Coffee and civilization?

There are reasons why I love living in Aberystwyth and others hate it. Take the Starbucks store locator (hat-tip: The Daily Grind), for example.

According to this, not only are there no Starbucks within 5 miles of Aber, there aren’t any within 50 miles either. We do not compute in the Starbucks universe.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t find a good coffee in town, by the way. Far from it.

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10 Responses to Coffee and civilization?

  1. I really don’t think Starbucks deserves the reputation it seems to have among students. They treat their employees unusually well for an entry level service job and their ecological and developmental credentials are actually pretty good.

  2. Sharon says:

    True, there are worse. I should probably have made it clear that Starbucks here was standing in for the still striking near absence of the big multinationals when it comes to food and drink (there isn’t a McDonalds in the town centre either, or a Pizza Hut or a KFC… although there is a Burger King, but it’s been here for years, and a Subway has recently opened). And the question mark in the title was there because I was musing on which is more ‘civilized’, a place that has all of those universal homogenized fast food joints or a place that doesn’t?

  3. rob says:

    163. In 5 miles. And in the last year I’ve been to one of them. Once.

  4. I don’t even want to think of how many there are around here — my old neighborhood had a Starbucks in one supermarket, a stand-alone Starbucks 3 doors down, and a Starbucks in the supermarket across the street. Benefits- and pay-wise, it’s not a bad company, but the coffee is still shite, IMO.

  5. Brandon says:

    I have difficulty even wrapping my mind around that; but, then, I spent my undergraduat years in Portland, OR, where in many places downtown there’s literally a coffee shop on every street corner — alternating a bit among Starbucks, Timothy’s, and Second Cup.

  6. chris says:

    As this lad points out, Starbucks’ singular innovation has been to turn coffee into essentially a flavoured milk drink. ‘Nuff said.

    I thought it was quite an entertaining book, BTW.

  7. Sharon says:

    The paperback is under a tenner too. Might get a copy. Although I’m trying not to buy any more books this month…

  8. Simon says:

    But they have wireless access, and for travellers, like I will be in a couple of weeks, it is invaluable.

  9. I find Starbucks an excellent place to read, generally. It’s less painfully lacking in distractions than a library, but still a space where overall focus can be maintained. Also, I’ve never had the staff in any Starbucks anywhere in the world encourage me to leave after reading for a couple of hours. By contrast, a good number of other coffee shops have encouraged me to depart, even after buying a coffee and even when the place was not full.

  10. david tiley says:

    I am sure Milan’s only public sin is trying to speak French to strangers, but there is a wonderful post somewhere out there about people who do wi-fi in coffee shops and shout at the screen.

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