Sochi's black-market Starbucks, courtesy of NBC


For me, the bewildering thing about this whole deal is that they went to all this trouble to import what is ultimately pretty shitty coffee.


It’s not what’s good, it’s what’s familiar.

Asking most people who have never consumed any coffee other than Starbucks to drink Intelligencia or Blue Bottle is as threatening to them as asking them to eat strange food they’ve never seen or tasted before.

Most people do not care if it’s good, they care most that it’s comforting and familiar.


I don’t think it’s about coffee per se. It’s about a taste of home, which some people enjoy. maybe not your people, but actual human beings with their own tastes clearly do enjoy the stuff. Military rations have little tastes of mass marketed brands as well. eg, Tobasco. It’s no sriracha, but I’m not going to judge the military for the choice of putting in some MREs.

Whenever I find myself judging people or organizations after having only observed them from a safe distance, whatever my judgement says obviously has more to do with me, than with them.

There is no accounting for taste, but there you go again

From the graphic, I was hoping for a story on graffiti at the Olympics.


This only has to do with personal taste. Because you think something is awful, doesn’t mean everyone else agrees.

Personally, I don’t like coffee at all.


Hipster Starbucks hate is Hipster.


In the entire resort town of Sochi, not one local coffee place could please NBC? Gotta import some blandness?


I would choke down some burned-nasty Starbucks before I would trust a native cafe in a city that gave me this out of the tap:

If you pay to bring over the coffee and someone to brew it, you can also pay to bring over a hospital-grade filtration system…


Srsly, what’s up with the AU/NZ coffee in London? Ozone in Shoreditch. Daisy Green in Marylebone. Some of the best I’ve ever had. Such a toasty warm flavor. It’s distinctly different from old school Graffeo or new school Ritual/Four Barrel. Where can I find equivalents in SF? NYC? DC?

Once in a while someone writes something that in the most succinct way possible perfectly expresses something you have had floating around in your head for a while that was vague and unexpressed. This post did that for me. Well done.

1 Like

They could have really gone to town and imported Dumb Starbucks.


If any of the NBC people are from Waco that could be a taste of home.

As someone who grew up on instant Nescafé in Britain, all I can say is that Starbucks and their ilk did a great job of raising the floor. Yes, their coffee tastes burnt and they don’t know what a macchiato is, but they definitely serve as a gateway into better coffee.

I never go to Starbucks, but I do drive past their HQ every day…


And that pic is from Sochi? Posted by who? You? Not necessarily snark, but…I have photos of funky water as well.

Anyway, haven’t heard of masses of folk felled by bad water in Sochi.

The only branded coffee player is supposed to be McDonald’s Corp. […] which has been gaining grounds globally with its McCafé outlets.

Ah. See … first paragraph. Starbucks might not be offering hand-pressed espresso shots but I would prolly auto enter Starbucks and auto avoid “McLovin’ It.”

I wonder what the Señor McFlurry is called in Russia?

Either way the talent for NBC must have pretty good contracts or maybe NBC and McDonald’s are in a small pissing match.

1 Like

Yeah… I actually loathe coffee. All coffee. Even the really good stuff hand roasted and prepped right in front of my by world-famous historical barristas. I wish I liked it so I could be all snooty at Starbucks. Alas, my snootiness is not to be…

Now tea… tea I can snoot all day long about.


It appears the dirty water picture may have been tweeted by someone named Stacy St. Clair.

1 Like

OT but, any links to coffee forums/sites that have great info without the attitude?

Great. Now we’re hating on McD too. Listen… Starbucks is the single best coffee I can buy in a grocery store or Wal-Mart. McD’s “McCafe” coffee was the first fast-food drive-through coffee that I ever thought was worth drinking. Are they the best coffee in the word? No. But they deserve a lot of credit for delivering MUCH better coffee to the masses, and also to me, when I don’t feel like going waaay out of my way to get a cuppa.


I pulled it from this article, but the same thing has appeared on a million other “Most ____Tweets From Sochi” pages. You can find the original among the #SochiProblems posts at Twitter.

The whole thing was viral enough over the past few weeks that I figured that BoingBoing readers would get the reference.

1 Like

worst coffee I’ve ever had - burnt posing as flavor