Almost every morning for a decade, Roger Bratter has stopped at a Starbucks in Gaithersburg to sip a grande latte sans foam or a green tea and spend 20 peaceful minutes with the newspaper before heading to his auto repair shop.The article goes on for 17 more paragraphs. Read on, if you feel you must.
Grabbing a cup at home, he said, just isn't the same.
"Our kid's got to go to school. My wife has to get to the Metro. I've got to get to work," Bratter, 54, said during a 7:30 a.m. visit last week. "If I have to make [coffee] and clean it up, it's just an extra stress factor."
Minutes earlier, at the same Starbucks on Quince Orchard Road, Steve Elgin, 41, pulled into the drive-through. A venti latte once or twice a week takes the edge off his one-hour commute between Frederick and Gaithersburg.
"It gives me something to do on [Interstate] 270," said Elgin, an executive in an insurance claims company.
The two men represent what one researcher says is evidence that the national craving for gourmet coffee may be adding mileage to the morning rush hour. And the numbers might be significant enough to complicate efforts to reduce traffic congestion, save fuel and reduce air pollution.
She calls it -- what else? -- the "Starbucks Effect."
April 18, 2005
Greedy Starbucks capitalists destroy the planet one Grande Latte at a time
From the WaPo, April 17: