I work with someone who used to be in production at Starbucks. I can't say for certain what they do today, but I have it on good authority that they do not "doctor" their beans.
EspressoSue - the oil on the beans is a result of dark roasting. Coffee contains oils and the darker you roast the coffee, the more those oils reach the surface. Heating things that contain moisture drives the moisture out, regardless of whether the moisture is water or oils, because they expand and then turn to gaseous form.
Water steams off, which is in large part why dark roasted coffee is lighter than light roasted coffee. The oils are driven out of the bean, but because of a higher boiling temperature, they stick to the bean.
The roaster forum is probably a better place for this detail, but also as coffee gets darker roasted, it gets more brittle. Brittle beans can shatter and fragment. If they are handled roughly, you'll get a lot of broken beans, which look like crap in a display bin.
The broken beans plus oil makes little post-it notes out of broken beans. They stick to glass or plastic bins and look like crap. If the bins are not cleaned out, over time, dust from the beans, chaff from roasting, etc. all start to stick to the oil that coats the coffee and the bins.
Looks like dust and oil. Starbucks doesn't doctor their coffee. In fact, they do just the opposite. They malpractice their coffee.
I'm not arguing your professional opinions. I'm just explaining the reasons for my concerns. We can go around this for days. I have found no informaiton that confirms that Starbucks adds oils or anything else to thier roasted beans -- if I do I'll let you know first.
EVERYBODY LIKES EVERYTHING ABOUT STARBUCKS EXCEPT ...
1. Their pastries are mediocre. Except some of the chocolate items (chocolate doesn't stale as fast).
- I have joked with people over the years that we make our employees bow to the west every morning when we open the store (homage to Howard). Starbucks paved the way for the coffee industry to become what it is today.
- Starbucks is the McDonalds of coffee. Do you want the best hamburg? Go to your local mom and pop not McDonalds.
- A lot of mom and pops run less than desirable businesses, hence the popularity of McDonalds. When I travel I go to Starbucks (or another recognizable coffee place) because I am honestly afraid of the quality at most mom and pops.
- People are often looking for something to love or hate. Starbucks is a big target, both ways.
the problem with Starbucks...at least the ones around here are
1. they do not time their coffee and therefore sits out all day
2. there shots are not timed and with most of them changing to use the super auto machines they usually run less than 10 seconds
3. they steam their milk in large pitchers to the point of scalding which is gross not to mention they let it sit and they continue to resteam the milk over and over again.
They have lost all of their quality (at least around here).
Thanks to topher for the explanation about roasting conformity (uniformity) into beans, that is good to know.
Starbucks has gotten so big that they can't get enough of the really good coffee. They have to go with an inferior coffee because they can get more in quantity of it.
Hey Nordstoms...I think that might just be where you are....FPM do you guys time your coffee? All the starbux I have been to time their pots of coffee...I noticed that FPM's store has a marzocco which means it isn't a super auto...not sure about the pitchers because I do not drink milk.
It really could be just my location. I often visit the three Starbucks in my mall and they are all of the same poor quality. They may just have a regional manager that just doesn't care or doesn't check on them. I know two of these starbucks are in other stores and they are actually employeed by the store and not starbucks (but they are trained by them).
Hey, Starbucks is a destination coffee shop, and very successful at that.
Most of us wish to be so good at what we do. The only things that really bother me are: 1) I can't alwys get a good cup of medium roasted Columbian because they've often blended some tooty-fruity, roots-sandled concoction as the house blend, 2) I can't always find a decent sized table to sit at because they've got these little mini deuces that always seem to spill your coffee before you can squeeze into the matching mini-chair, 3) both the founder of Starbucks and I agree that coffee tastes best in a ceramic mug; and now it's almost impossible to get a medium size mug of coffee at Starbucks as you have to be quick to ask for a "here" before they get it into one of those chemical-leaching hand-burning paper contraptions.
But boy, do they pump the coffee out.
Anybody know what their sales per year in brewed coffee alone is? 8)