Coffee fuels the city that never sleeps. Unfortunately, most of it is terrible. But there are exceptions. It would be unfair to not give Starbucks tremendous credit for raising awareness of coffee and its many forms; however, most of its products remain heavily sugared and over-diluted with milk, cream, and syrups. It's become fast-food drinkable dessert. And even assuming that its beans are of decent quality, its computerized machines over-extract them while many of its unskilled "baristas" continue to flip on the milk steamer and walk away to help other customers, leaving the milk burnt and undrinkable. What was once a trendy logo to carry in your hand is now a red flag for poor taste.
However, a better educated coffee-craving public now has higher demands that Starbucks cannot fulfill in its current form. For this new demand, boutique coffee shops have been opening up and thriving. So much so, in fact, that Starbucks has been opening unbranded, clandestine shops with a community feel to trick consumers into thinking they're local shops. But no matter how hard they try, it will be hard to emulate what's available at Joe the Art of Coffee on Waverly.