Authentic coffeehouse experience

“Howard D. Schultz, the chief executive of Starbucks, announced sweeping changes on Wednesday for the company as it seeks to reconnect with customers who have left for competitors or pared back their coffee budget in hard economic times. The initiatives are intended to restore an authentic coffeehouse experience to the stores and, in turn, re-energize an ailing stock that has lost half its value in the last 15 months.” — NYT

I’ve never thought of Starbucks as “an authentic coffeehouse experience.” You can still find that in some cities. Madison, Wisconsin has some great coffee shops. And we have a nice one here in Jefferson City.

The Coffee Zone is my favorite hang-out. Taisir is the owner and he’s there every morning at 6:30 (that’s when he opens, I’m sure he’s there earlier).

He knows what his regulars drink and often has it for them by the time they step up to the counter. He’s got free wifi and plays an eclectic mix of music that beat’s Starbucks hands down.

When I come back from a trip I sometimes tease, “I got me some Starbucks while I was in (wherever).”  To which Taisir replies, “Tastes like Maxwell House, yes?”

The Coffee Zone is home of The Rocket Fuel. Doctor’s note required. A medium size cup costs two bucks but we all know that we’re getting more than coffee. For example, here’s something you don’t get at Starbucks.

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