Starbucks has now been up and running in Morelia for less than two weeks, and I’m ashamed to report how many times I’ve visited the place, even if it is a five-mile drive from my house. The Starbucks experience is actually something new for me, having visited only two Starbucks establishments in my entire life which weren’t housed in an airport. The efficiency of Morelia’s franchise amazes me, even if it does mean having to schlep a cup of espresso with my very own name emblazoned upon it to my table, something that just never happens at this town’s other coffee houses.
But I don’t go there for the coffee, even if it is steaming hot. Or for the pastries, the music, Wi-Fi, the touch of Estadounidense corporate enterprise, or the chance to see and be seen. I really don’t even care that Starbucks may have an enlightened labor policy. I go to Starbucks, because they’re giving away used coffee grounds, all neatly wrapped up in the very same foil bag in which the coffee was delivered to Starbucks, sealed with a decorative label, and presented in a basket boasting of a free gift.
My own coffee grounds never find their way into my garden at home, because doing that is just too much effort. Free coffee grounds are another matter, especially when they come in a gift-wrapped package. It’s not a matter of caring about the environment or helping Starbucks get a reputation for going green. It’s a matter of simple economics. Free and gift make all the difference in the world.
Starbucks has cleverly seduced me into becoming its unpaid garbage collector.