deceptive" businesses?

It's so easy to stand on a soapbox and point fingers at large targets while the local cockroaches scurry around your feet with impunity.
Say what you want about the validity of the place, the coffee is great. Plus, it shares my favorite thing about all Starbucks - there is no expectation of a tip.
@26 so you're saying that because deceptive business practices *may* be commonplace across the board, that makes it ok?
It's worth mentioning that even SeaTac has independent coffee options: there's a Diva Espresso in baggage claim (although that's not so helpful if you're the type to go through security as early as possible before finding a place to relax).
@28 - no, i'm saying that as long as you're running your business within legal and ethical boundaries, you have no responsibility to actively disclose anything you don't want to and saying that not painting "Starbucks" all over 15th Ave C&T is not "deceptive".

my point was that if we were really going to consider what Starbuck is doing as "deceptive" there are probably much WORSE "deceptions" going on on Broadway in terms of food ingredients, origins of products, sourcing practices, etc. and why isn't Dan jumping on all of those?

that's why I put "deceptive" in quotes. because I don't think what Starbucks is doing is deceptive at all. it's just pissing Dan off and he's applying his own personal standards inconsistently.
Forget about Akron, Ohio. Finding a Starbuck's in any suburban hellhole (whether a suburb of San Francisco, New York, or Chicago) is a godsend.
@27 Of course there's an expectation of a tip. Starbucks automatically taxes a certain percentage of your paycheck expecting that you're making tips.
I hate the tipping culture we live in, but baristas do depend on those tips to bring the min. wage job they have up to a livable wage.
@26 - I'm not saying they shouldn't be allowed to do it, I'm just saying I don't like it. Yes, plenty of other businesses engage in deceptive tactics. I don't like those either.

I don't really think "Inspired by Starbucks" is deceptive at all. You'd have to be pretty dense to think that it wasn't a Starbucks, as if they'd let a competing cafe use their name. I think they are just trying to create a more upscale cafe brand/experience in a test store. That store was there long before Victrola and Ladro, and Smith were anyhow. I say this as a guy who goes to Victrola and Ladro all the time. I just like their coffee better. I can see myself going into 15th Ave C&T if there was nowhere to sit though.
I went to 15th Ave. coffee once. It was so sophisticated and trendy that they couldn't even deign to list prices on their menu. Oddly enough, the pretentiousness didn't make the coffee taste any better.

I'll take the Starbucks stand inside the 15th Ave Safeway over the Inspired place any day.
Can you troll your own blog? By that I mean this would clearly be trolling as a comment, but if its a post, is it the same thing?
@30 If you don't think it's deceptive, you need to brush up on the definition of the word, which is "perceptually misleading". How is it misleading..? Let me ask you this- If this overhaul was really about exotic french presses, lunch food, booze, local bands, or quirky decor, why not just update every Starbucks to include those things? Why try and intentionally make these Starbucks branches look like unique entities with the [insert location] Coffee & Tea branding?

Because they are trying to mislead people who don't normally frequent large chain stores.

Do I accept that it's perfectly legal? Yes.
Do I want to encourage such practices? HELL NO.
Sorry, @33 - you're not allowed to not like this without also not liking everything else that 26/30 says is just as bad.
It's like slapping a different logo on a Nissan and calling it an Infiniti. Some people like that.
Dan - you're getting worried about lies and deception from corporations. You are old.

dude, i can see your banana in this picture.
@38 - here, let me use your own annoying tactic against you... I never said Dan wasn't allowed to not like this. I just disagree that it's "deceptive". So I am not allowed to disagree with Dan? See? I can play that silly game too. :)

@37 - "why not just update every Starbucks to include those things?" because we're talking about different products. Starbucks has essentially launched a new product line and because they have not stamped a "Starbucks" logo on it, they're deceptive?

did you know that Ford Motor Company owns Volvo but Volvo's don't say "Ford" anywhere on them. deceptive? only you and Dan would think so. nobody else gives a shit that Volvo's don't "disclose" that they're owned by Ford.


this is silly. Dan is silly. grow up.
People buy a Lexus because it's perceived as (and in fact is) of higher quality than the other cars sold by its parent company, Toyota. Nothing deceptive on Toyota's part; it's just another brand.

Perhaps the ads should say "Lexus -- Really, it's just a Toyota."
@25 - take the light rail - it goes to Sea-Tac.
WTF doesn't know 15th Ave C&T is a Starbucks?
The Calgary airport Starbucks is a favourite airport coffee shop of mine and my husband's too.
You are a silly person. You will go to Starbuck's if it's labeled Starbuck's but won't go if it doesn't have Starbuck's om the name of the business. Silly is all you are.
I agree Dan - and it's just a short walk away from that impossibly crowded Starbucks in the outer-concourse area.

There's also a secret Tully's at the far end of concourse A. Useful when flying Virgin America.
@42 - actually I agree with both you AND Dan.
good explanation of the mercantile starbucks stores http://www.starbucksmelody.com/2009/12/1… from AmazonV
@ 46 mine too....for convenience sake, and for a tea or blended drink only! As a matter of fact it was my tea stop while making my connection on my way back from Seattle this past October, where I didn't partake in any Starbucks, and for no other reason then I just don't care for their coffee.....I did however HAVE to stop at Tim Hortons on my way there and get my fix! I'd freebase that sh*t if I could!! :)
Just be glad you are not Canadian, you can't get near a Tim Horton's in any airport, anywhere in Canada in time to make your flight. Tim Horton's offer great service; fast efficient, best coffee ever...unless you are in an airport....then, its a choice: miss your Timmies or miss your flight.
I think coffee is gross. NOBODY LIKES COFFEE ANYMORE
I don't drink coffee. I think it's gross. Have had two sips in my whole life. One at 13, one last summer -- by accident. Ugh.