The only mugs in Starbucks are the customers. Hur hur hur!

It’s been announced that ubiquitous high-street coffee chain, Starbucks is to ditch its chunky mugs in favour of bone china.

I am actually a bit irritated about that – and on Twitter people have been asking what will happen to the ex-mugs and can customers have them.

You see, the Starbucks mugs possess a property that is quite unique in coffee-chain-land. They keep the coffee hot for a long time. Commercially, that might be a problem, as it means people can sip coffee for longer without having to gulp down half the drink as tepid dregs and buying another drink.

The bowls that Costa/Nero etc use let the coffee go cold much quicker. They also slosh around when carrying a full bowl to the table, but that is a minor issue compared to the heat radiating away as rapidly as the LibDem’s change their policies.

The press blurb about the change of mug design goes on about upgrading the brand image, but I do wonder if it is actually to get the drinks to cool down quicker so people either buy more or leave the stores sooner – which means they can get away with less floor space for seating.

Obviously, some people will say that Starbucks coffee is not as nice as other chains/independent stores, but I am not a coffee fascist and actually prefer Starbucks for its weaker, easy sipping drinks.

Sadly, I have to moderate how much coffee I drink, as too much too quickly makes me ill, so while the double-shot drinks that Nero serve sends me running to the nearest toilet (and a single shot tastes like flavoured milk), a single Starbucks, or just about a single Costa will be fine.

Come March, I shall test the new bone china mugs for their thermal retention properties and see if my coffee sipping habits have to change with the times, and become “more sophisticated”, aka, gulping the drink down quickly before it turns cold.

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4 Comments

  1. That’s nothing – wait until you hear about phase 2!

  2. I’d hate to be the kind of person who cares what kind of mug I drink my coffee from… but oh well. I guess I am. To me this just sounds like change for change’s sake. Not very smart.

  3. Jen – the drinking vessel is everything. Ever compared coffee in a paper cup to coffee in a big enamel mug? Or beer in a glass to beer in a plastic beaker?

    • IanVisits

      Putting my wine tasting hat on for a moment, it is known that the thinner the glass (or china cup) the more flavours are released as the fluid flows over the sharp edge.

      Technically, therefore a thinner bone china cup should deliver more of the flavour than a mug – but we are talking about a “sipping coffee”, not a specialised coffee tasting session.

      I loathe drinking beer in a plastic container.

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