November 17, 2018

seriously, starbucks, we need to talk

Dear Starbucks,

Photo courtesy of
Bullshit courtesy of Starbucks.
I am writing regarding your line of flavored Keurig-compatible coffee pods - specifically those labeled "mocha" - and asking that you remove these from shelves across the world on the grounds of what should be the company's bare-faced embarrassment.

"Toffee nut" is tasty.  I admit to the prospect of a cup of "toasted graham" being the thing that convinces me to roll out of bed some mornings.  And any corporation providing a line of double-caffeine pods is due respect and recognition.

I must present your "mocha" pods as a striking anomaly set against an otherwise solid performance.

We purchased these for our teenage son, who had only recently encountered that unquestionably delicious product widely known and enjoyed as a Starbucks glass-bottled mocha frappucino.  We thought that perhaps a cost savings could be achieved in empowering him to make his own reasonable facsimile of the beverage at home.  For a goodly number of reasons, this plan did not bear fruit.  The remaining eleven pods were abandoned.

These "mocha" pods take me back to childhood.  They evoke a memory of me as a young girl, standing by my mother in the grocery store.  I remember begging for a bottle of chocolate syrup with which to make chocolate milk, and my mother's hand reaching up past the Hershey's Genuine Chocolate [-Flavored] Syrup and instead seizing upon the bottle of Val-U-Time Rich Chocolatey Syrup, because that was how things were in our house.  I made a glass of chocolate milk using the syrup that very afternoon, the bottle's label sporting a yellow starburst proclaiming "Now with 200% MORE FLAVOR!", and even my unrefined child's palate noted the alarming fakeness of what could have only been corn syrup with brown dye and some chemicals that vaguely suggested a flavor of chocolate.  Triple the concentration of the dubious formula, in fact, if one was to believe the label.  I used the whole bottle over the ensuing weeks, to avoid the accusation of being wasteful, but the taste lingers in memory.

I did not expect to revisit it when I made my first cup of Starbucks "mocha".

Thus has the box sat on the top of our refrigerator for these past four months, the occasional pod removed and used as a component of a sacrificial guilt offering or delicate en pointe relationship navigation after one indulgently imbibed the last of the Brazilian the previous evening.

There are five pods left.  They are considered small sentences, to be suffered through and sipped while simultaneously depriving one's self of a true cup of coffee at a given time.  No amount of doctoring with other flavored syrups and creamers, or even rich, heavy cream, mitigates the experience.  We do not throw things away in our home.  The sentences will be served.

I write not for myself, but on behalf of those who may haplessly purchase these "mocha" pods in the future.  Please discontinue this line and spare these future customers an encounter with coffee bearing a misnomer that borders on false advertising, at best, and a two-week run of bad mornings that turn into bad moods taken out on family and colleagues, at worst, after these consumers begin their days with a mug brimming with hot, steaming childhood disappointment in lieu of all that a cup of coffee is supposed to bring.

Pull this from the shelves and try again, Starbucks.  I have faith in you and the vast resources at your disposal.  This time, do it right.  May I suggest Valrhona?


(p.s. Dear Google, Please do not attempt to replace the sacred name "Valrhona" with the word "hormonal".  While the two may intersect during certain phases of the moon, you do not know this.  Your Blogger dictionary is woefully inadequate.  You, too, have resources.  Get to work.  Thank you.)

(p.p.s. Dear Bots Trolling the Internet In Order To Bring Me Pertinent Ads, Please get your shit together.  I mean, really?)

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps the Google dictionary is confused and when Valrhona *genuflect* is purchased in large quantities is because one has also mentioned hormonal and the dictionary has perhaps thought the two words are symbiotic :)