This is an update on my first post about the Starbucks challenge.
I tried it again this time and it was sweet bitter success. This time too the barista told me that they were not brewing the fair trade. But I asked if they could French press a cup for me and he instantly agreed. I had to wait for a while to get my coffee though, since they couldn't find it at first. But after a couple of minutes I had a huge cup of nice hot (and strong) fair trade coffee in my hands! I have to say that no matter how small a thing this is... it really felt good to drink that coffee. I don't know whether it is because I made them do something they don't typically do (They had to go back and get a new pack of "cafe estima" for me!) or whether it is the joy of supporting something good. Whatever it is it feels good! It was a bit expensive though and I am not sure if I can afford it all the time. But the local Webster's cafe and bookstore offer fair trade coffee for a lot less than snobby Starbucks.
I got a comment for my previous post about how much fair trade coffee Starbucks actually sells. I grabbed a brochure about 'social responsibility' from Starbucks yesterday. It says that in 2004 "fair trade certified" coffee accounted for only 1.6% of their coffee purchase. That's not really a big chunk. I didn't know what the deal was with other coffee chains about selling fair trade coffee though. So I went to Seattle's Best website and found out that it is owned by Starbucks since July 2003! Call me a coffee dummy... but I didn't know that. Seattle's best has 2 blends that are certified fair trade.
In the end taking the Starbucks challenge turned out to be a great learning experience. Thanks CityHippy and green LA girl.
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