Four Shot Mochas Make Me Drunk

Sat May 26, 2007 12:47:48 pm by Dustin
Filed under Dealing with People, Fun, General, Payroll, a little about life

When I was in school, I got in the habit of doing my work in coffee shops for a few reasons: they are less distracting than freshmen talking in the library or movies at home, there is coffee to keep me awake, the movement of people coming in and out is just relaxing enough and awakening enough to keep me focused, and baristas are hot.

Well today I decided I needed to fill my withdrawals and go to a coffee shop. I normally go to a Starbucks on a ‘But What You Own’ strategy. I see Starbucks as an amazing company with amazing growth potential. This is why a few months ago, I purchased some shares in the coffee jugarnaut. Lately they have been pretty flat, but I feel this will change as they are trying to get to 40,000 location worldwide. This may seem like it would be pretty easy since they have three stores on every corner, but the truth is that there are less than 14,000 locations currently. Now it costs quite a bit to open so many stores, so I expect the price to stay flat for a few more months. But with markets like India, China, and Eastern Europe starting to be tapped, I see growth.

Now I am not really a fan of their coffee. The beans seem burnt and the chocolate tastes like powder, but when you own part of the coffee, you make sacrifices. So, am I at a Starbucks right now assisting in the powers that be? No. Starbucks does not have free Internet access, and I am too cheap to pay for that.

I am currently at Pharmacy Coffee on 21st and Glison in NW Portland. Since it is 75 degrees today, I got a iced mocha. Now the barista – who is gorgeous by the way – warned me that there were four shots in this mocha, but I thought it would be fine. So, I sit here getting partially drunk from the huge amounts of caffeine, and now I have to pee (or spit) every 20 minutes. It is quite a feeling.

  1. Phil

    Quick question. (Side note: I’m really not being an ass here this is a real question.)

    I agree that their future plans are quite ambitious, but as far as the quality and taste of the good offered, do you think it will change the way you invest in coffee stocks in the future?


  2. Dustin

    Umm, well maybe but no.

    I do not think that one needs to use or personally enjoy the products or services from a company which they have invested in order to realize the profit potential. With that said though, it does help for somebody to understand where the companies are coming from in order to fully understand where the growth is going. Since investing in Starbucks, I normally go their half of the time I want/need coffee to help me see how they are doing first hand.

  3. Brandon

    I know you’ve already thought about this… but, going to… and drinking a coffee from… a single starbucks on the corner is probably not a good indicator of the entire corporate chain. Also, I hope that you see more “profit” from your investment than you spend back into the company while “seeing” how they are doing. Also, 4 shots is crazy. K, I’m done being a smart ass. Thanks for letting me get that out of my system.

  4. Phil

    Actually, B, that’s an interesting remark. Frequenting an investment could be seen from many different views, but from my point of view there are two interpreted results one could garnish:
    a) Your Quad Latte’s get cheaper because of the ROI, or
    b) You paid for the investment, and now they are having you pay for the drink (that’s a slap in the face!).
    Folks the jury is still out on that one for me. Honestly I can’t see myself investing in SBX, mainly because it’s a risky investment because I know from experience that there are so damn many other fine coffee establishments that I would rather frequent and simply, “Phil can’t control the damn thing”.

    Not that I’m a control freak or anything, but working on the inside you know exactly what your up against and who is making the decisions. Talk about accountability, it’s easy to say, “Hey guys what are your Q4 goals?” and upon their response say, “Are you going to make them?” and then, “Sweet! put me down for another XXX this round.”

    Unfortunately this option is not available to most people, I wish it were. Anywho, turning B’s comment from “One of ass” to “One of gold” :D //Go Team//


  5. James

    Or for the ultimate in investment and accountability, brew your own. Not only can you go to the bathroom mirror and yell at the baristo for making a crappy drink, but you can stick the $3/cup you save (even after amortizing the cost of the shiny new coffee maker) in an emerging markets fund and roll some real dough.

    /heartless cynic