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(Quartz)   Replacing baristas with robots at Starbucks doesn't mean they will get your name right   (qz.com) divider line 71
    More: Amusing, Starbucks, industrial designers, coffee drinkers, cleaning product, legacy system, waiting in line  
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3068 clicks; posted to Main » on 17 Oct 2013 at 1:18 PM (40 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



71 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2013-10-17 01:20:31 PM
Can't we just replace them all with scantily clad hot chicks? Then I really wouldn't mind if they got my order right.
 
2013-10-17 01:20:39 PM
Personally, I'm all for it. My Keurig always gets it right. Starbucks coffee tastes burnt whenever I've tried it. I think there's a lot of professions that need to go the way of the typewriter. Food service is a good example, along with pharmacists, some medical professions...the list is endless.
 
GBB [TotalFark]
2013-10-17 01:21:22 PM
www.bet.com
 
2013-10-17 01:21:45 PM
Cool, thousands more jobs gone. But maybe a hundred added for maintaining and delivering the machines. So, you know, free market victory.
 
2013-10-17 01:22:11 PM
But then I want have to see their stupid butthurt faces when I don't offer them the tips they feel they are entitled to, and I won't have to hear about their hard hard lives and poorly chosen degrees.
 
2013-10-17 01:22:46 PM
Keurig is the Big Mac of coffee... though Starbucks is marginally better.
 
2013-10-17 01:23:16 PM
Yes just like when they tried the attendant free gas station near my house.

Purchasing an item is an experience, if I wanted machine made coffee I'd get it at home.

/but then I don't buy starbucks so maybe I'm wrong.
 
2013-10-17 01:24:09 PM

Cymbal: Can't we just replace them all with scantily clad hot chicks? Then I really wouldn't mind if they got my order right.


Look up Hot Spot Coffee in Waterford, MI. Drive thru coffee served by girls in lingerie. It's brilliant.
 
2013-10-17 01:28:38 PM

pancakeface: Cymbal: Can't we just replace them all with scantily clad hot chicks? Then I really wouldn't mind if they got my order right.

Look up Hot Spot Coffee in Waterford, MI. Drive thru coffee served by girls in lingerie. It's brilliant.


Indeed. But these places need to be everywhere, instead of sprinkled here and there.
 
2013-10-17 01:32:29 PM
i.dailymail.co.uk
 
2013-10-17 01:37:12 PM

wyltoknow: Cool, thousands more jobs gone. But maybe a hundred added for maintaining and delivering the machines. So, you know, free market victory.


It'll happen to a lot of professions, I think. Eventually society will reach a point where the majority of work can be done by a handful of people, and at that point the existing socio-economic model will need a major overhaul to prevent mass poverty.
 
2013-10-17 01:39:49 PM

Dahnkster: [i.dailymail.co.uk image 634x286]


Makes me what wonder what that person's name is supposed to be. Do you happen to know?
 
2013-10-17 01:43:37 PM

Fluid: wyltoknow: Cool, thousands more jobs gone. But maybe a hundred added for maintaining and delivering the machines. So, you know, free market victory.

It'll happen to a lot of professions, I think. Eventually society will reach a point where the majority of work can be done by a handful of people, and at that point the existing socio-economic model will need a major overhaul to prevent mass poverty.


Or people need to stop having so many damn kids. 2-3 is all you need. And if you are a single parent, no need to have more than one.
 
2013-10-17 01:51:49 PM
slurmed.com
 
2013-10-17 01:53:20 PM
Robot coffee??? Can't be worse than Starbucks.
Starbucks worst coffee on the planet, yes even worse the 7/11.
 
2013-10-17 01:53:26 PM

wyltoknow: Cool, thousands more jobs gone. But maybe a hundred added for maintaining and delivering the machines. So, you know, free market victory.


Farming used to be a valid career choice. So did travel agent. Things change, adapt or die.


Nacc: But then I want have to see their stupid butthurt faces when I don't offer them the tips they feel they are entitled to, and I won't have to hear about their hard hard lives and poorly chosen degrees.


Responding with "good" when they ask me how I'm doing is enough of a tip for those English majors. It allows them to feel superior to me as I run to my rat race job, working for the establishment... just another cog in the wheel.
 
2013-10-17 01:54:30 PM

Rembrant_Q_Einstein: Dahnkster: [i.dailymail.co.uk image 634x286]

Makes me what wonder what that person's name is supposed to be. Do you happen to know?


Doug.
 
2013-10-17 01:55:31 PM
Where this is really going to have an impact is at places like McDonald's. The tasks are simple and repeatable (like at a coffee shop).
 
2013-10-17 01:58:48 PM

Cymbal: Fluid: wyltoknow: Cool, thousands more jobs gone. But maybe a hundred added for maintaining and delivering the machines. So, you know, free market victory.

It'll happen to a lot of professions, I think. Eventually society will reach a point where the majority of work can be done by a handful of people, and at that point the existing socio-economic model will need a major overhaul to prevent mass poverty.

Or people need to stop having so many damn kids. 2-3 is all you need. And if you are a single parent, no need to have more than one.


That wont solve anything. The problem is that a smaller proportion of the population is needed to keep the population in the style to which they have become accustomed. Even if you reduce the population, the proportion that can't be gainfully employed (due to increases in efficency) stays the same.
 
2013-10-17 01:59:44 PM
I'm a factory automation engineer. A good part of my day is spend thinking up ways to automate *everything*.
It pays well.

/hate the game, not the playa
 
2013-10-17 02:03:15 PM
But how will a robot jizz in my latte the way I like it?
 
2013-10-17 02:06:16 PM

wyltoknow: Cool, thousands more jobs gone. But maybe a hundred added for maintaining and delivering the machines. So, you know, free market victory.


I'm cool with machines taking over jobs that unskilled labor can do. Our world wouldn't much worse if not for that one fact.
 
2013-10-17 02:06:46 PM

baconbeard: I'm a factory automation engineer. A good part of my day is spend thinking up ways to automate *everything*.
It pays well.

/hate the game, not the playa


I'm just finishing my second 4 axis cnc machine. NEMA 34 6A 1200 oz motors.

http://s608.photobucket.com/user/tercerotercero/media/IMG_0200.jpg.ht m l">http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt163/tercerotercero/IMG_0200.jp g">

http://s608.photobucket.com/user/tercerotercero/media/IMG_0201.jpg.ht m l">http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt163/tercerotercero/IMG_0201.jp g">

Yep. I'll build you one. Got $8000 burning a hole in your pocket?
 
2013-10-17 02:06:56 PM

baconbeard: I'm a factory automation engineer. A good part of my day is spend thinking up ways to automate *everything*.
It pays well.

/hate the game, not the playa


I'm a factory automation automation engineer.  A good part of my day is spent thinking about ways to automate automation engineers.
 
2013-10-17 02:08:21 PM

dj_bigbird: Where this is really going to have an impact is at places like McDonald's. The tasks are simple and repeatable (like at a coffee shop).


Jack In The Box already has a self service ordering kiosk in a couple hundred stores for testing (the other fast food places aren't far behind, I'm sure)  The only interaction you have with a live human (for now) is when the counter monkey places your order on the counter and calls out your number.  And they will figure out a way to get around that as well...
 
2013-10-17 02:08:24 PM
Hmmm. Let's try that again.


i608.photobucket.com

i608.photobucket.com
 
2013-10-17 02:10:47 PM
Honestly, this removes the cachet of overpaying for coffee.  The human interaction if part of the experience.  Once you've reduced it to a machine, no one will feel like they're getting their $5 worth.
 
2013-10-17 02:11:23 PM
Don't worry about getting my name right. I don't give a rat's ass about your name, why should I expect you to care about mine?
 
2013-10-17 02:11:45 PM
If it's a female barrista, I'm Mike Hunt.  If it's a dude, I'm Major Useless Art D. Gree
 
2013-10-17 02:13:21 PM

wyltoknow: Cool, thousands more jobs gone. But maybe a hundred added for maintaining and delivering the machines. So, you know, free market victory.


To say nothing of all the candlemakers who lost their jobs when electric lights were invented.
 
2013-10-17 02:14:53 PM

Josu: wyltoknow: Cool, thousands more jobs gone. But maybe a hundred added for maintaining and delivering the machines. So, you know, free market victory.

To say nothing of all the candlemakers who lost their jobs when electric lights were invented.


It's not how hard you work, but the value that you provide that determines employment and wages. 

/baristas are worthless
 
2013-10-17 02:16:13 PM

threadjackistan: Cymbal: Fluid: wyltoknow: Cool, thousands more jobs gone. But maybe a hundred added for maintaining and delivering the machines. So, you know, free market victory.

It'll happen to a lot of professions, I think. Eventually society will reach a point where the majority of work can be done by a handful of people, and at that point the existing socio-economic model will need a major overhaul to prevent mass poverty.

Or people need to stop having so many damn kids. 2-3 is all you need. And if you are a single parent, no need to have more than one.

That wont solve anything. The problem is that a smaller proportion of the population is needed to keep the population in the style to which they have become accustomed. Even if you reduce the population, the proportion that can't be gainfully employed (due to increases in efficency) stays the same.


Which is why I predict that people will start a lot of diy shops. Diy as opposed to machine produced. It will be expensive, but people will have the money to waste if other products continue to drop in price due to automation. Everyone would essentially monetise a hobby. We'll see the return of the manually knitted sweater as a mainstream item. Or buying a pan from an actual smith. Everyone will pick an area which they'll spend the extra money on while the necessities are bought at the mass produced price. In other words: we'll be buying needlessly expensive items as a form of luxury to keep shiat going.
 
2013-10-17 02:16:35 PM
And I will still be stuck behind the two women who can't decide whether to get a grande or a venti or if they should go skim milk so they can have a cookie.  And, of course, right after they order, they will change their minds when they look up and see on the huge board "Today's special - Pumpkin Spice".
 
2013-10-17 02:18:06 PM

Harry Freakstorm: And I will still be stuck behind the two women who can't decide whether to get a grande or a venti or if they should go skim milk so they can have a cookie.  And, of course, right after they order, they will change their minds when they look up and see on the huge board "Today's special - Pumpkin Spice".


The sea was angry that day my friends, like an old woman trying to send back coffee to a robot.
 
2013-10-17 02:18:50 PM

Dahnkster: [i.dailymail.co.uk image 634x286]


Can I get some background, or a link?  Tineye brings up nothing, and googling "starbucks reddit" brings up my lunch.
 
2013-10-17 02:23:52 PM

tricycleracer: Honestly, this removes the cachet of overpaying for coffee.  The human interaction if part of the experience.  Once you've reduced it to a machine, no one will feel like they're getting their $5 worth.


As a business, Starbucks won't care if the price goes down, as long as profits go up.  The real problem for Starbucks and their ilk is too much automation will destroy their business model.  Keurig has dramatically altered the game.  Why drive out of my way to get coffee when I have a Keurig at home and another at work?  Keurig offers wonderfully consistent coffee and there are stores now that let you mix and match K-cups from different brands so you have quite a lot of variety right at your fingertips.

The only way coffee shops can survive is to emphasize the human interaction or else push those really fancy dessert-like drinks masquerading as coffee.  I used to stop for coffee every morning but now with my Keurig, I haven't stopped in over a year.  Gets me to work earlier, saves me money and give me a place to hang out and chit chat with others doing the same thing.
 
2013-10-17 02:24:33 PM
So, it's a coffee vending machine.

Not new.  Not even close to new.  And stands exactly ZERO chance of replacing the coffee shop, no matter how good the coffee is or isn't.
 
kab
2013-10-17 02:24:34 PM

Fluid: wyltoknow: Cool, thousands more jobs gone. But maybe a hundred added for maintaining and delivering the machines. So, you know, free market victory.

It'll happen to a lot of professions, I think. Eventually society will reach a point where the majority of work can be done by a handful of people, and at that point the existing socio-economic model will need a major overhaul to prevent mass poverty.


Can't happen soon enough.   We're already at a point where we can actually support far higher unemployment numbers than we do, folks don't like it though, because eff you I've got mine.

At some point, those folks simply won't have a say in the matter, and it will be very interesting to observe.
 
2013-10-17 02:25:41 PM
This is a repeat. From 1947.
i40.tinypic.com
 
2013-10-17 02:30:32 PM

Slaves2Darkness: Robot coffee??? Can't be worse than Starbucks.
Starbucks worst coffee on the planet, yes even worse the 7/11.


so you are coffee expert & i too think starbucks drip coffee tastes of burnt ass, so let me ask you: are "good" coffee beans 'dry'  or 'oily'  ?

/ follow up, in a french press, how fine to you grind your beans?  to powder or chunky?
 
Ant
2013-10-17 02:40:31 PM
Will the robots keep people from taking drinks that aren't theirs?
 
Ant
2013-10-17 02:41:11 PM

inner ted: follow up, in a french press, how fine to you grind your beans?  to powder or chunky?


Chunky
 
Ant
2013-10-17 02:45:21 PM

inner ted: Slaves2Darkness: Robot coffee??? Can't be worse than Starbucks.
Starbucks worst coffee on the planet, yes even worse the 7/11.

so you are coffee expert & i too think starbucks drip coffee tastes of burnt ass, so let me ask you: are "good" coffee beans 'dry'  or 'oily'  ?

/ follow up, in a french press, how fine to you grind your beans?  to powder or chunky?


I live in Seattle, the supposed coffee capitol of the USA, but the best coffee beans I've ever had were the  Ethiopian Yirgacheffe from here Dawson Taylor - Boise, ID

Weird.
 
2013-10-17 02:55:43 PM
FTA: "And use the app to check out how long the wait is for a drink. Fifteen minutes? Just complete your order now, while you're walking across campus-it will be ready by the time you arrive."

I feel rally stupid for asking this but...what's to stop someone from stealing your coffee?
 
2013-10-17 02:56:18 PM
And I feel really stuipid for saying rally
 
2013-10-17 02:57:01 PM
Meant stoopid..
 
2013-10-17 02:58:15 PM
At least the robots won't biatch an moan if you don't tip them for handing you a donut.
 
2013-10-17 03:00:11 PM

wyltoknow: Cool, thousands more jobs gone. But maybe a hundred added for maintaining and delivering the machines. So, you know, free market victory.


These are hardly high paying careers. There are still plenty of low wage starter jobs. We just need to work on getting more real jobs back on US soil so fewer adults are stuck in the starter jobs.
 
2013-10-17 03:02:42 PM

Fluid: wyltoknow: Cool, thousands more jobs gone. But maybe a hundred added for maintaining and delivering the machines. So, you know, free market victory.

It'll happen to a lot of professions, I think. Eventually society will reach a point where the majority of work can be done by a handful of people, and at that point the existing socio-economic model will need a major overhaul to prevent mass poverty.


It would be fine if mechanization led to easier lives but mostly it leads to higher profits at the top much more than lower priced goods.
 
2013-10-17 03:19:02 PM

James10952001: wyltoknow: Cool, thousands more jobs gone. But maybe a hundred added for maintaining and delivering the machines. So, you know, free market victory.

These are hardly high paying careers. There are still plenty of low wage starter jobs. We just need to work on getting more real jobs back on US soil so fewer adults are stuck in the starter jobs.


Maybe we need more "creative" jobs. Artists, musicians, designers, writers, inventors...

Think of all the brainpower that's being wasted making coffee and pushing buttons.
 
2013-10-17 03:19:19 PM
this will fail until the DD model comes out.
 
2013-10-17 03:26:09 PM
i41.tinypic.com

Had a machine that looked somewhat similar to this one, yet an older model (and tan) that cranked out some of the most delicious "Cafe Mocha" I ever had. It was steaming hot, strong, mixed perfectly and the froth had just a touch of ground coffee mixed in it.
Have seen a few more of the machines here and there in my travels (actually surprised I could not immediately find a photo of the exact machine when I looked for it) and all of the other machines are mediocre at best to flat out insultingly horrible and an assault to your very being (and two of those machines were assaulted right back).

Always laughed with friend that if I got far enough ahead with money, I would return to college and see if that coffee machine was there... test it, and if that coffee was still perfection, buy the thing!!!!
 
2013-10-17 03:26:21 PM

Quinzy: Yes just like when they tried the attendant free gas station near my house.

Purchasing an item is an experience, if I wanted machine made coffee I'd get it at home.

/but then I don't buy starbucks so maybe I'm wrong.


Ummm... many states don't require gas attendants...
 
2013-10-17 03:30:48 PM
Less of this?

3.bp.blogspot.com


Well then...

i.stack.imgur.com
 
2013-10-17 03:32:22 PM
media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com
 
Ant
2013-10-17 03:32:31 PM

wyltoknow: Cool, thousands more jobs gone. But maybe a hundred added for maintaining and delivering the machines. So, you know, free market victory.


At some point we're going to need to abandon this idea that everyone needs to work for their living. As more things are automated, there will not be enough to keep everybody employed.

"We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living."

-Buckminster Fuller
 
2013-10-17 03:38:33 PM

Fluid: wyltoknow: Cool, thousands more jobs gone. But maybe a hundred added for maintaining and delivering the machines. So, you know, free market victory.

It'll happen to a lot of professions, I think. Eventually society will reach a point where the majority of work can be done by a handful of people, and at that point the existing socio-economic model will need a major overhaul to prevent mass poverty.


We're already there. Remember the leisure society? We didn't do it. Instead, we just invented more and more regulations to create more and more middle-men and petty regulators. We'll also need more and more "education" to get more and more titles to do dumber and dumber shiat.

Eventually the social model is as follows: 95% of the population does nothing of any value except convince each other they should be paid.
 
2013-10-17 03:41:44 PM
Ant:

At some point we're going to need to abandon this idea that everyone needs to work for their living. As more things are automated, there will not be enough to keep everybody employed.

"We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living."

-Buckminster Fuller


Love it.
 
2013-10-17 03:53:03 PM
Ant:
"We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living."

-Buckminster Fuller


Fuller should have come up with a way to prevent a tiny minority from siphoning away most of society's wealth.  Then we might not have to spend 8-12 hours a day scrambling to put food in our mouths.
 
2013-10-17 03:59:58 PM
Anyone else find this amusing?

Besides, baristas, especially the ones at America's favorite "high end" coffee shop, don't often stick around long enough to become as good as Pierce.

...

The Briggo coffee kiosk knows how to make a perfect coffee because it was "trained" by an award-winning barista, Patrick Pierce. He's since left the company....
 
2013-10-17 04:00:33 PM

No Such Agency: Ant:
"We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living."

-Buckminster Fuller

Fuller should have come up with a way to prevent a tiny minority from siphoning away most of society's wealth.  Then we might not have to spend 8-12 hours a day scrambling to put food in our mouths.


It's a social problem that will require a social solution, AKA very difficult to achieve.
 
2013-10-17 04:04:27 PM
Good, then they can knock a few bucks off prices now, right?

MMMmmmmmm robotcoffee.
Hi robot, can I just help myself then?

"NO HUMAN BEHIND COUNTER!!!"  *zap*

*convulses*
 
2013-10-17 04:10:55 PM

WTP 2: this will fail until the DD model comes out.


That will just give jealous girlfriends one more thing to be upset about.
 
2013-10-17 04:12:40 PM
www.popscreen.com

Robot Man: [in French] Ow! My robot balls! Error! Error! Error!
 
2013-10-17 04:32:01 PM
theinfosphere.org
 
2013-10-17 04:32:05 PM

Quantum Apostrophe: No Such Agency: Ant:
"We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living."

-Buckminster Fuller

Fuller should have come up with a way to prevent a tiny minority from siphoning away most of society's wealth.  Then we might not have to spend 8-12 hours a day scrambling to put food in our mouths.

It's a social problem that will require a social solution, AKA very difficult to achieve.


Maybe the Singularity will solve it.For now, I think my friend put it best when she said that it's human nature to want to dominate other people - that isn't the case for all people, and possibly only a small percentage really want that control and power - but it exists in our fundamental nature as beings (sex for example) so changing that requires a fundamental re-evaluation of ourselves as a species and makes you wonder if we'll lose our humanity in the process. Is that even a good thing?

Not to mention, there will always be a segment of society that is resistant to change, even change that might be for the betterment of themselves and others.
 
2013-10-17 05:38:42 PM

bdub77: Quantum Apostrophe: No Such Agency: Ant:
"We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living."

-Buckminster Fuller

Fuller should have come up with a way to prevent a tiny minority from siphoning away most of society's wealth.  Then we might not have to spend 8-12 hours a day scrambling to put food in our mouths.

It's a social problem that will require a social solution, AKA very difficult to achieve.

Maybe the Singularity will solve it.For now, I think my friend put it best when she said that it's human nature to want to dominate other people - that isn't the case for all people, and possibly only a small percentage really want that control and power - but it exists in our fundamental nature as beings (sex for example) so changing that requires a fundamental re-evaluation of ourselves as a species and makes you wonder if we'll lose our humanity in the process. Is that even a good thing?

Not to mention, there will always be a segment of society that is resistant to change, even change that might be for the betterment of themselves and others.


This would be fun to discuss over a few beers.
 
2013-10-17 07:14:05 PM

Pangea: wyltoknow: Cool, thousands more jobs gone. But maybe a hundred added for maintaining and delivering the machines. So, you know, free market victory.

Farming used to be a valid career choice. So did travel agent. Things change, adapt or die.


Nacc: But then I want have to see their stupid butthurt faces when I don't offer them the tips they feel they are entitled to, and I won't have to hear about their hard hard lives and poorly chosen degrees.

Responding with "good" when they ask me how I'm doing is enough of a tip for those English majors. It allows them to feel superior to me as I run to my rat race job, working for the establishment... just another cog in the wheel.


Man, that is such an easy answer. "Things change". Well duh, if they didnt then there wouldnt even be coffee shops. Im no Luddite, I just wonder where we find the balance in this race to automize every transaction and service. There are millions of people in the service industry who can and probably will be replaced with machines sooner or later. What do they do next? Get a better job? Which jobs? What happens when those particular jobs are flooded with all these new employment-seekers? What happens to our market when we remove those people as viable consumers? Our society demands a working populace, but is actively seeking to slash the overall amount of work available. Its not good enough to tell those workers to "adapt or die" when youre facing down higher unemployment rates and a depressed economy.
 
2013-10-17 07:15:21 PM

The hopeless imp: This is a repeat. From 1947.
[i40.tinypic.com image 600x700]



25.media.tumblr.com

I prefer this one.
 
2013-10-17 07:29:39 PM
Coffee snob threadjack.
I never used to like coffee because my dad only drank Folgers crystals.  If you've never tried it, don't.  It's like drinking strained tires.  In any case, I started working at Starbucks because they offered a pretty good health care package and my wife and I just had a baby.  It really helped to pay the bills, and the whole while it provided a gateway into trying coffee that didn't taste quite as bad as the stuff my dad drank.

One day my manager took us to a local roaster to see how coffee was made on a smaller scale, like a field trip.  I took one sip of that stuff and it was leaps and bounds better than anything I had ever had at Starbucks.  I had no idea there was anything out there that came even close to the subtlety or balance that this guy was doing in a converted garage.

Eventually I got sick of the crap the customers were giving me and the crap that Starbucks was serving, so I quit.  Most of the time 8 O'clock bean is more than sufficient provided that it is ground right before I brew it.  Whenever I have the cash, I go back to the guy's garage and buy a pound or two.   While I hate the taste of Starbucks, I do appreciate the fact that it was through them that I learned to enjoy coffee in the first place.
 
2013-10-18 09:30:58 AM
... Since the coffee snob threadjack has already been played, I'll add the following:

Just get yourself a good grinder and an Aeropress. It's faster than a french press, makes better coffee (better than a drip coffee maker too, of course), and can be taken just about anywhere. The best entry level grinders without spending a couple hundred bucks are generally hand powered, and while they may take a bit longer than something electronic, the plus side is less noise so you won't wake everyone up, and you can sit down, relax and enjoy all the aroma that's released while you're grinding. The other bright side of this setup is that once you've figured out the variables that make a good cup (water temperature, grind coarsemess, and brew time), you can make the same perfect coffee anywhere there's hot water (camping or traveling, anyone?) and hot or iced (Aeropress is about double strong at first, so dilute with hot water or brew directly onto fresh ice for the best iced coffee you've ever had).

For those starting out, generally about 17 seconds of brew time and ~185F water for a medium roast does pretty well. The grind is a bit finer than a drip coffee maker, and this is part of why it yields better coffee than a french press - coarse grounds are harder to make a consistent size, so the chunks-and-powder you get instead get underextracted and overextracted respectively. Adjust the temperature and brew time up for a darker roast, down for a lighter roast. If you've never experienced the pure joy of a really light roast brewed at 160 and completely lacking in the acidity you'd usually get from some other brew method, you're missing out.

And no, coffee beans generally shouldn't be little oily lumps unless you really like the taste of aquarium filters. Roasting 'em dark enough that all the oils are on the surface usually yields that as a result, and also allows the oils to go rancid faster, since they're not inside the bean, being protected from the outside air. At this stage of roasting, almost all of the subtlety of flavor is gone - which is why Starbucks roasts the shiat out of their subpar beans, and people can go on thinking that's what coffee is supposed to taste like.

About the article, people have been trying to replace the human behind the wheel for years. It's what allows Starbucks to have consistent (if consistently bad) coffee in the first place - superautomatic espresso machines already exist, which are programmed to grind the coffee into the portafilter, tamp to a certain, specific pressure, and brew at a certain temperature already. The steam wands add a certain amount of air and stop steaming at a certain temperature, too. And guess what - no self respecting coffee snob likes anything that comes out of them. Taking away the power from the human leads to the human being unable to make corrections based on environmental changes such as barometric pressure and humidity, which change every day, throughout the day. A machine could, of course, have sensors inside it to sense these things, but any adjustments it makes will be superficial at best, since it lacks tastebuds and can't make qualitative analysis of what it's putting out.

So, while the whole of Starbucks behind the counter could pretty easily be replaced by one of these, and there wouldn't be much change - they're using technology similar to this to spit out putridity already. But, as long as some people want either higher quality, specialty drinks or the cafe atmosphere that's become popular, the title of Barista will remain popular with college kids who need to pay rent on shared apartments everywhere.

One last note - people suck at thinking up tasty beverages. That, and the social interaction, are why bartenders are still around. Ask someone to pick any flavor or combination of flavors from a rack of 30+ syrups and 90% of the time it's "Vanilla sounds good!" Yet, when I say "How about this - it's blackberry and white chocolate, and so much less ordinary," that's what they'll order when they become regular customers and I see them the next time I'm in.

/1-day-a-week (formerly full time) barista
//used it to pay rent in college until administrative issues forced me out
///now it's just a stepping stone while opening my own business
////get off my lawn
 
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