This story is about a very slow moving train-wreck that’s happening on Twitter right now. Gloria Jean’s has declared July to be “With Heart” month: the idea is that each Gloria Jean’s store makes a donation to a charity in it’s local area and the company publicises these donations to get positive PR around their brand.
Thankful for the financial support, charities like Variety Australia have suggested that its supporters should buy a coffee in tweets like this:
When marketers realised that people subconsciously prefer to buy products they identify with, a whole new era of marketing began. Instead of talking about the properties of their products, modern brands try to draw a subconscious link between how you would like to see yourself and what they’re selling.
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You can say what you like about their brew, but you know things have reached boiling point when our two biggest mass-produced coffee chains go to war over something other than jumbo caramel low fat lattes.
Gloria Jean’s Coffee, which has 460 Australian stores in its portfolio, is in a bit of hot water over a $30,000 donation it made to the Australian Christian Lobby, which is fighting an increasingly bitter fight against the possibility of legalising gay marriage.
Sniffing the aroma, its competitor Starbucks just posted this on its Facebook site:
Starbucks Australia would like to publicly announce our proud support of Marriage Equality for all.
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Why do you spill your coffee?
Don’t worry, you don’t have to answer that. Science has the answer with a landmark study that “reveals the sophisticated interplay between human body dynamics and the fluid mechanics of spilling coffee.” More on that study here.
Had any catastrophic spillages recently? Most Punch office coffees are spilt turning the dangerous L-shaped bend between the kitchen and the computers.
Happy Monday! What’s on your mind?
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My Starbucks bugbear: the coffee just sucks. Really badly.
America and Japan are among the world’s leading innovators. So why can’t they figure out a cup of coffee? Caffeine fiends everywhere are in uproar because Starbucks revealed it uses insects to colour food and drinks. That wasn’t a typo. Insects.
But that doesn’t bug me. I’m in uproar because Starbucks is Starbucks, and, as such, its coffee tastes like run-off from an overweight Greco-Roman wrestler’s spandex after a spin class.
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If you walk down the streets of Paris on any weekday morning, you will see sleek, perfectly coiffed Parisians clutching a briefcase or designer handbag and perhaps the newspaper.
If you walk down any Sydney street, you will see a very different picture. You will see hundreds of people clutching a takeaway coffee cup. Now inside those containers there could be a skim capp, a chai latte or even a soy mocha, but what I see is calories. A lot of liquid calories that few of us really need.
Now, before your morning coffee fuelled brain goes into a fury at the thought of the dietitian ruining your Monday morning by taking away the one indulgence of the day that gets you through the office doors each day, yes, it is true that there are some health benefits associated with drinking coffee.
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A Puncher writes: I’ve had a long and fruit(salad)ful relationship with my barista. He always asks how my day’s going. Knows my complicated coffee order right off the bat. There’s service with a smile and small-talk with sizzle.
But lately I’ve been awarded an array of discounts and freebies that would put FlyBuys or MyerOne to shame. There’s discounted fruity muffins. Free fruit salads. Free coffees! Lately, I come back to the office cradling half a supermarket worth of food. They’re busy enough that they don’t have to get rid of that much food by foisting it onto customers like me.
I’d never think of going anywhere else. But lately I’ve been wondering: is this my barista’s way of hitting on me? I’m worried that any romantic entanglements could jeopardise my extensive collection of freebies, run up my food bills and ruin a perfectly satisfactory customer-barista relationship. What do you think? Are those clouds in my coffee, or love hearts?
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We often imagine that New Yorkers stereotype us Aussies as backwards, quaint, knife-wielding, tanned, crocodile-hunting, outdoorsy, friendly, drop-bear avoiding troglodytes. But it turns out that they’re actually cottoning on to our fashion-forward focus. You see, we’re setting trends in the Big Apple (apparently Aussies who refer to it as the Big Apple are actually to blame for the troggy image).
New Yawkers are falling in love with the flat white. Yes, to you and I it may be just the non-frothy version of a capuccino, or the too-milky macchiato, or a drop only distinguishable from the latte by its trendy cupware, but to them it’s the hot new thing. Hugh Jackman’s to blame, and he generally is.
What’s your poison, Punchers? What’s easing you in to this Monday morning? And feel free to discuss anything else that’s on your mind.
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McDonalds has bent like the proverbial river weed in the current of coffee snobbery sweeping through Australia.
No longer content to swill International Roast, cheap-a-cinos or the brown-coloured water that percolates through thrice-used grounds, Australians today demand proper coffee.
Where once it was a privilege to sup a cup of creamy latte made from beans harvested from the strained foecal matter of the rare jungle-dwelling civet, now it is a human right without which we are debased.
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Hi. Sorry I’m late. Just back from the McCafe. Been hanging out there since really early this morning because, as Oprah’s American audience learned yesterday in a McDonald’s-sponsored segment, that’s what we Aussies do. All the time.
Lucky she reminded me about these “hip hangouts” really. There I was, about to buy a rack of spring lamb for dinner, and a beautiful fresh tray of Bowen mangoes for the fruit bowl, when bing! I remembered that in fact, what I actually craved, on a deeply-ingrained cultural level, was in fact that most Australian of treats, the American Choc Brownie Slice ™.
Or I don’t know, maybe some Cookies and Cream Cheesecake washed down with a caramel latte frappe, a beverage which demonstrates beyond question our love of a classic, untainted, good quality cup of real coffee.
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Anyone reading David Southwell’s diatribe on The Punch last week could have been forgiven for thinking the whole of Queensland is a desert devoid of decent espresso.
Certainly the southern blogger successfully whipped up a froth of discontent amongst the state’s caffeinistas with his comments.
The bitterness caused is directed not at Southwell but at anyone who feels the need to take cheap shots at a slice of Australia that’s brewing up micro-roasteries and specialty coffee houses faster than a Mini Mazzer spews forth espresso-ready beans.
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Queensland is many ways a much more reasonable facsimile of civilisation than it used to be.
However I recently discovered a glaring deficiency that rubbed away all veneer of cosmopolitan credit.
The coffee was bad. Sometimes it was bad multiplied by awful.
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