Tuesday 5 February 2008

Scanning Starbucks' Napkins

The name sells coffee

As I changed trains on Sunday, I had a 30 minute stopover at Duisburg and decided to get a coffee.

Of all the coffee shops in the station, I had seen a Starbucks Coffee sign on the platform which was 70 metres away – I was willing to drag my baggage and self all the way to the global giant in a German city railway station.

Not so much for the coffee but for the fact that they do muffins – the muffins are not perfect, there are times I have looked at the muffins and thought I was in some biohazard laboratory with fungal spores cultivated on the surface of the muffins.

But ignore the eyes and mind, go for the taste and all will be well. I hate chocolate in my muffins, in fact, I only do blueberry muffins and when hard pressed vanilla or banana.

I’ve been silly

Too many choices of coffee and as I remembered the Undercover Economist, I realised I had been fleeced the moment I walked into the café, I was suckered and the fool in me was about to be parted from my money.

I ordered a Caffe Mocha Grande from the wall menu which according to Page 35 of my copy of the Undercover Economist with embellishments translates to - I want a cappuccino, mix that with hot chocolate; I feel special - and then make that big by adding water and milk; I feel greedy - and top it with whipped cream; I feel piggily gluttonous. Then charge me over twice the price of a regular coffee.

Did I also get a lemon cake too? My waistline is getting strained already.

I settled in a corner to down my coffee, muffin and cake and as I wiped my mouth of the crumbs, I noticed my napkin had one of those green messages that is supposed to make you feel concerned whilst delivering nothing in reality.

Annoying napkin

The napkin was made from 100% recycled fibres using a bleach-free process, one can be glad for that but the other messages took away from my satisfaction with the snack.

I could not say if it was the More plants, More planet. STARBUCKS COFFEE or the Less napkins, More plants, More planet that annoyed me more as a message that was a non-message; though if contrived enough, it could mean we all depart for the moon.

Similar to the message to save the trees as the paper is friction and pressure heated to bind the toner as you stand by the laser printer ready to pick up your essential printouts.

The trees have already been felled, that is why it is already paper in the laser printer – For crying out loud.

So, here I was in Duisburg, Germany using recycled paper to wipe my mouth and then noticing that the napkin was manufactured in the Netherlands; it would had have to be transported from somewhere in the Netherlands – so much for recycling and the carbon footprint of transportation.

Less Schmaltz, More muffin, More Coffee – I say.

Starbucks Napkin

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