While I do consider myself to be a “foodie” and have read extensively about food (including the excellent book Starbucked), I still felt somewhat embarrased about lining up to get in and order at the original location of Starbucks in their small Pike Place storefront.
The place was totally packed. Tourists made up 100% of the clientele, and at that, I’d say at least half (if not more) were there just to take pictures. Others lined up to get special mugs, or the Pike Place Starbucks gift card that you can only get at that location (I can’t say I wasn’t tempted, but I like to force this mega-company to donate every time I buy something using my (RED) card).
So, we lined up. It was so packed, we didn’t really get to enjoy the wood fixtures and old-school charm of the place. I have to give props to the servers there – these barristas sure were friendly and happy despite working at the craziest shop in the state!
It actually didn’t take long to get to the front of the line. I put in my order for an “Grande extra dry cappuccino” swiped my card (kaching! $0.05 for charity) and they tossed my paper cup over the gawking customers to two hyperactive Barristas who were (gasp!) still pulling espressos by hand!
I was happy to have this extra – I miss the clanging of tamping down grounds and dumping spent coffee. I do resent the button-pushing automation that has been instituted at every location, other than this one. Note this girl in the front with the glasses – she must loose her voice every night – she was chatting up customers, goofing around with coworkers all while preparing custom drinks at lightning speed (see the stacked cups on backorder – holy crap!).
So, my drink in the end was very well made. Super thick foam sat neatly above the espresso. Not a single grainy piece in the bottom of the cup. Pretty good.
Would I ever line up and feel like a chump tourist again though? No. This was a one-time visit to a mecca of consumerism, and that’s enough for me.