The Land Before Starbucks- the time before coffee was click-bait

A favorite post of mine, reposted for National Coffee Day 2023

When my sons were much younger they loved dinosaurs. And so they loved animated series of movies starring a group of singing dinosaurs called The Land before Time. I watched those movies with my sons those twenty plus years ago on prehistoric format known as VHS. I had just left a career at a burning fuse of a coffee company called Starbucks. Why? Well, my historical fiction novel, Tripio was written partly to explore that. For today’s post I am focusing on that very time when most of the country was watching VHS, driving with both hands on the wheel and drinking coffee from gas stations – a country I now call The Land before Starbucks”.  


The land before Starbucks

In Tripio, Jay’s prehistoric coffee landscape does share much with the one in which the modern barista roams. Tripio is three plots and narratives alongside and intertwined with each other. The Starbucks growth narrative is told from a barista’s perspective. Jay starts out as a barista. And even when promoted up the chain to store manager, Jay remains a barista at heart. After being promoted Jay still takes pride in his performance on the espresso bar at his current store. He realizes that he must display mastery of the espresso bar for the customers and store functionality.

This was the time, I call it the land before Starbucks, when Jay (me) cared about how you drank your coffee. Yet, it was not even the first time, nor the last time I cared about how you drink your drip coffee, latte or mocha. I cared about how you took your coffee when I worked at The Oregon Street Coffee House, Boston Stoker, Brazilia Coffee, Starbucks, Barnes and Noble Cafe, Aramark Refreshment Services, Filterfresh Coffee, Hubbard and Cravens Coffee, Julian Coffee Roasters and Harvest Coffee Roasters.


In any case, all my coffee extensive and varied coffee experience came before I came to know blogging. In that way consider myself a dinosaur. Yet I also consider myself a heritage barista. A spiritual great uncle to thousands of baristas come and gone since the start of the first Bush presidency. And much like the singing dinosaurs, I once knew, I did go extinct. Unlike them, however, it was partially it was by choice.

A confession

I can very honestly say, I do not care how you take your coffee. You see, I’ve been there and done that for real. I once had to care about how you took your coffee because it earned me the money I had to make in order to keep food on the table, to feed my dino-loving sons. I HAD to know, memorize and prepare your coffee drinks to keep my income coming and my life going. Then, I truly cared about how you took your coffee.


The flip side is that I don’t care about how you take your coffee now. So, I am not going to use coffee as click bait. This means that I care about you as readers and followers of this blog too much all to tell you I do care. I won’t pretend I want to know, now, just to get a couple cheap clicks. That honesty and work ethic kept me working in coffee for all those companies for about 25 years total. I will apply those traits to my career in blogging, no matter the duration.

Stepping off my high eohippus, I admit that I actually enjoy responding to click bait once in a while. Just don’t expect it from me here. I am reasonably sure that dinosaurs didn’t sing. And this coffee dinosaur doesn’t have to pretend like he can.


Tags: , , , ,