Starbucks Founder Howard Schultz Considering Presidential Run

Starbucks Founder Howard Schultz is apparently considering running for President.

Starbucks founder Howard Schultz is apparently considering running for President:

Former Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz is putting together an elite public relations team as he prepares to release a civic-minded new book and considers running for president in 2020.

A key player in Schultz’s growing team is Steve Schmidt, a former vice chairman at public relations powerhouse Edelman who managed Republican Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2008.

Schultz is one of the many names widely considered as a possible candidate to take on Trump in two years. In an interview with CNBC earlier this year, Schultz left the door open to a run. With experience mainly in the business world but not the political arena, Schultz would likely need experienced political operators on his side if he were to dive into presidential politics. Schmidt fits that bill.

Schmidt got to know Schultz through Edelman’s partnership with Starbucks. The two have kept in touch since Schultz left Starbucks earlier this year, people familiar with the relationship have said. Schmidt has continued to do private consulting work for Schultz on a variety of issues, including guiding him ahead of his upcoming book tour.

“Mr. Schultz has known Mr. Schmidt for a number of years through his work at Edelman,” Schultz’s spokeswoman told CNBC. “Mr. Schultz values Steve’s insights and they have stayed in touch,” she added.

Schmidt is a political analyst for MSNBC. He is a strident critic of President Donald Trump, and he left the Republican Party earlier this year.

Schmidt did not return requests for comment.

In October, Schultz hired Cheryl Cook, a longtime executive vice president at Edelman, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter. She will be representing Schultz up until and throughout his book tour, which is expected to start in February in New York City, these people said. Cook worked at the PR firm for more than a decade and got to know Schultz directly when Starbucks was one of her clients.

A representative from Schultz’s office confirmed in a recent email that Cook will help promote the former coffee executive’s new book, “From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America,” which is described as “part dramatic memoir, part blueprint of the new responsibilities that leaders and citizens share in America today.” Cook declined to comment, and an Edelman representative did not return a request for comment.

(…)

Political strategists from both sides of the aisle say that by enlisting the help of this PR team Schultz is clearly signaling he is exploring a run for president.

“I certainly believe in the abstract people coming from the business into politics, particularly a run for president, they need someone around them. They need to have people familiar to them to help them,” said Thomas Rath, a New Hampshire Republican operative and a former aide to Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich when he ran for president in 2016.

Rath explained though that if Schultz wants to be a serious contender for president, he needs to load up his unit with more politically savvy advisors, such as Schmidt.

“Others like Schmidt would be invaluable. Steve has seen so much. He would have a sense as to what the calendar means,” Rath added. “He would know how to hunt delegates and a keen sense as to how best to raising money.”

Democratic political strategist Hank Sheinkopf said he believes Schultz is putting together a group that could help in a variety of ways if he chooses to run for president.

“He wants to show people he can put together a team quickly and the best presidential campaigns have people from multidisciplinary sectors, from the private sector to those in political work. It’s smart. The Clinton’s first campaign had film makers. So did Ronald Reagan,” Sheinkopf said. “Bringing all different types of people into the operation shows you know what you’re doing and its a warning to other candidates.”

Still, those close to Schultz say he hasn’t traveled to the places presidential hopeful go to before they announce their intention to run for office.

He has yet to make his way up to the early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. It’s unclear when or if he will make it his way to these pivotal states.

He also hasn’t met with Democratic Party leaders to discuss jumping into the race, although strategists say it’s too early for anyone to make such a move.

Presumably, Schultz would run as a Democrat, which in his case would be interesting considering the fact that he has been critical of the party in the past:

Many leaders in the Democratic Party are veering too far left and overpromising government programs that are not fiscally possible, Howard Schultz told CNBC on Tuesday.

Without naming names, Schultz said in a ”Squawk Box” interview: “It concerns me that so many voices within the Democratic Party are going so far to the left. I say to myself, ‘How are we going to pay for these things,’ in terms of things like single payer [and] people espousing the fact that the government is going to give everyone a job. I don’t think that’s realistic.”

“I think we got to get away from these falsehoods and start talking about the truth and not false promises” said Schultz, whose Monday announcement that he’s stepping down as executive chairman of Starbucks is driving speculation that he may run for president in the 2020 election.

During the 2016 race for the Democratic presidential nomination against Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders, who described himself as a Democratic socialist, supported a single-payer “Medicare for all” policy on health care and other policies that his critics had said would be impossible to pay for.

“I think the greatest threat domestically to the country is this $21 trillion debt hanging over the cloud of America and future generations,” Schultz said. “The only way we’re going to get out of that is we’ve got to grow the economy, in my view, 4 percent or greater. And then we have to go after entitlements.”

Schultz has flirted with the idea of running for President in the past but never really gotten close to the idea. Much like fellow billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who is apparently also considering a 2020 run, he has backed away in the past and may well do so this time as well. That being said, Schultz has not shied away from taking political positions and, when he was Starbucks CEO, using his company to promote his political agenda whether it came to gun control, fiscal sanity, marriage equality, or any other number of issues. While he no longer runs the day-to-day operations of the company, Schultz is still well-known to virtually everyone as the Founder of Starbucks and the man primarily responsible for its expansion across the United States and around the world. Whether that translates into being a good candidate for President, though, is another question entirely.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2020, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Michael Reynolds says:

    No.

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  2. Kathy says:

    I’d support him if he were to run for the GOP nomination.

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  3. Tyrell says:

    I would consider supporting him if Starbucks starts making real truck driver style coffee instead of the homogenized, pasteurized, baby formula stuff that won’t float a marshmallow.

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  4. Teve says:

    Lots of people are gonna want in. Think about how bad it’s going for trump. Inherited a good economy with record-low unemployment, stock market’s great, and the GOP still got destroyed on Tuesday. And all this with no congressional oversight. With no serious crises or oversight his cabinet and extended braintrust was still an incompetent clown show. Starting in 2 months the House committees are gonna be two foot up his ass with a chainsaw. It’s gonna be 2 years of Trump Chumps under multiple subpoenas and almost certainly a recession. Anybody likeable who wins the Dem primary is gonna be in the catbird seat.

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  5. grumpy realist says:

    This attitude that businessmen have….”Hey! I ran a company! Therefore I should be able to run a country!”

    …notwithstanding that when running a corporation you can totally blow off the percentage of the population that doesn’t make enough money to afford your stuff and Not Worry About It. Whereas in a country, ignoring the poor sufficiently ends up with revolutions, getting lined up against the wall and shot, and other such antics.

    So I would suggest that these Barons of Capitalism have a wee bit more humility…

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  6. Kathy says:

    @grumpy realist:

    To me, it’s the lack of relevant experience that matters most. These people understand you can’t graduate from college with an A+ average, with a masters to boot, and go to a big company and say “I’m here to apply for the CEO position.”

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  7. Gustopher says:

    Isn’t there a governorship or a house race he could do first?

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  8. Mister Bluster says:

    @Tyrell:..real truck driver style coffee

    All you have to do before you go to Starbucks is kick the mud off your boots and use it to stiffen up the brew.

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  9. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    I prefer the Italian style espresso to the over sugared garbage that Starbucks sells but that has nothing to do with the fact that Schultz is not a good fit to be the leader of the free world.

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  10. grumpy realist says:

    @Kathy: Heh. Am working in a law firm and have run across a similar mindset with budding attorneys: I made straight As in my law classes, therefore I’m automatically A Good Lawyer.

    It’s amazing how many of them get indignant when they have to deal with the grubby details of actually running a law firm and getting a constant stream of paying clients. Somehow in their tiny little minds, high-paying clients should just automatically show up on the doorstep…..

    It’s about the only place left in modern capitalism where the “trade is vulgar” mindset still holds.

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  11. gVOR8 says:

    Oh goody. Joining Kasich, Bloomberg, Flake and I forget who else running for the Third Way, No Labels, socially moderate, fiscally conservative vote. Oughta split a high three figures vote count. They want the Repubican Party without the stupid, not realizing nobody will vote for them without he stupid.

    Saying the money’s not there for single payer means he’s too dumb to understand that the rest of the developed world manages single payer or something similar because it’s money we’re spending anyway, under different labels. I’ve said for years we should never let a businessman anywhere near the levers of the economy. They’re incapable of understanding the circular flow of money

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  12. Kathy says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa:

    Starbucks is decent enough for a morning latte or cappuccino, unsweetened, on a weekend morning to relax. I have one almost every Saturday and Sunday morning, before the weekly grocery shopping and/or the occasional run for office supplies.

    Lately, though, at the office, a coworker has been going to Xalapa on business. He brings back a local bean, and we brew it on a drip machine.

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  13. Blue Galangal says:

    “I think the greatest threat domestically to the country is this $21 trillion debt hanging over the cloud of America and future generations,” Schultz said. “The only way we’re going to get out of that is we’ve got to grow the economy, in my view, 4 percent or greater. And then we have to go after entitlements.”

    That’s funny, he doesn’t sound like any Democrat I’ve heard from in the past 2 years. He sounds a lot like a Republican.

    McConnell insisted that the change had nothing to do with a lack of revenue or increased spending and instead was due to entitlement and welfare programs. The debt, he said, was very “disturbing” and driven by “the three big entitlement programs that are very popular, Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid.… There’s been a bipartisan reluctance to tackle entitlement changes because of the popularity of those programs. Hopefully, at some point here, we’ll get serious about this.”

    President Donald Trump promised to leave Medicare untouched on the campaign trail, but Republican leaders like House Speaker Paul Ryan and Florida Senator Marco Rubio have long indicated their desire to cut entitlement programs to pay for their tax cuts.

    “You have got to generate economic growth because growth generates revenue,” Rubio said at a Politico conference late last year. “But you also have to bring spending under control. And not discretionary spending. That isn’t the driver of our debt. The driver of our debt is the structure of Social Security and Medicare for future beneficiaries.”

    “We’re going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit,” Speaker Ryan said on a conservative radio program around the same time.

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  14. Tyrell says:

    @Blue Galangal: “sounds like a Republican”
    He sounds more like a centrist, southern Democrat that has good, common sense and working class values. That is the Democratic party I grew up in.
    Starbucks coffee: watered down junk. Folgers, Dunkin, Panera are better.
    But that is neither here nor there. Schwartz seems reasonable.

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  15. An Interested Party says:

    Perhaps this is another indicator that there is still a portion of Republicans who are unhappy with Trump and would somehow like to get rid of him…I’m sure many here would be more than happy to make donations to anyone substantial who wants to run against him in the GOP primaries in 2020…

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  16. Moosebreath says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    “All you have to do before you go to Starbucks is kick the mud off your boots and use it to stiffen up the brew.”

    Well, it was ground this morning.

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  17. Mister Bluster says:

    @Moosebreath:..ground this morning…

    You are done for the day!

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  18. Kathy says:

    @Moosebreath:

    Well, it was ground this morning.

    J.

    Whew! That was a close one!”

    Griffin.

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  19. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Tyrell: I’ve got your solution for you. When you go to Starbucks, order drip coffee instead of lattes. It’s just as burnt tasting as any coffee I ever had at a truck stop. French Roast if they have it that day–it’s the most burnt tasting of all.

    ETA: Dunkin Donuts coffee? REALLY???????

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  20. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    In fairness to Tyrell though, he IS onto something. Starbucks cut it’s teeth in the coffee business selling coffee that the institutional coffee food service providers–Bunn, Curtis, Farmer Brothers, etc.–wouldn’t buy to the general public as *gourmet,* custom roasted, grind-at-home coffee. A marketing masterstroke, I must admit.

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  21. grumpy realist says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Actually, before places like Peet’s and Starbucks were on the scene, I remember my roommate and I going to the Dunkin Donuts in Harvard Square because it had the best coffee around.

    (MIT’s 24-hr coffeehouse coffee was notoriously bad, but had the caffeine concentration necessary when pulling an all-nighter.)

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  22. Jimj says:

    As a Seattle native, I can say that I have been drinking Starbucks Coffee longer than anyone on this site. My college roommate introduced me to Starbucks coffee in 1977.
    While I live and work in the Seattle area, I’m not a fan of Starbucks coffee or Howard Schultz.

    My favorite for the next Presidential election is Michael Avenatti. He is Italian, just like a good espresso. And he is the only Democrat who can spar with the current POTUS.

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  23. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I’ve yet to find an affordable home appliance that will make espresso and decently foamed milk. Not that I’ve tried them all, but a few. And I have tried the Nespresso. It does foam well, the espresso is good, but it’s not hot enough. Besides, those pods are expensive and terrible for the environment.

    One time a coffee supplier let us have a couple of automated machines that 1) ground the beans, 2) made espresso or Americano, and 3) had an attachment to foam milk. These worked very well, but they retail for about $1,500 last time I checked.

    The Starbucks I frequent most is one of three places at a small strip mall where one can get a latte. It’s not the best (far from it). But all three charge about the same price, only two offer complimentary WiFi, and only one has power outlets to charge my phone and a rewards program that occasionally coughs up free drinks.

    And that’s why I choose Starbucks.

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  24. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    @Kathy: Starbucks coffee is in general overroasted and stale, it’s also expensive. I think that the espresso(No sugar, with or without foam milk) is a much better coffee than the usually watered down coffee that’s generally served in the United States, but even considering this the Starbucks coffee is not a good coffee.

    Tyrell might have a point here, that Starbucks ruined coffee experience in North America. But that has nothing to do with Mr. Schultz political aspirations.

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  25. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    @Kathy:

    I’ve yet to find an affordable home appliance that will make espresso

    Did you try the Moka Pot? It’s simply awesome, and it’s incredibly cheap.

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  26. Kathy says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa:

    No, but I know where to get one.

    I’ve a cheap Krupp machine I picked up years ago. It makes decent espresso, and even uses a metal basket and filter. But when it comes to foaming milk, it’s best not to talk about the results.

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  27. Sleeping Dog says:

    Oh please, dear God NO.

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  28. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @grumpy realist: In the PNW where I live, DD never had good coffee, fresh donuts, or anything else that could help them become competitive. They went broke spectacularly here. Not a single store left anywhere.

    In Korea, they had good coffee, too. I was really surprised. But it still wasn’t good enough for me to not buy my spro at another shop in the train depot. Dunkin for donuts and a little Korean owned shop for coffee on my weekly trip to Seoul.

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  29. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: I know what you mean. I don’t make espresso at home because the home machines usually can’t generate enough pressure for either process. I’ve never found a good home machine either, but for me, coffee is more of an event than a drink. At home I use a drip machine. Just bought a new one at Wallyworld for $10.99 (IIRC).

    ETA: When I first came back to the US, the town where I live only had one store that was neither a Starbucks nor a drive up coffee kiosk. It’s improved some–there are now 3 different stores, but one closed a store and is back to one outlet. I make about one pot of drip coffee a week and go out for spros about twice.

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  30. Michael Reynolds says:

    In Italy you can pull up at any rural gas station and get a perfect espresso. They’re not good at lots of things, the Italians, but food, sports cars and coffee? They’ve got those down.

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  31. de stijl says:

    I thought Tyrell was salt-of-the-earth rural. How does dude cogently critique DD and Starbucks?

    Bumfudge, MI or AL don’t have either Dunkin or Starbucks.

    This is indicative that Tyrell is not who he says he is.

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  32. Mister Bluster says:

    Back in 1970 I got a job driving the Yellow Cab in Sleepytown. When I hired on all I had to present to the dispatcher was a valid Illinois Drivers License. No drug test or background check. It was the night shift. You showed up at 6 pm to start a 12 hour shift. Six nights a week. I had Thursday night off. The only way you could drive part time, 6 til midnight, was if you were a college student. I was broke and couldn’t afford tuition so I was a real Taxi Driver.
    Didn’t have to lease the car or provide insurance or gas. Just drive. The hacks were Checker Marathon’s. Nice rides.
    The pay was 30% comission on the fares I collected. No meters. The town was small enough to be divided into zones. If you got in the cab anywhere in zone 1 downtown, an area about 2 miles square, and traveled anywhere in that zone the fare was 60cents. I got 20cents. If I got an extra nickel or dime from a fare it was a big tip.
    The night drivers couldn’t leave till the day driver for their car showed up in the morning. They were supposed to start at 6am but since they all had seniority I was lucky if they got there anytime before 7am pushing out my shift to 13 hours most nights.
    When I first started there was nowhere open all night to get coffee. No 7-11. No nothing.
    Except…
    There was a coffee vending machine at the Illinois Central Passenger Depot that was open all night to accommodate the City of Miami and The City of New Orleans and a few other trains that stopped there.
    The coffee machine took a quarter and at the push of one of 6 blue buttons would dispense
    Coffee Coffee/Cream Coffee/Sugar Coffee/Cream and Sugar Tea or…Potato Soup.
    I pushed the coffee button night after night for the brown fluid that it shot into the cup that, most times, dropped into place. It wasn’t very good.
    Don’t know how many times I looked at the Potato Soup button and just said no.
    Damn thing finally got the best of me one time and I tried it. Pretty much what you might expect from a vending machine 50 years ago.
    Had all the flavor and consistency of powered cardboard and chalk dust in warm water!
    Got a whole new life when Always Open Dennys came to town!

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  33. de stijl says:

    Ds have not yet been susceptible to big-pocket amateurs. What’s-his-name will not change that dynamic.

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  34. de stijl says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    I enjoyed your story.

    (Kinda sound a little like Travis Bickle, but still…

    “Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets.”

    Awesome Taxi Driver quotes…. https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Taxi_Driver

    The worst job I had was when I was 17 working in a pizza joint that delivered until 4 AM and I worked 9 till close. I was brand new, but I was by far the most responsible person there after midnight.

    If you got a pizza delivered from us, there was a 100% chance it was made by a spiker Hep A positive heroin addict and our delivery driver was higher and / or drunker than you were.

    I tried hard not to steal anything that was sellable because that would be a dick move, but we were squatting and I had mouths to feed and dumb-ass punk kids to corral. One morning, we split a big bag (2lbs, 3 – that sort of size) of semi-moldy shredded mozzarella I “liberated”. You pick the green bits out and pretend it’s not garbage and that it’s perfectly okay that it’s 5 AM and that’s the proper time for the group “dinner.”

    I apologize to people who ordered pizza from us.

    I apologize to that old version of me.

    I apologize to the folks I was squatting with.

    I can’t eat pepperoni anymore. Every time I eat pizza now, I still remember. Strangely, I can eat a sausage and mushroom no problem.

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  35. MarkedMan says:

    @de stijl: my thoughts exactly.

    And couple that with the fact that anyone old enough to drink truckstop coffee during the pre-Starbucks era would never talk about how good it was. People under 45 just have no idea how bad coffee used to be. The cheapest grounds imaginable roasted to a mediocre darkness then speed dripped through equipment that hadn’t been thoroughly cleaned in decades. Or worse yet, percolated. Often made in twenty gallon containers and if you ordered after lunch it could have been sitting just below boil for hours. [Shudder]

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  36. grumpy realist says:

    @Kathy: I have a steel expresso maker (one of those that you put on the stove and wait until it boils over) which has been with me for donkey’s years and has travelled all across the world with me. Have discovered that if I fill the expresso grounds basket only half-way I get a very good and not too strong serving of coffee.

    The major drawback I’ve found is that so many supermarkets are getting rid of their coffee grinding machines so getting my hands on coffee beans ground for expresso can be iffy.

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  37. wr says:

    @MarkedMan: People under 45 just have no idea how bad coffee used to be.”

    I’ll say. I grew up in Berkeley, home of Peet’s, drinking coffee made by my parents who had lived in Italy. When I moved to Seattle for college there were only three Starbucks stores there — selling beans, not drinks — but there was a lively coffee culture. And then I moved to LA for grad school and discovered a world where when you ordered a cappucino, you got a hot chocolate with some coffee in it. (Northern California was settled by Easterners, with a lot of Italians bringing their coffee traditions with them; Southern California was settled by Midwesterners — you know, the kind of people who insist that Dunkin and Macdonalds have better coffee than Starbucks because to them the highest reaches of coffeedom come from a Yuban can.

    I can’t tell you how overjoyed I was when Starbucks first started appearing in LA. It changed the city entirely for the better.

    But I’d still poke my eyes out with a stir-stick before voting for yet another billionaire with no government experience for president.

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  38. MarkedMan says:

    @wr: 100% agreement on both the coffe and politics. I discovered good coffee and good food when I moved to NOLA in 1991. (Best quote from someone I later realized was a celebrity NO chef, when I asked if there was a particular area where the good restaurants were located, “Nah, location doesn’t matter. If you serve good food the people will find you, and if you don’t it doesn’t matter where you are located.” One exception to this is Bourbon Street. Never eat on Bourbon Street because even a good cook will eventually be beaten down by serving nothing but drunks.)

    So feel free to loathe Starbucks (after all it is the accepted sign of a sophisticated taste that one loathes all popular things, and only dares to like things that are little known or difficult to obtain), but appreciate the fact that they started the trend of good coffee outside of New Orleans and the west coast.

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  39. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I’m told in Hawaii even gas station type coffee is a local variety, adn therefore quite good.

    If that doesn’t qualify as paradise, nothing will.

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  40. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    My problem ins’t so much espresso, as foamed milk, all at a decent temperature. The best home machines do is an approximation.

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  41. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mister Bluster: Your vending machine had potato soup? That must be a regional thing. All the vending machines in the PNW had only chicken soup.

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  42. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    I remember those vending machines, though I never saw one with soup (I hear there are soup capsules for Keurig).

    Updated versions are still around, but they are even less popular today. They are good enough when 1) you need caffeine and nothing else, such as Coke, is available, and/or 2) when it’s cold and no other warm drinks are available.

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  43. JohnMcC says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Vending machines in my neck of the woods gave you a can of chili with that same choice of ‘coffee’. This was where & when I saw my first microwave oven. I felt like I was seeing the future.

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  44. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: Warning! Coffee Geek Posting Below!

    Kathy, have you ever tried an electric frother? I was never very good at the steam frothers and hit upon this as a good substitute. They use a mini spinning coil on the bottom to froth and simultaneously heat the milk. If you decide to go this route, here’s a few tips. First, it appears that there is basically one manufacturer in the $30-$40 range that OEMs for literally dozens of different brands. Second, some milk froths and some milk doesn’t. Despite what you read online, it doesn’t seem to matter what the fat content is. I have have had success more often with milk in cardboard cartons rather than plastic, although 100% of Trader Joe’s milk doesn’t froth regardless of container. In my area Horizon Organic Milk in half gallon cardboard containers, whole and 1%, works 100% of the time. Finally, although it will shut off after a certain point, you can estimate the temperature by time. I usually stir the top and sides into the whirlpool a couple of times with a long handled spoon while it is frothing, otherwise the top froth is cooler than the bottom.

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  45. de stijl says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Get a burr grinder. Your life will be improved – trust me on this.

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  46. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Thanks! I’ll check that out.

    If you blow air in milk with a straw, it tends to make many, big, long-lasting bubbles. Water also makes lots of big bubbles, but they pop about as soon as they get made.

    It’s not surface tension, though it’s tempting to think it is. Soap lowers water’s surface tension, for instance, but bubbles of soapy water are more durable. So it’s something else structurally in the liquids.

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  47. de stijl says:

    @wr:

    you know, the kind of people who insist that Dunkin and Macdonalds have better coffee than Starbucks because to them the highest reaches of coffeedom come from a Yuban can.

    McD’s coffee no longer sucks. They use decent beans and their machines are calibrated so it’s brewed and served at appropriate temperatures. It’s not great, but it is passably decent. It’ll do in a pinch.

    Starbuck’s dark roasts are over-roasted to the point that the results taste uniformly burnt and acidic. Their lighter roasted beans aren’t total trash (I think the brand name is Verona[?]).

    BTW, I learned a cool thing – befriend the guy or gal who roasts the beans at your local joint.

    Tip them – seriously.

    Tip the counter staff, but also slip them a lil sumpin sumpin and say this is for X, the roaster. You’ll get samples. You’ll get a pound of Blue Mountain that he experimented with and went less temperature, but a longer roast just to see how that worked out.

    (Except when the roaster is a neo-nazi with 88 tats and wears shirts with Wolfsangel runes and named his AK “Freya” and he wanted to be called “Tyr”. Well, I still tipped him because he was a good roaster and got swag, but maybe don’t actively befriend that particular type.)

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  48. MarkedMan says:

    @de stijl:

    Get a burr grinder

    Whole heartedly agree. I’m someone who doesn’t have a very discerning palate, but I could immediately taste the difference between burr ground and blade ground coffee.

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  49. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy:

    So it’s something else structurally in the liquids.

    Definitely. Which is why I tend not to let myself think about why none of Trader Joe’s milk holds a froth….

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  50. gVOR08 says:

    @Moosebreath: @Mister Bluster: You’ve given me a chance to tout my favorite book ever, Richard Hofstadter’s Goedel, Escher, and Bach. No one can claim a complete education without having read it. It is a demonstration of German mathematician Kurt Goedel’s Incompleteness Theorem using Escher prints and the structures of J. S. Bach music to illustrate points. Between chapters there are word play dialogues to further illustrate a point. In one of the dialogues we find,

    Achilles: Personally, I’m dying for a cup of coffee. … I’ll fix some.
    Charles Babbage: The grounds are excellent! … I daresay, Mr.Crab, you must be a superb gardner. … (wrt/ his chess playing machine) You probably have observed all it’s weaknesses. I’m sure there are very few grounds for praise.
    Crab: The grounds are excellent! …this is an unparalleled accomplishment. … What have you found Mr. T? (About the screen flicker.)
    Tortoise: The grounds are excellent! … I think the problem lies instead with the input leads. …Achilles, what’s the story with our coffee?
    Achilles: The grounds are excellent. … I’ve set the cups…under this print Verbum by Escher. … What I find so fascinating about this print is that not only the figures, but also–
    Author: The grounds are excellent!

    Taking a sick day from being retired and nothing more pressing to do than bore you with this.

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  51. Michael Reynolds says:

    @de stijl:
    Ah, that takes me back. I was a graveyard manager for Sambo’s back when they existed. 10 PM to 6 AM (though I’d often stay on and pick up tables on the morning shift.) The bar rush would come around 1-2 AM and once we’d dispensed with them it was a zoo – waitresses wearing their aprons as capes, cooks drunk, random obscene announcements over the PA, pilferage, embezzlement, fights in the parking lot, and all of us crushing speed pills and snorting it off the waiter station. Good times.

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  52. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Coffee is a magical drink that combines well with plenty of other things, thus improving them.

    At one time I tried several recipes for coffee-based jello. Unfortunately, freshly brewed coffee mixed with milk and unflavored jello, did not homogenize enough. My more successful ones involved instant coffee (really), especially one using liquid yogurt (regular yogurt is too thick).

    I’m thinking of trying coconut milk with coffee next.

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  53. de stijl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    It’s utter chaos. And I’m 17 and the new guy.

    And I’m the guy trying to “solve” this because that’s what I do, and I can’t.

    The job did keep us kinda fed through a hard, cold winter, though.

    At one point I weighed 122 and I normally carry 165 lbs with no (well, minimal) love handles.

    One upside to the job was they had hot, running water. That was stupendous. I went “home” every morning with a backpack full of gallon jugs of water.

    A sink full of hot water that you can summon with a handle labelled “H” is a godsend. Homelessness / squatting taught me many things. Light switches are amazing inventions and should not be blithely dismissed.

    To this day, I despise cold pizza. Too many bad memories.

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  54. Mister Bluster says:

    @All:..Thank you for upvotes and comments.
    That was the only coffee vending machine that I remember selling soup.

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  55. de stijl says:

    @gVOR08:

    Taking a sick day from being retired and nothing more pressing to do than bore you with this.

    This is the best and truest thing I’ve read today. Party on, dude.

    ReplyReply
  56. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mister Bluster:..Correction: The area of Zone 1 mentioned in the Taxi Driver item above was one square mile not two miles square.

    ReplyReply

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