An Open Letter To Starbucks

An Open Letter To Starbucks

Thank you, I think.

Dear Starbucks:

First of all, I kind of hate you. I would rather eat a spoonful of ashes than drink a cup of your French Roast. You destroy your coffee beans. You are an embarrassment to good coffee and you have taught most of America that a "macchiato" is an upside down latte. Liar.

I presumed that by getting a job as a barista, I would be shoved into an environment of coffee geeks and fanatics. I assumed wrong. In the year that I worked for you, I was not trained to appreciate and love coffee. I was not trained to share my passion for coffee. I was trained to push buttons on an automatic machine. I wanted to pursue the science and art of good coffee, but there was no outlet. Instead, most of my time was spent cleaning dishes and mopping the bathroom.

Thanks to you, I’ve interacted with enough pyramid scheme businessmen and rich moms in white, manicured Escalades to last a lifetime. Some lady once threatened to call the police on me because her latte didn't have enough foam. Also, why does literally every middle-school girl on the Earth think that you have a “secret menu” that all the baristas know about? I’m serious, where do people come up with this crap? No, I do not know how to make a “Captain Crunch Frappuccino,” whatever the hell that even is (I don’t know).

Can we talk for a second about your cup sizes? Your smallest size, "tall," is anything but tall. Your medium size, grande, is "big" in Spanish. The only size that doesn't actually imply "large" is your large size. And of course you named it a number. Seriously? "Can I have a 20, please?" said nobody ever.

Regardless of the disgust I have for your drinks and your business model, there is no denying the impact that you have had on the current coffee culture. Paying $5 for a cup of coffee seemed outrageous to the average coffee consumer a few years ago, but now we willingly pay that and more to get our daily caffeine fix. Arguably, there would be no such thing as a “locally roasted coffee scene” without you.

Ask any small coffee roaster and they will praise the benefits of an established coffee culture. Because of you we now have a community interested in genuine, excellent coffee. Because of you we have a standard of coffee to measure quality coffee against. In 1980 there were hardly any coffee shops in America, but by the early 2000s it was a booming industry and it is still growing exponentially. Even in the past 10(ish) years there has been a huge spike in coffee shops.

You made expensive coffee “cool.” You tied your logo to social status. For coffee producers, this was everything. Specialty coffee grew in popularity and value, dwarfing the old American coffee scene. Thank you, I think.

Cover Image Credit: Daily Genius

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10 Things I Threw Out AFTER Freshman Year Of College

Guess half the stuff on your packing list doesn't really matter

I spent the entire summer before my freshman year of college so WORRIED.

I also spent most of my money that summer on miscellaneous dorm stuff. I packed the car when the time finally came to move in, and spent the drive up excited and confused about what the heck was actually going on.

Freshman year came and went, and as I get ready to go back to school in just a few short weeks (!!), I'm starting to realize there's just a whole bunch of crap I just don't need.

After freshman year, I threw out:

1. Half my wardrobe.

I don't really know what I was thinking of owning 13 sweaters and 25 T-shirts in the first place. I wear the same five T-shirts until I magically find a new one that I probably got for free, and I put on jeans maybe four times. One pair is enough.

2. Half my makeup.

Following in the theme of #1, if I put on makeup, it's the same eyeliner-mascara combination as always. Sometimes I spice it up and add lipstick or eyeshadow.

3. My vacuum.

One, I basically never did it. Two, if I REALLY needed to vacuum, dorms rent out cleaning supplies.

4. Most of my photos from high school.

I didn't throw them ALL away, but most of them won't be making a return to college. Things change, people change, your friends change. And that's okay.

5. Excess school supplies.

Binders are heavy and I am lazy. I surprisingly didn't lose that many pens, so I don't need the fifty pack anymore. I could probably do without the crayons.

6. Cups/Plates/Bowls/Silverware.

Again, I am lazy. I cannot be bothered to wash dishes that often. I'll stick to water bottles and maybe one coffee cup. Paper plates/bowls can always be bought, and plastic silverware can always be stolen from different places on campus.

7. Books.

I love to read, but I really don't understand why I thought I'd have the time to actually do it. I think I read one book all year, and that's just a maybe.

8. A sewing kit.

I don't even know how to sew.

9. Excessive decorations.

It's nice to make your space feel a little more cozy, but not every inch of the wall needs to be covered.

10. Throw pillows.

At night, these cute little pillows just got tossed to the floor, and they'd sit there for days if I didn't make my bed.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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'Oh, You're A Vegan?'

When I tell people I'm vegan, people give me that exasperated look.


When I first decided to try and become vegan, I got a lot of mixed results. Some people were extremely for it, while other people looked at me like I had gone off the deep end. After a while and even now, I like to play a game of guessing what reaction I will get from people when I tell them about my dietary habits. Unlike a lot of other people who decided to go vegan for the ethical reasons, I kind of fell into it based on me realizing that half the stuff I was putting into my body was making me want to curl up in a ball and only come out for dollars on Wednesday nights at Taylor's. Through the last year and a half, I have learned a lot, from tips and tricks to making food taste good, to some added benefits of being on a plant free lifestyle. So for all the haters, vegan enthusiasts and people looking into making the leap, enjoy!

1. Trust me, its not all just vegetables.....there's other stuff too.

One of the biggest mistakes or misconceptions about being vegan is that all we eat are plants or vegetables. I will be the first to assure you that that piece of information is not true. There are tons of things we can eat if you are creative. Learning what you like and what you can eat will all come with practice. You might have to experiment a little before you find your groove, but it will happen. I would also put money on the fact that you might find yourself having that moment halfway through a bowl of Cornbread Cafes vegan Mac and cheese. Just saying.

2. No allergies in Eugene, too good to be true!

One of the best things that I noticed about becoming vegan didn't become obvious until a few months later. For anyone who has lived in Eugene, OR through the springtime, you know what I am referring too. Allergies are monstrously bad here as we are in the middle of a basin and many people have to shut in themselves to not like, die. I was always one of those people, but last spring and this one so far as well I have noticed a crazy change. While I still get itchy eyes and sneeze occasionally, I no longer want to live in my bed where the pollen can't reach me! The vegan diet has been proven to reduce the levels of allergy issues that people have faced so basically if you're driving people crazy with your sneezing, maybe cut out the glass of milk in the morning.

3. Happy skin, happy day! 

Another benefit to being vegan is clear skin. A lot of people who are vegan tend to have clear skin that is acne free. That is not always the case, but there is 1 key reason why shiny skin comes from veganism. Dairy and meat products are not the skins best friend according to dermatologists. Both are chock full of hormones that aren't good for our bodies. Dermatologist William Danby even calls cow's milk "nature's perfect food for the creation of acne." So you might want to kiss that ice cream goodbye.

4.  There are lots of Vegan options, you just have to look!

Like I said above, there is a gross misconception that the only things Vegans eat are vegetables. There are so many different things that are incredibly good and don't have any animal products in them. Also, vegan restaurants are popping up all over the place now so you will able to eat out in peace and rest easy knowing your environmental footprint will be smaller. Some of my personal Eugene favorites are Cornbread Cafe, Morning Glory, the Veg and surprisingly Tacovore. Their tofu tacos are to die for! If you're more of a homebody though there are a lot of different well-known brands such as Ben and Jerrys and Carls Junior that are coming out with vegan alternatives!

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