Pretend you’re Starbucks.

Pretend you’re Starbucks. November 9, 2015


So far, I have met zero Christians who are mad at Starbucks. My Facebook feed has, however, been overrun by Christians who don’t care what Starbucks puts on its cups, and are embarrassed by the few noisy meat heads who say they feel persecuted by having to drink their $11 lattes out of a red cup rather than a red cup with a light red reindeer on it.

Which leads me to believe that this is one of those Big Fat Nothing stories, and the more noise we make about denouncing it, the closer to Something the story becomes. Cameramen at ballgames turn away when there’s a streaker on the field, so let’s do the same, eh?

I do wonder, though, what you would do if you were Starbucks, and you really did, for whatever reason, want to make “the holiday season” (Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa/What Have You) more pleasant or meaningful for the world. Let’s say you have tons of money and nothing but good intentions. What gesture would you make, big or small? Could be something commercial, or something for your customers, something for your employees, something secret, something global, or whatever. What would you do?

Best answers will be read on the air this evening at 5 Eastern, as I chat with Mark Shea on his show Connecting the Dots. You can listen to the show live on Breadbox Media here. I’m Mark’s co-host every Monday, and you can hear podcasts of previous shows with me and Marks four other co-hosts (one each weekday) here.


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Dave

    Silently donate a portion of all “red cup” sales to women and children shelters.

    • antigon

      Or, at least once pigs learn the art of flight, to pregnancy counseling centers.

  • Kathryn King

    Start brewing decent coffee instead of that burnt swill that passes for worth $4 a cup.

    • RIGHT?? Their brew is perpetually burnt. Their products are overpriced. Their lines are a mile long and take an eternity. While you’re waiting you could sip a cup of Panera deliciousness while savoring your innocent conscience because they don’t want Christian cash anyway.

      • I’m gonna throw down the coffee snob card here:

        Starbucks coffee can be strong. It can be unpleasant to some palates. One thing it is not, however, is burnt. Repeat: Not burnt. They do not burn their beans. None of their beans, in any of their roasts, is overdone. None. Whatever Starbucks may or may not be, one thing it has learned how to do in its 45 years of business is roast beans properly. Not even the most ardent indie anti-corporate local roasters claim that Starbucks doesn’t know how to roast a bean (a favored local roaster around these parts distinguised itself with masterful roasting that was, if anything, degrees darker than anything produced by Starbucks). Heck, the fastest-growing line of Starbucks coffee is the so-called “blond” roasts, i.e., under-roasted. The opposite of burnt.

        Let’s all agree: Starbucks does not burn its beans.

        Nor do they overcook the coffee in the urn. For one, they closely monitor the temps. Two, they go through so much coffee so fast that none of it has a chance to sit around and burn in the urn.

        What Starbucks DOES, however, is brew coffee with at the ratio of one coffee scoop to every 6 oz. of water. This is by the book, but it’s very concentrated. Too concentrated for some, and the result for some is “ick! burnt!” But it’s not burnt. It’s concentrated — properly concentrated according to many, but too concentrated to many others.

        If you don’t like it so concentrated, you can ask for a mild pourover, or an americano that is light on the amount of grounds used.


        Oh, and as far as what Starbucks could do to bring more Joy to the World, some equity in the business for its growers could go some distance.

    • Dan13

      The actual coffee is around $2 and only about a 50 cent or so markup on McDonald’s. It is their speciality drinks that earn them the name “Fourbucks.”

  • KilkennyKid

    My gift to my employees would be stock in the Dunkin Brand. Better and less expensive coffee and no where near the hype and free advertising Starbucks gets from these people..

  • Emily Kimmel

    Give free coffee to homeless people- it’s cold out in the streets in most of the country this time of year.

    • This. THis sounds like one of the best ideas for any coffeeshop to implement.

  • Dan13

    I kinda like their cup design. With the red cup and their green logo it seems Christmasy.

    The guy who started this thing sounds a tad unhinged. Plus he misused “literally” in his commentary.

  • MightyMighty1

    Respect employees’ personal lives and schedules. Let employees work together to figure out the best schedule for their team. SB is one of these companies that uses a software with algorithms that end up scheduling people for inhumane hours (like closing at 11 PM and opening five hours later at 4). They also have people on call or send them home when things or slow. All of these things shift costs and inconveniences onto the employees while the company reaps the sole benefit. Employees with kids are especially screwed–how are they supposed to deal with it when they are paying for childcare but sent home from work without pay? Or called in but don’t have childcare? Or need childcare until 11:30 PM and then starting again at 3:30 AM?

  • Maggie Goff

    I am not a fan of Starbucks. I don’t like their coffee, but I do like to give credit where credit is due. Here’s one good program that Starbucks has for their employees:

  • Mike Blackadder

    I boycott Starbucks because they are anti-Christian, anti-life and it’s the meeting place of the elite and entitled. Don’t care about their red cups or their position on Christmas.

    • There’s a lot worse companies out there, to be honest, that are far more insidious. Walmart and Nike, just to name two.