Friday, October 06, 2006

The Tri*une and Star*ucks

Anyone wondering about the current state of newspapers should read (or skim, if you pardon the pun) this pointless Tribune piece about Starbucks customers making their own "ghetto lattes" out of cheaper espresso shots and the free in-store milk. Why? Because it really underscores how bad things have gotten in journalism when a Trib piece does little beyond reiterating, more or less, old-news internet forum debates about the ethics of said "ghetto lattes," despite the fact that Starbucks itself has already officially come out and essentially given "ghetto lattes" their blessing.

Like, where's the controversy? What's the news? Is it more or less ethical than Starbucks charging so much for a cappuccino, despite the fact that they're making out like bandits based on the relative costs of milk and froth (aka air), versus the cost of actual coffee used and consumed? How about the fact that Starbucks charges a premium price for their brew, despite the fact that their brew is less than premium since the company has to cut so many quality-control corners (Iike buying beans as well as the plantations that grow them in bulk) just to keep up with demand?

A better debate would be the ethics of walking into Starbucks with a cup and simply filling it up with free milk. The jury's still out on that one, though up in Canada we did just that for the sake of Baby Z. I did buy coffee first, and it wasn't a Starbucks, for that matter.

Also up for debate: walking into McDonald's a taking 100 ketchup packs.


Not to take too many shots (ha!) at Starbucks. I still maintain that were it not for that company we'd still be buying our coffee at McDonald's, and while I understand McD's now serves a better brew, I appreciate the fact that the nation has been awakened to the fact that the variety and variation of beans is not unlike the variety and variation of wine. But if you're going to offer free milk, don't be surprised if people take it. Save that shock for a paper willing to write about it.


Post a Comment

<< Home