Posts Tagged ‘coffee’

10 MORE things Starbucks won’t tell you…

January 18, 2015

2014 was a bad year for the coffee giant, Starbucks.  Last fall, the company faced a viral onslaught of amazingly thorough masterpieces of investigative journalism and top ten lists from the likes of the Food Babe, Thrillist, and BuzzFeed.

Each of these riveting exposés, which proved so bad for Starbucks, were so good… so informative… so original that it appeared that every news outlet who chose to cover the scandal decided to copy the story and publish it as their own… And I loved every single one.

There’s only one problem about all these top ten lists…

The deeper you dig into the corporate enigma known as Starbucks, the more you realize that there are way more than just ten things that the company has been hiding from you.

So…

I decided to do a little research for myself, and share it with you.

I present to you…

10 MORE things Starbucks won’t tell you!

You can't handle the truth!

You can’t handle the truth!

1. Temperature Matters

Sure.  Even your average barista knows the difference between “iced” and “extra hot”.  But, when I asked them what temperature I should serve my red wine at, they looked at me like I was crazy.

The truth is that the serving temperature of wine definitely matters.  Red wine should ideally be consumed somewhere between 57 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit.  So, if you’re the type of jerk who leaves their red wines on the kitchen counter at room temperature, throw it into the fridge a half an hour before you plan on drinking it.  It’ll taste way better than a Mocha Frapachino.

2. Screw You

If it were up to Starbucks, every beverage would be sealed just loosely enough with a plastic lid and a green stick to splash their scalding hot concoction all over your crotch.  When it comes to wine, however, the bottle closure is really important.

While corks have been the reigning champ in the wine game for a few centuries now, modern technology has provided some great, synthetic, alternative closures.  Screw tops have been all the rage in Australia and New Zealand  for a while, and even some heavy hitting producers in the States (like Bonny Doon Vineyard) have switched exclusively to these closures.

Starbucks would never have told you this.

3. Legs Don’t Matter

Last time I was at StarSucks (see what I did there), I watched an employee dump his Caramel Macchiato into a glass, swirl it around, and hold it up to the light.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“Checking out the legs,” he responded.  “This is some high-end stuff!”

Oh brother!

See… The thing is, when it comes to wine, as pretty as legs running down a glass can appear, they have nothing to do with the overall quality of the juice.  It’s really just a product of the alcohol in the wine evaporating before the rest of the wine has a chance to rejoin the rest of the juice.

If your coffee had alcohol in it, it’d make legs too… That, and it would taste better.

4. Price and Quality are Not the Same Thing

Starbucks doesn’t hide the fact that it is way more expensive to buy a cup of coffee at their store than it is to make it yourself.  Everybody knows that.  What they refuse to tell you, however, is that the price of wine has virtually no impact on quality.

Sure… While it’s almost impossible to find a truly great Pinot Noir for under $20, for the same price you can take home some of the best Gamay-based wines (with a similar profile to Pinot Noir) on the planet.  The key here is to search for value… Starbucks will offer you none of that.

5. Flavor Flav

We all know that there is no actual pumpkin in the Pumpkin-Spiced Latte, but Starbucks will never tell you the truth about your favorite flavors in wine.  Did you know that of all the common flavors that we taste in Cabernet Sauvignon (Plum, Cassis, Blackberry, and the like), not a single one of these things are actual ingredients in the wine.

Let me repeat that…

There are no Blackberries in your Cabernet!

6. Soul Fight

Not only are preservatives found in your fancy espresso drink, they’re also found in your wine.  What Starbucks refuses to tell you is that Sulfites don’t matter.

Sulfites are naturally found in grapes, but are added to almost all wine to prevent contamination, and allow them to age longer.  There are some people who actually do have sensitivities to Sulfites (less than one in a hundred).  Starbucks is afraid to tell you that you are (most likely) not one of these people…

You’re not that special.

7. Second’s the Best?

Starbucks is not the only company that started from humble beginnings, only to climb their way out to world domination.  They will never tell you about Chateau Mouton Rothschild…

When the wines of Bordeaux were originally classified into tiers in 1855, Mouton was listed as a Second Growth!

I know!  It’s enough injustice to make a soccer mom spit her Oprah Chai Tea Latte all over her Target Coupon App.

Anyways…

After over a century of lobbying, Chateau Mouton Rothschild was reclassified as a First Growth in 1973.

8. The Perfect Pairing

No.  No.  No.

I’m not talking about the scone you ordered with your Americano.

I’m talking about Champagne and Potato Chips.

Starbucks will sell you neither of these items.

Jerks!

9. What are You Waiting For?

Starbucks wants you to drink your coffee the moment the barista serves you… Apparently their coffee tastes like poop once the temperature starts to dip.

What they refuse to tell you is that there is no need to save your wine for a special occasion.  The way I see it, the more wine you save, the less wine you drink.  If you keep waiting until “just the right time” to pop that cork, you’re never going to get the chance to enjoy it.

That’s right…

Starbucks does not want you to enjoy your wine.

10. Everyone’s a Critic

Starbucks literally pays five hundred thousand zillion million dollars every day to convince you that their coffee is the best.  This is not news.

In a world where wine aisles are littered with 90-point scores from every critic under the sun, Starbucks does not want you to know that YOUR opinion about the wine you drink is the only one that matters.  I find myself disagreeing with the likes of Robert Parker, Wine Spectator, and Wine Enthusiast all the time.  I’m sure many of you may disagree with some of my reviews…

But…

You are the one that is paying for your wine.

And you are the one who has to drink it.

So, quit trying to convince yourself to like something that you really don’t, just because some random guy with fancy credentials and a nice tie tells you it’s the vintage of the century.

In Conclusion:

After compiling this detailed list, I feel like I’m just barely scratching the surface on things that Starbucks won’t tell you… especially when it comes to wine.

Please be sure to share this article with your friends, and keep the movement going.

We cannot let Starbucks get away with this!

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What else is Starbucks not telling us?  Leave a comment, and let us know.

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 151: Let’s be Friends

January 10, 2015

In this episode, Jeff tries a few sample cans of coffee wine…

Wine Tasted:

Friends Fun Wine Chardonnay Coffee Cappuccino

Friends Fun Wine Chardonnay Coffee Cappuccino

Friends Fun Wine Cabernet Coffee Espresso

Friends Fun Wine Cabernet Coffee Espresso

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What was the last 78-point wine that you were impressed with?  Leave a comment, and let us know.

Breakfast at Betsy’s… A Must-Do

December 14, 2011

Oprah.

I used to watch her show every day after work.

I miss her show.

Think what you want about her…

That show was really well-done.

I remember one episode when she was talking about tips for living well.

She said that you must put yourself on your own to-do list.

I like that idea.

It’s simple… and it just makes sense.

With everything you have to do in life, never forget that you have to take care of yourself.

It’s Finals Week at my school right now.

One tradition that I have is to take myself out to breakfast on the first day of Finals.

This morning, I decided to treat myself to breakfast at Betsy’s Restaurant in Morgan Hill.

20111214-165134.jpg

Coffee.

I was greeted and helped within seconds of entering the diner.

In the time it took for my coffee to be delivered, I decided on the Betsy’s Omelette.

Loaded with bacon, sausage, avocado, and cheese... Betsy's Omelette. Rye toast. Tabasco. Coffee.

Fluffy eggs.

Gooey cheese.

Salty bacon.

Creamy avocado.

This breakfast hit the spot.

If you feel like treating yourself to something good, Betsy’s is a must-do.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

When it gets hot, slow down.

June 15, 2011

Back from the run. Let's reheat the coffee and make some brek (That's short for breakfast).

Yesterday, Kara and I noticed on the tail end of our morning (10:00 am) run how hot it is starting to get.  For the most part, during the fall, winter, and spring you can run any time of day outside without the fear of overheating.  As the summer time rolls around, you have to start earlier in the day.  You have to.

Sure enough, later that day (with the temperature exceeding 90 degrees farenheit) it seemed like everywhere we looked we saw people running.  Stupid people running.  Running with sweatpants on.  Running with their big thick-coated dogs.  All of them (people and dogs) looking like they wanted to die.  All of them (just the people here) looking stupid.

“We are not those people,” I told Kara.  “We will never run in that type of heat.  Tomorrow, we run EARLY.”

I woke up this morning at 6:30 am.

The fab four: Mug, Grinder, Beans, and a Coffee Pot

I fed the dog.  I brewed a pot of some tasty Puerto Rican coffee (A special thank you to my sister.  The greatest out-of-the-blue gift I’ve ever been given).  I got dressed.  Walked the dog.  Mixed up some of my electrolyte drink (Gu Brew).  Grabbed Kara.  We got to the trail at 8:15.

The plan for me was to do a mile warm-up, six miles at my tempo pace (~7’30″/mile since I’m training to run a half-marathon at 7 minutes a mile), and a mile cool down.  That’s Eight Miles if you are counting, Eminem.  I felt okay during the warm-up.  When I started my tempo run at mile two, I was doin’ alright.

Then…

The turn-around.

I was 4 miles away from my car, and when I turned to run back toward the starting point, I saw it.  The hot, bright, unforgiving Sun.  It had been at my back during the first half of my run, but now it was going to kick my ass.

My face and chest started to heat up.  I felt beads of sweat run down my forehead, along the side of my nose, under my sunglasses, and now they were pooling up just under my bottom eyelids.  As the ponds of salty water got bigger, they began to drain into and subsequently sting my eyes. What was once a brisk 7’30” per mile pace quickly slowed to a shuffling 11 minute mile.

I was spent, and I still had two miles to go.  Just nearing the end of the run, I caught up to Kara (who was finishing a six-miler).  “How was it?” I asked.

“Hot!”

“We are not the kind of people to run in this kind of heat, Kara.  Tomorrow… tomorrow, we run EARLIER!”

When we got home, I was dog tired… AND HUNGRY.

I still had some left over hamburger meat from the other day, so I figured I’d make my version of a Joe’s Special.  If you’re not from the Bay Area and don’t know what that is, I forgive you.  If you are a local and you don’t know what I am talking about, I will find you and slap you… HARD.

Traditionally, the Joe’s Special is an egg scramble with ground beef and spinach.  Outside of that, you can take any angle that you want.  I didn’t have any spinach on hand, but I did have hella tortillas so…

I threw the ground beef into a hot ass pan. Yes. That is a Rachel Ray omelette pan. It rules. That, and the handle is orange.

I put two taco sized corn tortillas in the toaster and set it to "bagel".

The beef was broken up and given some chopped onions, salt, pepper, and Trader Joe's curry powder. Mucho authentico!

Add egg, and scramble it up. Plate on top of the two interlocking tortillas. Top with half an avocado and 3 tomato slices. Joe's Special? More like Jeff's Rad! Am I right?

Save the leftovers so your wife can have a veggie sandwich later.

I ate this hearty brek while watching Sam Raimi’s “Drag Me to Hell” on the DVR.  The movie was okay.  Kind of fun.  I think it paired well with the fluffiness of the eggs.

I think the story would have worked out better for the main character if the title was "Don't Drag Me to Hell". What do you think?

After breakfast, Kara and I set out to do a few errands.  The heat was so draining, that we gave up on them about half way through.  With plenty of time left in the day, we headed over to Guglielmo Winery to use our free tasting coupon.  We spent almost two hours there… Just kicking back and enjoying the day.

Sometimes when it gets too hot, you just have to slow down.

Stay Rad,

Jeff


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