Well, what can I say? It’s about time, in many ways. I was completely unaware of how automated everything was at Starbucks until my friend and I were discussing our barista experiences at local cafes….and she mentioned how, despite our working at lesser-known places, we were probably “more qualified” to make espressos and espresso drinks than most people who have only had barista experience at Starbucks.
Anyway, after finding out about the processes at Starbucks, I felt a little less excited about going to a Starbucks store. Learning to use a manual espresso machine has really helped me appreciate the art of espresso-making more; and it has helped me understand what people mean when they say that Starbucks has become a “fast-food chain”. Even when I went in for an interview at Starbucks a few weeks ago, the manager who interviewed me asked me about my barista experience, and I mentioned using the manual machines. He in turn responded, “Oh, we don’t do any of that around here; all we do is push buttons.”
Anyway, needless to say, I was not hired at Starbucks (more or less due to my limited availability). It’s not that I am glad that I was not hired; I still like going to Starbucks. But, it’s good to see that the CEO/Founder has made some effort to try to get employees to understand the art of coffee once again. Maybe some customers don’t care, but I know I do. I’m not sure if Starbucks can really go back to being a “neighborhood cafe”, but it can at least try to do so.