Thursday, 31 October 2013

Why Costa is EVIL

A suitably Halloweeny title you might say. But this post (*rant) is one of personal perspective regarding something I am truly passionate about. It's about something many blue and white collar workers are probably passionate about. Something that, for many, is the fuel for the fires of business. Coffee.

You see, good coffee - I mean truly good coffee - is something of a rarity in my opinion. Much of it tastes the same. Most of it is commercialised, mass produced sludge of indiscernible flavour. For years I would only brew my own at home which was cheaper. Better. More fulfilling. Then something changed. I got busy. My mornings started earlier. Home-brewed coffee became a weekend indulgence. So, for my sins, I turned to the coffee houses for my morning pick-me-up (and my mid-morning; elevenses; lunch; late lunch; mid-afternoon; afternoon; and home time pick-me-ups for that matter).

I tried them all, but very quickly Costa became the go-to guys. The coffee was pretty good. If I was peckish the snacks weren't bad either. They were reasonably priced. I could usually find one in whatever town I happened to be. The staff were usually friendly without pretending to be my best friend (I never went back to Starbucks after that harrowing experience). The seats were comfy if I wanted to sit. The Wi-Fi, where available, was free. Daily papers were on offer should some light reading take my fancy. I was happy.

Then something happened.

Costa decided to take over the world.

Suddenly they were everywhere. First every railway station (which I could just about deal with). Then every shopping centre. Then every corner in every city. Then in Tesco... Primark... I mean seriously... come on... how much coffee do people really need? (sarcasm)

And all of this I could have just about handled. Big business is after all a fact of life. Companies grow. Get over it. But on visiting a Costa situated in a Tesco in a last ditch act of desperation to shake off the morning muggles I was presented with this...

An automatic coffee machine!

Sure there were freshly ground beans. Sure there were some of the expected snacks on offer. Sure there was a suitably friendly person behind the counter. But a coffee machine? Seriously??

Hey Costa... I thought "Buttons are for trousers not coffee machines"? What happened to that mantra? That mission statement of standard and quality?

You're trying too hard to take over the world. You're spreading yourself too thinly and it's costing you your brand. If one self-proclaimed coffee junkie can see the light, how many more might follow?