Newest Review: ... a Latte, a Cappiccino, a Macchiato, a Frappuccino or one of many other drinks that Starbucks does all in a range of flavours, with or with... more
Good with the bad....a mixed review
Member Name: worst_trip
Advantages: They do a nice caramel macciatto when they get it right
Disadvantages: Turns out, they don't always get it right
Three quid for a cup of coffee is really too much.
Having said that, about once every five years I go into a 'Starbucks' and order a Caramel macciato flavoured drink - basically a cup of milky coffee topped with a head of froth, onto which they drizzle a load of caramel-flavoured syrup. It costs £2.65 or something for a 'regular' mug of the stuff, the size of which should prove adequate for anybody; 'Starbucks' being an American chain, they also do their drinks in large and larger sizes, at approx. £3 for the next size up, and a little bit more for the absolutely ginormous version.
I've had no real complaints about 'Starbucks' before; even though it can be, as many people point out, difficult to order a such a thing as a basic cup of black / white coffee there as they provide so many different and fantastically-titled variations on the theme. Also the seating in the branches tends to be a bit hit and miss; if you can bag a free seat there's the option of sprawling on the 'lounge style' settees and armchairs - though the staff rarely seem to clear the tables associated with these areas - or alternatively you can take your chances perching up on one of the tall, tall bar-stools in the window. As mentioned before, the cost of the drinks is rather ridiculous (three quid! I could almost get a crappy bottle of Spanish Red for that), but as all 'Starbucks' branches are effectively the same, every time you go into one, you should know exactly what you're getting yourself in for, so there should be no real cause for complaint.
All 'Starbucks' branches exactly the same? Or so I thought. I don't really frequent this company's coffee shops often enough to be properly aware of what they're touting in terms of their Fair-Trade ideal world view, but I see from other reviews on this site that apparently the individual shops try to 'source' local ingredients wherever possible....which may explain the poor quality of the coffee and chocolate cake I had at their 'Borders' Bristol branch in Clifton at the weekend - the south-west of England not being an area renowned for the quality of its coffee, or cocoa production.
Frankly I can do better 'proper coffee' than that shoving a dessertspoon of ground coffee into a mug of hot water. Maxwell House with their budget 'Mellow Birds' instant coffee range, for pity's sake, can almost do better coffee than the tepid, weak, apology for coffee I was served in Starbucks last Sunday. As for the so-called 'cake' (notionally a 'Belgian chocolate brownie' that cost £1.65) - it was like something you'd find left at the bottom of a shoe-box a fortnight after the shcool fete you'd been trying to sell the stuff originally at had passed.
'Starbucks'. As a company, are they resting on their laurels? Do they assume that their reputation as a 'quality enterprise' is such that the general public will be too thick to notice that they're being served with sub-standard products? I mean you should've seen the paninis that some poor fools were being served with in Bristol last Sunday. Last panini at the bottom of the flat-bread crate! They looked like they'd been trodden on by someone wearing grill-plate sole-patterned boots.
So overall the 'Borders Bristol' 'Starbucks' branch put in a poor effort. I've had good stuff at 'Starbucks' in the past, but sadly, this wasn't up to scratch.
Summary: Can occasional visits to Starbucks can be part of an economically viable lifestyle?