For those of you who still actually believe that drinking Starbucks makes you somehow sophisticated, here is the final blow: instant coffee.
You can convince yourself that you are enjoying fancy coffee products just because you find Starbucks to be an experience, feeling better by ordering different sizes using Italian words, while you think that you are getting a real caffeine jolt because you asked for a quadruple shot of espresso. You can probably even sit at one of the tables, popping that CD you just bought with your coffee into your MacBook, with the illusion that your are enjoying finer things in life. Let me break the news for you: you are drinking coffee from a paper cup. A paper cup with plastic lid on top! For true coffee connoisseurs, that is a sacrilege. As far as potency goes, if you think your Starbucks coffee is strong, you have certainly never sampled real Irish, Russian, or Turkish coffee offerings, some of which have the consistency of used engine oil, keeping you wired for days. (You also need to watch more Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.) And now, citing demand created by the recession, Starbucks is lowering the standards by offering instant coffee. You can get better deals elsewhere with a more local experience, or just make a cheap, tasty cup at home or at the office.