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News to Chew | coffee

News to Chew

Taking a bite out of the world of food and food news

Starbucks: Try Our Coffee, It Tastes Just Like Instant

October 05, 2009 By: admin Category: Food News

BOOKMAN: Who doesn’t have instant coffee?
JERRY: I don’t.
BOOKMAN: You buy a jar of Folger’s Crystals, you put it in the cupboard, you forget about it. Then later on when you need it, it’s there. It lasts forever. It’s freeze-dried. Freeze-dried Crystals.

There’s some sort of irony or something going on here. You know, Starbucks – it of the McDonald’s-like ubiquity – conditions the world that so-so, overpriced brewed coffee is something we can’t live without. So when SB came out last week with their (heavily advertised) VIA instant coffee, it struck the News to Chew news desk as, well, weird.

C’mon. Instant coffee? From Starbucks?

That’s like saying, “Ya know, we’ve branded ourselves as the best coffee around, but we’ve expanded and overexposed ourselves to the point of mediocrity so we’re going to pull back your expectations with this new product we have – instant coffee.”

I mean, my parents drink instant coffee – a product of their generation. And they’re in their 80s. So, Starbucks is taking on Taster’s Choice or Nescafe? Maybe it’s a brilliant marketing strategy – they’re closing outlets everywhere, so now they’re entering a more dormant revenue stream.

Now, the Starbucks advertising and hype is saying you can’t taste the difference between VIA and their fresh-brewed coffee. So NTC decided to give it a try. And the verdict? Not bad, actually. In fact, it was better then the fresh brewed you’ll get at certain times of the day at Starbucks. It might be worth keeping a few packs in the cupboard at work or home.

Who knows? Maybe instant will be the new coffee trend? And then Folgers Crystals will be the new hipster anti-VIA coffee?

Just some news to chew on.

Arson can’t keep topless coffee shop from pouring it on

June 12, 2009 By: admin Category: Food News

Last March News to Chew reported on a coffee shop in Maine where the waitresses served their java topless. Novel idea, perhaps, especially for Maine. But apparently someone in Vassalboro disliked the notion of D-cups serving coffee cups enough to burn down the establishment - the Grandview Topless Coffee Shop burned to the ground last week and authorities said arson was to blame.<p>

Well, it seems pyromania isn’t going to keep those waitresses’ tops on, as the owner has reopened his business less than a week later in a tent canopy beside the burned rubble. We will refrain from making remarks about whose poles were holding up the tent.

Besides, the waitresses had their tops on – apparently it was a bit too nippy to go without.

Just some news to chew on.

See video of the reopening here.

Amuse bouche: Why does Starbucks run out of coffee…

June 10, 2009 By: admin Category: Amuse Bouche

Amuse bouche: Why does Starbucks run out of coffee in the morning? Is it a way to force you to buy a latte instead? Happens a lot to me.

Venti, with room for milk – topless coffee shop opens in Maine

March 02, 2009 By: admin Category: Food News

So, this recession is making for some imaginative – or desperate – business owners to stir up business. And in, of all places, Vassalboro, Maine, a topless coffee shop opened on Feb. 24 (Fat Tuesday, no less). Now, a topless coffee shop is something you might find in say, Las Vegas. But Maine? You know the economy is bad.

As reported in the Kennebec Journal, the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop opened for business, fulfilling the dream of every working stiff who want to start the day, well, stiff. Up the entrance ramp to the front door is the sign: “Over 18 only” — and another at the door: “No cameras, no touching, cash only.”

According to the article:

On Tuesday, inside were three topless women, one topless man and owner Donald Crabtree in a dress shirt and tie. Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper” was playing.

Brothers Dick and Rene Brochu of Augusta, ages 60 and 59, said they decided to stop by the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop after hearing about it from friends. Both men are retired.

“I really hope it works,” Dick Brochu said of the business. “It’s different. I kind of like it. If you don’t like it, I say don’t come in, stay away.”

For now, the menu at the shop is slim: Just cups of New England Coffee ($3 each) and donuts made from Chase Farm Bakery in Whitefield ($2 each). But it’s not the food that is the draw, right?

Now, it would be too easy to make jokes about what size cup the waitresses serve, or if you’d like coffee, teats, or milk?, or asking the waitress to pour me a stiff one, or asking for a squirt of milk with my coffee. No, that would make me a boob.

Waitress Ginni Labree said she enjoys chatting with people and she has received many compliments from customers, such as “you’re pretty, nice body, nice tattoos and you’re very colorful.”

“I haven’t had anybody leave without a smile yet,” she said.

That right there says it all. Just some news to chew on.