Saturday, October 14

Would Jesus Drink @ Starbucks?

I'm not sure what Gus the cat thinks about Starbucks. The only brew he could smell was the stuff we poured out in that old apartment in Sao Joao. We only drank from those cheap, hand-painted mugs from Evora that were forever chipping. The saints of the earth would often mail us some of that holy hazelnut American joe. I confess, sometimes it was a Starbucks blend. But Starbucks was never my favorite.

I don't hate Starbucks. In fact, I kind of get a kick out of the global-warming of their franchise. (In some European countries their American-exported-environments are actually encouraging the folk to drink their coffee slowly, instead of just those espresso shots on the run. I think this is a good thing.) Let's be clear here, though: The Italians have the market cornered on the delights of coffee. I hope the baristas in heaven are Italian.

Right. I don't hate Starbucks. Nevertheless, in light of my recent bloggy-poll, I'm obliged to share the thoughts of my new friend, Cari, who is a good Northwest girl. (Don't worry, she told me I could share. I won't post your emails or Facebook messages without asking.)

Um, Jenelle, look, I really like you, but if you work at Starbucks, even though it's from my home city, we might not be as good of friends. Lol. Actually I'm not that intense, but take it from someone who knows good northwest coffee- Starbucks is bad in multiple ways. (Not really free trade, just trendy; they burn the beans, the coffee is old and tastes bad, they really don't help cultures that much, they exploit good bands, they're not for true coffee connoisseurs, etc, etc, etc). So yeah, I really don't think you should work there. Even if the benefits are appealing don't sell out! Lol. Any of the other jobs are cool. Could you be a barista at a non-corporate shop?

I chuckled, thinking to myself, "Yes, this is exactly the response I was hoping to get by putting Starbucks on my job-poll." I really did consider Starbucks for a time, though. Then I read the fine-print and realized that their benefits really aren't that hot, after all. (I will get to talking about what job I've jumped towards. I'm just really into all of this pontificating on Starbucks right now.)

I agree with Cari on many fronts. (If not, all of them.) So I did a little googling-research, and found some others who take issue with Starbucks, and give more reasons why. And then there is this blog, which is a story in itself: Starbucks Gossip: Monitoring America's Favorite Drug Dealer.

I digress. All these things do make me wonder, though. When some hard facts are thrown down that a corporation is exploiting their workers, what do I do? When I found out what the Gap corporation was paying their workers in the third world, I stopped shopping there. But I didn't feel bad buying their jeans from a thrift store. (At least I knew the money wasn't going back to the Gap.)

Would Jesus drink at Starbucks? I don't know. Maybe I should ask him. I feel like I've been talking about him more than I've talked to him, lately. I think that just makes me a name-dropper.


lisa said...

funny thought, name dropping about jesus. i am very guilty of this! next thing, i was in the salvation army thrift store with colin and heather today. i was sorry we didn't find anything we were looking for cuz i really like thrift stores (charity shops as they are called in other countries). and starbucks, ug. tastes like really expensive rubbish to me. give me my meia de leite for 75 euro sense :-) better still, drink water, God's perfect beverage! (though it's not nearly as fun to say, "wanna go out for a glass of water?") i miss you....

jenelle said...

Remember when Matt Damon says, "Why don't we just go and get a couple of caramels? It's just as arbitrary as gettin a cup of coffee." in Good Will Hunting? I thought about that movie line just yesterday. I think I'm gonna try that water line of yours. I've been feeling like I need to drink less coffee anyway.

Sarah Const said...

Hey Jenelle, Big questions. I too have done the Gap boycott, though conviently forget sometimes that Banana Republic and Old Navy are part of the Gap Corp. But then what do you do when they are now doing a poverty/AIDS campaign, that I am sure was originated more out of the bottom line, but is actually educating some consumers none-the-less. Everything is corrupt, how does one pick and choose their battles? And on Starbucks and Jesus, I remember last year that Starbucks made a statement that they were going to start posting quotes from Purpose Driven Life on their cups (not sure if it ended up happening) but maybe the higher ups at Starbucks are brother and sisters in Christ, ones caught up in the corporate crap, but not worse than any of our crap. Or it is just smart marketing. Anyway, just more random thoughts on the matter.

lisa said...

there are plenty of other ways to fight poverty and aids if you feel strongly about not supporting GAP.

Rachel! said...

Man, all these deep thoughts. I talk about my broken toliet and post dumb drawings on my blog.

Melissa said...

I have a confession to make... I used to work at Starbucks. There I said it - I said it in public!

Does that make me an enemy of the revolution? :) LOL. (this post cracked me up by the way!)

All things considered, I generally prefer finer coffees than Starbucks offers -(like that fantastic portuguese stuff you sent me in the mail one time) - BUT, despite it all, I think, that the sbux does in fact, have a few good coffees.
(no stone throwing please!) :)