Tuesday, November 13, 2012

And so it creeps in...

I received my first Christmas card of the season today.  Yes, really.  To the sender, who is not a friend, but a business contact, I can say only this: you are killing my buzz.  I understand the retail holiday creep as we're all in business to make money and studies have shown that the sooner stores start spreading the cheer, the sooner we start opening our wallets and when we start shopping earlier, we tend to spend more.  I was not surprised to receive my first Starbuck's red cup of the season:
There is one small problem with this, however.  I cannot order a Pumpkin Spice Latte in a red cup.  Nope, just can't do it.  It feels wrong.  Since Starbucks has upped their premium charge for said specialty latte this year, they will be missing out on extra cash from me as I order my good 'ol skinny grande latte, thank you very much.  Interestingly enough, as I carried my red cup through the mall, I found myself getting into the holiday retail spirit and did purchase two Christmas gifts.  They were things I was planning on eventually buying anyway, but the red cup called to me--it told me it was ok to just go ahead and start already.  Which got me thinking about one of my favorite subjects.  I have long held the belief that Starbucks is as successful as they are, in part to selling good coffee, because if it was awful no one would buy it twice, but also because of their cups.  Back when buying a cup of coffee would get you either a plain styrofoam cup with an ugly flat lid, or some other Dixie sort of epic design fail, Starbucks had the white cup with the large white lid.  People were given an instant fashion accessory just by carrying it.  The cup had a high-quality feel to it and I swear it makes the coffee taste better.  Carrying the cup says to the world, "I am hip and cool and enjoy quality.  See my cup?  The liquid inside tastes awesome.  You can see by my tall lid that this is a foam capped cappuccino.  Don't you wish you had one?"
Local to my office, there is a small coffee shop that makes the most incredible coffee I have ever tasted.  The Chestnut Hill Coffee Co. roasts their own beans.  They have baristas who really know what they're doing.  The building is also very, very cool.

When you order a cappucino, this is what you get:
I will go out of my way to get a latte there as opposed to the Dunkin' Donuts that is literally next door to my office or the Starbucks that is down the street.  When you ask for your coffee to go, they put it in a cup that looks EXACTLY the same as a Starbucks cup without the logo.  Why?  Because Starbucks set the bar.  The white cup with the tall lid is important because it broadcasts the quality inside.

Stay caffeinated, everyone!

Photos courtesy of Chestnut Hill Coffee Company and yelp.com.

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