Why I sometimes prefer Starbucks over Coffee Bean

I guess most of you think that I’m a huge fan of Starbucks. But do you know that I actually prefer Coffee Bean’s coffee? But you see me at Starbucks most of the time, not Coffee Bean. Even as I’m writing this blog entry now, I’m seated at Raffles City Starbucks slipping my usual Grande Cafe Mocha with whipped cream.

Coffee Bean have better coffee than Starbucks most of the time. The reason why Coffee Bean have better coffee might be because they are still using semi-automatic espresso machine. (Although some might dispute that this is not the reason). But this is also the reason why Coffee Bean’s coffee is better than Starbucks MOST of the time, not everytime. You see, in order to make a cup of good coffee using a semi-auto espresso machine, the barista needs to be skillful. Else the coffee will taste like drain water. Not that I’ve tasted drain water before. But I suppose drain water would taste like that.
Just a few days ago, I was at a Coffee Bean and I swear that was the worst cop of Mocha Latte I’ve ever tried. Sometimes, you know your coffee will taste horrible when you see the way the barista prepare your drink. Some barista prepare your coffee like a factory worker. There is no passion involved in the process. They are just there to make your coffee. You most likely can get away with this kind of thing if you are using a fully automatic espresso machine. But when you are using a semi-automatic espresso machine, you need to do it with feel.
I know I can go back and request that the barista make a new cup for me. But then, if its going to be prepared by the same barista, what makes me think it would be any better for the 2nd round? In the end, I left the place after drinking less than 1/4 of the drink.
And perhaps that is why Starbucks Singapore start switching to automatic espresso machine 3 years ago. Its basically very hard to screw up. Unless the barista can’t even boil the milk properly, then there is no hope for that.
I still love the coffee from Coffee Bean. But going there is like a gamble. You never know when a lousy barista is on duty. Perhaps next time I should note down the name of the barista who make good coffee and only buy when they are on duty.
Another reason why I seldom go Coffee Bean nowadays is because of the lack of power points. But that’s another issue.
So yes, although Coffee Bean have better coffee most of the time, you see me at Starbucks more often.

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