Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hauling Coffee, Sao Paulo, Brazil
click to enlarge

In this view you see the coffee sacks loaded
on carts ready to go to market. The coffee beans
or berries are picked from the coffee bushes.
They are then carried or carted to a machine
that crushes the pulp from the seed.
The pulp is washed away and the seeds are
placed in the sun to dry. It takes weeks to dry
them properly. Then, the two thin hulls that
wrap each bean are threshed off. The next step
is to blow the hulls from the beans. After the beans
are put in sacks, each of which holds about
132 pounds of coffee. It is these bags you see
on the carts.

Recently, SB decided to close a few
hundred stores. There's never any
glee when anything someone likes
has to close. Unfortunately, with SB
anyway, they seem to have been tossing
just about everything at the public hoping
to snag them, except with what they became
famous for: Coffee.

They continue to hire people who not only
do not like coffee, but if they do, it's not
really coffee, it's their flavored drinks
or frapps, that have no real coffee
in them anyway, that you'd notice.

For those of you who go there for
the coffee, a few times a year they
sell their "Black Apron" coffees.
These are the higher quality beans,
better roast, and of course, more expensive.
If you've never tried any of them, if they
still sell them, I urge you to try them.
These are the quality coffee beans they
used to sell all the time in the early years.
It was quality, once upon a time. ; (

Perhaps this wake up call will set
them back on the right track.

Guess we'll wait for the next installment.


mouse (aka kimy) said...

you don't even want to get me started on sb....so I won't go there!! although I am always sad when people lose their jobs.

but I am curious as to whether they have increased their abysmally low percentage of free trade coffee???

Merle Sneed said...

I'm struck by two things, neither related to SB.

First of all, the people who produce our coffee work very hard, even now.

Secondly, how in the world did anyone ever figure out how to mke coffee from the berry? It is such a convoluted process.

Kurt said...

I think Dunkin' Donuts hurt them too. I never could see paying $3 and change for some fancy coffee drink. Their regular coffee is $1.65, I think, and pretty good.

Anonymous said...

Hi Big Bro,
Here in our little Scotts Valley town we have 2 SB and one inside Safeway. In our little town we also have a Pete's, Coffee Cat, and Surf City..
Why we need 3 Sb's too I will never know.
I read that they will be giving away drinks in some cities and selling some for a buck. Hmm ..me thinks they need to do something serious about the product other than reduce the cost to get the coffee drinkers back.
I love you Big Bro!

goatman said...

The last time I was in a Starbucks, (it was in a Barnes and Noble) I asked for a plain cup of coffee. Person said that they had none made up. I thought you sold coffee here says I. Person says: do you want frappicchino, chocolate latte, spun flavor of beans, condensed nonsense, or a latte??
Just coffee says I.
So I went to McDonalds.

edward said...

starbucks was having some kind of jamboree in our town today, with people in bright costumes giving away samples of some banana smoothie. what's up with that?

Coffee Messiah said...

mouse: As far as I know, and in my 2 yrs there, sales were very low or not at all. Of course, their roasting abilities and type of beans used were not of the best quality. Our roaster used beans of a higher quality, hands down.

merle:It reads liek any story, someone saw something new and simply tried it and spread the word.

And to think, there was no "internets" at the time either.

kurt:Everyone is selling coffee drinks these days. At the moment, I have not made mine, so the donut cmpany (big) name eludes me, but met a friend in Chicago earlier this year and tried their drip coffee and I was surprised. Even the hotel coffee was good.

Competition never entered their minds I guess.

shar: At least the coffee in the other places are better, I hope.
Miss U 2! Love Big Bro

goatman: B & N really doesn't count as a SB, just as SB in a grocery store or wherever else they are. They just sell the name and products and those stores hire the employees. No connection what so ever, hence the crazy attitude. They all seem to hire people who no nothing about coffee. Perplexing.

edward: I guess when you can't sell coffee and good coffee, you want to sell something people will purchase. Somehow, smoothies were 20 yrs ago, weren't they? ; (

edward said...

hey, those smoothie people are jamboree-ing again this morning--this time it;s a free sample of Mango!

Coffee Messiah said...

edward: Are you taking advantage of trying them anyway? WHat R they like?