Coffee News Roundup: Week Ending November 15th

Two hands hold a coffee cup with latte art on top of a newspaper, seen from above

It’s that time of the week again: another Coffee News Roundup gets ready to turn a quizzical eye towards the past seven days in this most caffeinated of industries.

So what’s been going on?

Union ends Spot Coffee boycott - via the Buffalo News

And we come full circle.

You might remember back in July I wrote a piece for Daily Coffee News about union busting at Buffalo’s SPoT Coffee location. Three employees were fired for discussing a successful unionization effort at another SPoT location in Rochester, NY, and those employees fought back, eventually reaching the National Labor Relations Board which found in their favor.

The employees were reinstated with back pay, and their colleagues voted 43-6 to join Workers United and unionize their work space.

Read the full story here.

Just When You Thought Coffee Couldn’t Get Any Cooler, Now You Can Vape It - via Sprudge

It says a lot that I automatically assumed coffee vaping was already a thing.

Add CBD into the mix and you’d have a cursed marketing trifecta.

Read the full story here.

The Largest Starbucks in the World Opens in Chicago - via Daily Coffee News

A paper takeaway coffee cup with the Starbucks logo sits on a wooden table.

Well this feels incredibly peak capitalism.

This thing is 35,000 square feet.

Over five floors.

It has a bar specifically for barrel-aged coffees.

The world is burning, the ice caps are melting, governments are doing little or nothing to help, and Starbucks is opening this ridiculous ode to senseless consumerism. Good stuff.

Read the full story here.

Nestlé eyes Gen Z for disruption in the coffee-to-go space - via Beverage Daily

Because if there’s one thing young people like, it’s giant sinister corporations condescending to them about what they should or shouldn’t do with their money.

Nestlé wants to “disrupt” the takeaway coffee “space” and attract what they call “ambitious young trendies” with their subpar offerings.

Honestly, it’s hard to even make fun of this. It just feels like the desperate graspings of an out-of-touch drinks behemoth trying to catch onto the coattails of the latest trends.

Nestlé is taking inspiration from other awful companies like Uber and Amazon, because “they remember preferences, they have one click payment, you can omni-channel app integration subscription models, and it really does cue that personalization.”

Which is… good? Those are certainly… words.

Read the full story here.

The Week in Corporate Greenwashing

Got a fair few greenwashy stories this week, so let’s go through them one by one.

Two hands holding paper Dunkin coffee cups

First, 7-Eleven is introducing “sustainably sourced” coffee. More than half of the convenience store chain’s coffee is now Rainforest Alliance-certified, which when you consider the fact that it has 68,000 stores worldwide is probably quite a lot of coffee. On the other hand, it’s an enormous corporation that should be paying far more for its coffee. Also, Rainforest Alliance has its share of critics.

7-Eleven is also “working toward a 20% reduction in its energy and packaging footprint by 2025” which is frankly pathetic for a company with annual revenue of $5.1 billion.

Next we have McDonald’s, which is apparently “close” to reaching its goal of 100% sustainably sourced coffee by 2020. Which, great. I guess. Again, it’s a multi-billion dollar company that could easily fix all this *gestures vaguely at the world* if it wanted. It could probably single-handedly reforest the Amazon if it chose.

Finally, Dunkin’ Donuts has announced that it will be replacing its classic styrofoam cups with trendy double-walled paper cups. A blog post on the company’s website says that it is for environmental reasons, which makes sense as styrofoam is terrible and bad. But is a paper cup with plastic liner that is almost impossible to recycle much better?

Look, basically it’s all terrible. And especially as today is something called America Recycles Day, a government-backed national recycling awareness day funded by, wait for it, “Coca-Cola, Nestlé, Pepsico, and Altria, the tobacco giant formerly known as Phillip Morris” according to the Guardian.

Is coffee good for you?

Who knows. Probably not if you vape it.

A man sits on a bench reading a newspaper

What to read

9 Ways To Drink Coffee Conscientiously by Me!

Stauf’s Coffee Opens In 1880s Church Building In Columbus, Ohio by Me as well!

The 25 Best Coffee Roasters In America by Will Price

How This South Korean Coffee Shop Was Designed To Look Like A Cartoon by Ethan Tucker

Until next week, vape drink good coffee.

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