Wednesday, April 26, 2006

cubicle coffee thanks to Starbucks

Ubiquitous Starbucks needs no free advertisements but when I stopped in one day for a latte on the run, a well-designed vessel caught my eye. "Cubicle coffee," I thought. "Perfect, and my birthday is next week." I got my wish, and now the Bunn-O-matic has been turned off. Since I'm the only one in the office who requires a constant flow of brewed coffee to keep me going, I have been feeling guilty about keeping the Bunn on and throwing out half a pot of coffee twice a day.

The Starbucks travel coffee press has lessened my guilt. I draw water from the water heater/cooler that everyone in the office enjoys, add a heaping spoonful of coffee, answer a couple of e-mails or write a couple sentences, then slowly plunge down the press. I wait several minutes for the mixture to cool and then enjoy a fragrant, rich coffee.

Since this is made of stainless steel, I don't worry about breaking glass as I would with a traditional coffee press. Since the brewing container is also the imbibing vessel, I don't have to worry about spilling hot coffee on anyone as I decant. I do feel a bit guilty, however, about washing a few coffee grounds down the bathroom sink as I rinse. I have warned the custodian that I have been pouring the dripping dregs into the bathroom wastebastket, where, hopefully, the enormous number of wadded up paper towels will aborb most of it. I told him, however, that I was the cause of any brown sludge that may drip from the liner when he removes it. He just shrugged and said he'd double line it if it were a problem and not to worry. "They drip all the time,' he said.

When I was in high school I remember writing a speech for speech class about how McDonald's was evil. They were taking over the world, producing bland, greasy food and turning a nation into obese morons. I thought of this when I came across the website "I hate Starbucks dot com."This site collects comments from the many people who oppose the proliferation of this successful corporation. A typical comment, this one from "Megan:"

Starbucks coffee is horrible and so expensive! All you losers out there who feel the need to show your status by marching around with those cups...run your numbers through this calculator I found on the web and realize how much you are throwing to the corporate pig.

Since a Starbucks shop just opened up near campus, across the street from a family-owned coffee shop/cafe, all of us in the Bradley University community neighborhood should think about which we will support. I have decided to support both. The family-owned shop, One World, has the best food in walking distance to campus. At One World, nutritious salads, hearty, healthy sandwiches, and wonderful soup are always on the menu. You will always be served by a friendly person. The coffee is good, but not top shelf. The best drink they serve is their hot spiced apple cider. Superb. If you feel weighted down by the world or a bad cold, stop in at the corner of Main and University in Peoria and order the hot cider. Just breathe it in and you will feel better. You can also order any wonderful coffee drink for here or to go.

Starbucks sits across the street in the Campustown shopping center. I do pop in there for a coffee on the run because it's fast, effecient, and friendly. The staff can get health benefits, something only a large over-charging corporation can offer part-time employees.

So, I feel comfortable supporting both places. For food and drink, One World. When I need a coffee before running errands on Saturday, Starbucks.

And, if you need a great vessel for cubicle coffee, go get the travel mug coffee press. Of course, maybe One World or your local coffee shop will start coming around to our cubicles with a coffee cart of fresh brew every morning and afternoon. That would be great too.

1 comment:

lucinda said...

The "One World Coffee Cart" !! What a great idea. A traveling coffee kiosk. Forever it has been customary for many factory and construction workers to obtain their provisions from the scheduled "roach coach" that pulls up and sells a variety of sandwiches, snacks and beverages off the truck. Why not ask One World to make a kiosk appearance at 10:00 and 3:00. Very, very, cool!