Why does Starbucks hate you?

April 15, 2016 Originally published on SFGate

Amazingly, the headline that made me cringe the most this week had nothing to do with Donald Trump, or the election cycle, or “8 Things We Really Hope Go Down in Princess Diaries 3” – though that one did kill a few million kittens, merely by existing.

No, the worst was a twee, humanity-destroying little PR blurb from the shameless trolls at Starbucks HQ, reprinted nearly verbatim by the exceedingly bored crew at Mashable because who has time to give a damn anymore, really?

“Starbucks rings in spring with Cherry Blossom Frappucino,” the headline actually read, as the gods of all human sadness did not strike Starbucks’ PR agency dead on the spot for spewing words that were as sickly sweet as newly fallen sunshine and twice as loaded with colon-curdling lies.

Springtime! Time for yet another sickeningly sweet liquid candy bar form the folks that brought you the Red Velvet Cake, the Cotton Candy, the Cinnamon Roll, the Caramel Cluster Clump, the Rainbow Colon Stab and the This is Why You’re Fat and Sick All the Time and Will Probably Need to Go to the Emergency Room Very Very Soon.

What, too harsh? Not even. Everyone knows Starbucks hasn’t been anything like a real coffee house for years. Their “regular” house coffee, if you’re desperate enough to order it, is plain awful, I mean world-class terrible, requiring two or three shots of espresso just to taste like actual coffee, which it never does. Verily, Starbucks is to real coffee what a Hallmark card is to messy oral sex, what Diet Mountain Dew is to premium flake cocaine.

Taste the Springtime! And then die!

Taste the Springtime! And then die!

What Starbucks is, of course, is an overpriced candy store for pre-diabetic Millennials (and their kids!), serving up millions of gallons of artificially flavored goop in individual plastic cups, each with somewhere between 57,000 and 10 million calories, 807 grams of refined sugar and enough artificial flavoring to gag the entire UCLA sorority system since 1957. They get to call them “coffee drinks” only because Starbucks adds an espresso shot or two to most concoctions, merely to prevent consumers from instantly collapsing into a diabetic coma.

Hey! Can you guess what’s actually in the “limited edition” Cherry Blossom Frappucino? Of course you can’t.

Nope, it’s not cherry. No espresso, either. The Cherry Blossom Frappucino, naturally, is flavored with strawberry, crammed with industrial whipped cream, injected with “matcha drizzle” (?), slathered in white chocolate sauce, sprinkled with hate and shot through with 19 kinds of diabetes medication, all served in a clear plastic cup that will choke two dozen sea turtles by Easter and won’t disintegrate until the sun explodes. Oh well.

Hurry! The Cherry Blossom Hate Bomb is only available for another week, because that’s when the ingredients congeal into cold radioactive lava and Starbucks has to shoot it into deep space in special lead-lined cargo containers made by slave-labor alien life forms the company keeps in special, top-secret underground bunkers on the outskirts of West Seattle, right next to Amazon’s razor-wired labor camps and Boeing’s highly classified chemtrails testing labs. Springtime!


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Mark Morford

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