Saturday, August 18, 2007

Coffee Comedy

A guy called "Winter," just "Winter," has set out to visit every Starbucks in the world. He seems to be having a very good time and is engaged in a task without end. Here are all the Starbucks and their photos that he lists for Baltimore.

His unadorned, weird web site joins the mass of Starbucks media available on the web. The McDonald's of coffee houses (44 million customers a week!) has its fans and detractors. It has been suggested that Starbucks has created a sense of belonging for its customers. The belonging is engendered by the insider knowledge of coffee combinations, such as an order for venti-caramel-decaf-soy-latte-20 pump. Or the "short cappuccino" which is not on the menu and known only to the truly inside cappuccino aficionados.

One of the most entertaining articles I have read to date on the Starbucks phenomenon is Michael Agger's piece, Hacking Starbucks: Where to Learn about the Ghetto Latte, Barista Gossip and Nicole Kidman's Usual, was posted at Slate on August 15. It is full of funny links, like the link to Mark Malkoff's goofy video of his visit to all 171 Starbucks in NYC in 24 hours. I enjoyed this article and the serious enterprise Starbucks is, as contrasted to its presence as a foil for good comedy.

I am blogging this from a local indie cafe, Spoons Coffee House and Roastery, 24 E. Cross St. Federal Hill across from the Cross Street Market. I'll say no more.


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