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A new coffee war brews between Starbucks and McDonalds April 19, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Drinks & Beverages, Food Drinks News.
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McDonalds Web site pokes fun at Starbucks snobbery > According to US media the “Golden Arches” Starbucks’ newest nemesis, have a fresh tactic in their battle for America’s coffee dollars. If you can not outsell Starbucks, how about just giving it away.

McDonald’s latest campaign is Free lattes on Friday mornings in Seattle, Starbucks hometown. “It’s quite comparable to Starbucks,” one tester said. There is nothing subtle about this battle of the brews. Aside from the free coffee, McDonalds has launched a website essentially poking fun of Starbucks.

The website address “unsnobbycoffee.com” does not leave much to the imagination. The site is devoted to making Starbucks look snooty and overpriced. “Well, there’s always a catch with something that’s free. But it was okay. I don’t think it’s any better than Starbucks,” said another tester.

Starbucks has a public relations offensive of its own. They recently shut down every store in the country to re-train baristas, and of course get lots of press coverage. “So, we’re hoping that our baristas will walk away with a renewed focus on our standards, and appreciation for all the work that goes into our coffee,” Starbuck manager Ann-Marie Kurtz said.

Starbucks is not backing down, but McDonald’s is not exactly easing up. If it takes giving the stuff away to take over the coffee throne, they are apparently willing to do it, at least for the next few weeks.


NZ cafes miss out on London awards September 23, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Dining Out.
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London magazine Time Out has passed over three Kiwi cafes in its annual Eating & Drinking awards, instead giving top honours to the Spanish-influenced Fernandez & Wells.

Sacred, Bullet and Flat White, all run by New Zealanders in the English capital, were three of the five finalists, having gained a loyal following for their top quality espresso and New Zealand-style cafe food.

In an environment where high street chains have long dominated the coffee market, New Zealanders have been instrumental in raising the standards of the once-dismal London coffee scene.

The judges from Time Out, which this year celebrates 25 years of informing Londoners on where to eat and drink, heaped praise on the Kiwi entrants, but Fernandez & Wells, supplied by Monmouth Coffee Company, whose roasters are largely New Zealanders, took out the top spot.