Tuned In

Coffee (and Burger) Break

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There’s a school of thought that journalists should limber up every once in a while by writing about stuff they don’t really know much about, and in that spirit, this morning I review Starbucks’ new Pike Place coffee for time.com. My qualification: drinking more coffee than is strictly good for me. My conclusion:

Starbucks says it took input from about 1,000 customers in designing Pike Place, and I could taste every one of them in there. This was a cup of coffee brewed by committee.

All in all, not a bad cup — nothing too objectionable, a perfectly fine if not completely fresh-tasting cup of coffee that I might expect to get at Dunkin, or, on a good day, Mickey D’s. Which is the problem: Starbucks is staking its future on making a cup of coffee for people who don’t like Starbucks — a McDLT in a cup.

And what is a McDLT, you might ask? Well, I could say that it was McDonald’s ill-fated 1980s attempt at aping Burger King with a “Whopper Stopper” of a burger that came in two compartments—one for the burger and one for the lettuce and tomato.

I could say that. But I’d rather let Jason Alexander do it for me. In song!