Friday, October 07, 2005

Starbucks challenge: Sweet success second time

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.

Technorati Tags: , , Starbucks Challenge, , Starbucks Challenge


City Hippy said...

Awesome! Thanks for taking part...really appreciate it.

This is a great learning experience all round.



Siel said...

Cool! So specifically asking for a French pressed cup worked! I'll add this to the FAQ :) Important for all challengers to know -- and something I'll ask Starbucks about.

And I feel good too :) They're all small actions, I guess, but all together, we're really starting to change things, I hope --