Americans have no clue what good coffee and food experience is.

Tony Forcucci
5 min readFeb 19, 2023

Is that a single cookie on display? LOL. Where are we Pyongyang? Havana?

Walk into practically any Starbucks in the USA and you will see this standardized Starbucks food display. A single cookie and a dry burrito side by the side.

WTF is wrong with the food culture in the USA?

I recently came back from a week in Italy. Every single morning I went out for a coffee and a pastry. You can go to practically any local coffee joint in Italy and you will have an infinitely better coffee and food selection than what Americans endure.

The thing is most Americans don’t even know what they don’t know.

Look at the above side by side photo of the food selection at almost any Starbucks in the USA. Next to it is the typical food selection at almost any local Italian coffee bar.

How is this possible?

American food is so over-the-top corporatized that when you drive down practically any American street your choices are corporate fast food on the left or corporate chain food on the right.

Honestly it sucks.

And Starbucks easily has to be one of the worst offenders in pushing bad coffee, a bad coffee experience, and stale, lifeless, and bland food that comes prepackaged and shipped. Even the “trained” staff at Starbucks is clueless. There is no heart or soul in the experience, just robotized workers sloppily pushing out product, huge cups of coffee with crappy squeezed caramels, whipped cream, shitty almond or soy milk, and worse.

About 15–20 years ago Starbucks used to have actual manually operated espresso machines, the big ones with 2,3, and 4 handles on them. The then baristas would actually grind the coffee in a grinder for each espresso, put it in the handle, tamp it down, maneuver the handle into place, and push the button to start the water under pressure.

Starbucks struggled in training the then baristas on how to execute this series of moves in such a way that every coffee would come out right. So corporate eventually took the decision to replace all the classic espresso machines with automated machines where the barista wouldn’t have to do a thing practically.

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Tony Forcucci

I share travel, business, and rational thought stories from experiencing a lot of the world up close. tonyforcucci.com