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Posts tagged ‘coffee’

Whaddya Mean I Can’t Have A Trenta Pike With Room?

I’m not going to lie to you – my daily existence depends on coffee. Remember that old Monsanto commercial tag line – “Without chemicals, life itself would be impossible”? That’s my morning in a nutshell. Ants leave a chemical trail to follow … my trail is defined by the location of the nearest Starbucks, Coffee Bean or McDonalds to insure ready access to a refill.

Considering what you now know, you can imagine my joy when I learned Starbucks was going to introduce a new size of coffee even larger than a Venti – until I learned the Trenta size was only for iced drinks!!!

The new 31-ounce Trenta is being tested in Phoenix and Tampa. The iced coffee version sells for $3.30 and the iced tea for $2.60.

Starbucks says unsweetened Trenta drinks have fewer than 5 calories, while sweetened versions have less than 200 calories.

There was no word of the potential impact on nerves.

Dammit all, I don’t need some watered down ice-with-a-hint-of-coffee crap, I need my medicine! This has me more irritated than when they pulled my chain for April Fools

Maybe We Really Are Just Pigs …

I like to consider myself  an open-minded, even-tempered sort of fellow, someone who carefully considers my options before acting, and is hopefully wise enough to make the right decision most of the time.   I don’t know that I’m representative of men as a whole, but I’m usually willing to give my brothers the benefit of the doubt.

Women, on the other hand,  tend to see men as a little less enlightened, more slaves to our genes and genitals than guided by free will.  I consider that to be sexist and narrowminded, and completely unjustifiable … until I see something like this.

Coffee, tea, or ... ?

Coffee, tea, or ... ?

A culinary phenomenon of the last few years, you can’t turn around without running into a place selling coffee.  The vast majority of them are part of the Starbucks empire, but there are other chains and even the occasional independant vendor.  The common thread among them all are overpriced java, and it can be difficult to develop any loyalty.  As a result, different operators have found different ways to create their own niche.

A couple of  years ago, a little coffee shop opened on Hawthorne Blvd in Torrance.  Little more than an oversized kiosk, the Fox Hollow Coffee outlet was a loser from the beginning.  Cursed by a difficult location far from any other retail outlets, it was a rare day when customers could be seen in the drive-thru line, and it was little surprise when the “Out of Business” sign went up earlier this year.

A couple of weeks ago, however, there was a flurry of activity around the little coffee shop as it was repainted and prepared to reopen, and now there’s a line of cars waiting their turn.  Why?  Barristas in bikinis!

I had heard stories of this phenomenon occuring in the uber-competitive coffee wars in Seattle, but in the South Bay?  Sure enough, drive north on Hawthorne and there a girl in a bikini with a signboard, urging motorists to drive through and fill up.  And if the lines – and media attention – are any indication, it’s working – at least for the short term.

“We’re offering entertainment, coffee with a tease, if you will,” said Gary Gillett, the store’s managing partner.  “Man needs a few things in life,” he said. “Coffee? Maybe. Women? Definitely. And let’s put it this way, man can live without coffee.”

And I was so afraid they were going to exploit the girls … oink.

I’ve gotta say that considering they’re only a couple of miles from the beach and all those beach babes, the staff doesn’t really strike you as bikini material (the girl on the street aside).  Of course, maybe this is actually a good sign, and the girls were hired for their cup skills and not their cup size … or not.

Gillett declined to divulge his start-up costs. He noted that his bikini baristas are earning minimum wage, with the bulk of their pay expected from tips.

“You’re not just tipping for the coffee,” he said. “You’ll be tipping for the service, the titillation.”

The view from my much-more-convenient coffee stop

The view from my much-more-convenient coffee stop

OK, we get it – strip club with lattes.

Bottom line? Twenty years ago, I’d have sat in the long line, waiting my turn to tip a babe $5 for some bad coffee.  Ten years ago, I’d probably still be in line, but complain about the length and the coffee.  Today?  The location is as inconvenient as it was when it was Fox Hollow, which is why I never went there then.  Screw it – I’m going to the McDs on the corner …

Hardly Surprising, Part I

Well, that didn’t last very long.

Coffee is a surprisingly competitive business. Everyone’s looking for a new angle to try and separate you from your $2 before you lose it to Starbucks. Some places try atmosphere, some special roasts, and others try … nudity! At least that was the idea behind the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop in Vassalboro, Maine, when it opened its doors to anyone 18 or older back in February. It seemed like a good gimmick, and was enough to get them a little national attention for a while. Not everyone was thrilled with the whole Arabica-meets-areola concept of the place, though, and it would appear that at least one of their critics decided to take action and burned the place down early Wednesday.

The blaze consumed the risque, small-town business shortly after midnight, said Vassalboro Fire Chief Eric Rowe. He described the flames as “severe” and said the building was a “total loss.”

“I really liked it here,” waitress Krista Macentyre said after learning the cause of the fire. “We weren’t hurting anyone. I don’t know why someone would do something like this.”

The shop’s proprietor, Donald Crabtree, said he is determined to rebuild. “This is home” to a lot of people, he said.

For Crabtree the coffee shop literally was home. He and his two daughters, their two boyfriends, and his two infant grandchildren lived in quarters attached to the Grand View. The fire forced them to relocate to a motel.

Now, I can certainly understand how some might object to a what was effectively a strip club selling coffee, but you can’t just act out your frustrations every time something doesn’t go your way. This was harmless enough, but it’s the same mentality that led to the killing of an abortion doctor last week. Make your voice known, but do it in a sensible, legal fashion.

And if that doesn’t work, switch to decaf.