I won’t go so far as to say boycott Starbucks. Give credit where credit is due. The chain store made people pay attention to coffee, taught us how to say latte and cappuccino. But now, after growing too big too fast, they are just this side of McDonalds & Co., using automated machines to make your ‘specialty’ drink (how’s a machine special?). And, from this week, they will be selling their own version of instant coffee. Yes, folks, the company that took the world away from instant is taking it straight back to that hellhole. You might as well just bring your own bottle of Nescafe Gold with you. Many foreigners who come to America think Starbucks is an excellent, sought-after brand. Well, it just ain’t. The good news is that there are plenty of alternative coffee shops in whatever city you are going to that do what Starbucks once aspired to do – make good, real, individualized coffee. And the attitude and ambiance is usually a whole lot better too.
Whatever city I go to, I try find the non-Starbucks places to go to. If you are in New York, here are some tried and tested, excellent alternatives: 9th Street Espresso, Joe, Jack’s, Gimme, Abraco, Third Rail Coffee, Stumptown. Some of them have several locations. Go ahead, find out what real coffee should taste like!