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Lunchtime Quickie




liz gunnBy Liz Gunn || No not that kind of quickie – just a short post for any coffee lovers out there. I love coffee, and I especially love really good coffee. Once you’ve had good coffee, it’s hard to go back to “regular” coffee.

Don’t get me wrong, if my choices are gas station coffee or no coffee – well, fill-er-up! I need the fuel. But given the choice, I would take a locally roasted, fresh brewed Costa Rican, por favor.

Truthfully, I think Starbucks’ drip coffee is disgusting. It might as well be gas station coffee. They over-roast their beans and often let it sit way too long on a burner. One thing Starbucks does well though is specialty drinks. Believe it or not, I’m not the mocha-choca-frotha-cino type, but I do enjoy a good flavored latte.

The difference, for anyone who doesn’t know, is that lattes and other espresso based beverages are made to order. It goes from beans to beverage in less than two minutes. It’s easy to mask sub par quality beans with syrup and milk.

I stopped by Starbucks this morning purely out of convenience and a desperate need for more caffeine. There is one between my house and my daughter’s school that just put in a drive-thru. Score! Anyway, they have a new seasonal latte flavor, “Chestnut Praline”.

I took the bait and now I wish I had not. I foresee many trips through that drive-thru over the next couple of months, or however long they decide to keep it around. That’s the marketing brilliance behind seasonal products – if you really love it, you know time is limited so you’ll get one as often as you can. It’s like what McDonald’s has been doing with the McRib for more than twenty years…except that’s nasty.

Just putting this out there for anyone else who needs a caffeine fix. This is a superb choice if you find yourself at a Starbucks in the near future. As delicious as my latte was this morning, I still implore you to support your local coffee houses when possible.

Liz Gunn is a wife, mom, travel enthusiast, food snob, daydreamer and lifelong Gamecock fan. A graduate of the University of South Carolina, she lives in Columbia, S.C. with her husband and daughter.