I recently took a second job at Starbucks. (STARBUCKS!–you must be excited when you say it, like you just won the lottery. And you’re hopped up on a triple espresso).
So I had to go to this half day “Starbucks Experience” workshop today, which I was dreading–mostly because I woke up with a horrendous hangover and the thought of talking about coffee endlessly (which I don’t really drink or like) wasn’t that interesting.
Remarkably, the workshop was actually interesting once I got past the feeling of being a total corporate goonie. The company is not nearly as green as they’d like America to believe, but some of their other social responsibility programs are amazing. And they treat their employees extremely well (seriously).
So through most of the class I wasn’t really that interested, and was getting really annoyed at all my caffeine-rushed classmates (I swear they were all morning people, were way too damn happy for 9 AM on a Saturday and had probably downed several espressos apiece before class). But at one point we started talking about why Starbucks’ coffee is so “overpriced” and the climates of the countries where most of Starbucks’ coffee is grown. We finally reached an area where I not only knew more than my classmates, but also more than the teacher. Finally a place to use of the knowledge my previous employer instilled in me about sustainable agriculture and the coffee trade.
So at the end of the class we had to develop personal goals related to furthering our Starbucks knowledge. I’m going to learn more about the socio-political climates in the regions where most of the world’s coffee is grown and how that relates to the coffee trade. I may not be able to describe the difference between the Kenya and Sidano blends, but I’ll be able to tell all my customers how much blood they have on their hands for drinking them. Ah, social justice.