Girls Write Out
Monday, October 05, 2009

I'm a coffee nut. And it's all Kristin's fault. We met for the first time when we roomed together at Glorietta Writer's Conference. My parents had always drunk coffee but I was not impressed. Kristin insisted on renting a car so she could have her iced mocha. I'd never been in a dedicated espresso shop. I inhaled that aroma and reeled with delight. K ordered her iced mocha and she got me one too. One sip and I was a goner. Coffee became an EXPERIENCE. And that is what Starbucks has built its business on. The experience we get when we walk into a cafe. The friendly barista. The aromas of the different blends. The myriad choices. Sitting at the table and chatting with friends or family. The experience is delightful.

I went shopping with Donna on Saturday. Of course we had to stop at Starbuck's for our afternoon treat. The first thing the cashier wanted was to offer me a chance to taste test the new instant Via. "Don't get me started," I said. "What is Starbuck's thinking? I can get instant at home. I come to the cafe for the experience. I like to hear the whir of the foaming milk, the sound of the espresso crema forming on the shots, the aroma of ground beans." People in line nodded as I talked to him. And I didn't taste it. What was the point? I don't want instant coffee. Not ever. My coffee loving soul just shudders at the thought! Coffee was never made to be instant. I want the full value of the antioxidants. I want the fresh stuff. No short cuts. No substitutes.

I walked out with a smile on my face and my iced Americano lightened with half and half in my hand. And it made me consider my books and my readers. I don't ever want to shortchange my readers. I want them to get the real thing. A book I've worked on, loved and produced with no shortcuts. One full of caffeine. :-) The real McCoy. No imitation. One that comes from my heart and is what I really love writing.

How about you? Do you have a pet peeve that you see your favorite company doing? Or something you are doing that you will vow to do to the best of your ability?

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Colleen Coble  
posted at 9:39 PM  
  Comments (23)
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At 9:57 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

I like it. It's for those people who don't want to make it in the morning. It will get them out of us soy mocha folks way, and that's a good thing. If you want stinkin COFFEE stay home! If you want espresso, the line has just cleared. Except not here. Does NO ONE make their own coffee in Silicon Valley? Sheesh, you can change the world with technology, but you can't push a button on your Cuisinart?

At 11:49 PM, Blogger Cheri said...


I so wish I liked to drink coffee, it smells soooo good. Working at one of my first jobs as a legal secretary, it was my job to make the coffee. Not liking coffee, I didn't know how it should taste, so no easy task.

They tolerated my efforts until one fine day, I was adding the sugar and picked up the salt by mistake. I never had to make coffee again!


At 11:55 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Colleen, you're definitely caffeinated. Reading your books keeps me up late at night. One thing I need in my coffee, though, is pure cream. Not half and half. pure cream. Oh, my. It sets off the flavor of the coffee (yes, Kris, plain old coffee) and smoothes it out. No sugar, no flavor, just creamy delight with lots of heft.

I agree with you. No lite editing for me. I want the full treatment. Dig deeply into the book as you dig deeply into life and live it to its fullest.

At 9:19 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

How is pouring hot water over instant any faster than simply pouring brewed coffee into a cup for the folks who are only drinking straight coffee, K? Those people just need to stay home and make it in their Cuisinart, like you said! :) My brother in law just got a Cuisinart and loves it. My job there is done. LOL

At 9:30 AM, Blogger Cheri Gregory said...

How funny -- I'm sipping my sample "instant Starbucks" as I type. I was trying to figure out why I don't like it, although it's technically good.

You put your finger on the problem: "instant Starbucks" is an oxymoron. I don't just want a quick drink; that's the "best part of waking up with Folgers in my cup."

I want the full experience. For me, this includes the full phrase "tall, EXTRA whipped cream mocha, extra hot, please" and a real live person to whom I can say, "Thank you!" as I am served.

At 9:33 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

It's all about the experience, isn't it, Cheri? That's what good service is all about too. I shudder at the thought of instant coffee. Now Di might like it. I think she was dropped on her head as a child.

At 9:41 AM, Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

It is all about the experience...unless you're traveling to somewhere that doesn't have camping, or on a missions trip like I'll be doing in 3 weeks. I HATE instant coffee, so I'm looking forward to having one that will hopefully taste good enough to drink and still be strong enough to keep the coffee headache away in the morning.

That's the only good thing about it... ;) And I can even take one of your books along on my trip too! :D No short-changing there. Ever.

At 9:52 AM, Blogger Kaci said...

I'm worse. 0=) I prefer local, family-run businesses to Starbucks.

At 9:56 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

I do too, Kaci. But they are very hit and miss. When I'm traveling, I'm sure of the experience with Starbuck's so that's where I go unless I know for sure the coffee is good in the family owned one. I've had some bad experiences at places like that, unfortunately. but when they get it right, they blow Starbuck's out of the water.

At 10:02 AM, Blogger hotcoffeenow said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 10:07 AM, Blogger Kaci said...

True, true, Colleen.

At 10:30 AM, Blogger Teri Dawn Smith said...

I just finished reading Lonestar Secrets and didn't need any caffeine to keep me turning pages! I didn't see the twist coming at the end! Great book.

At 11:01 AM, Blogger Jaime said...

I can get instant at a hotel. *gag, cough, ralph*
If I go to Buckies (that's what we call it here in WI) for coffee give me full throttle espresso with soy and hazelnut and ... you get the point.

... and I'm sorely lacking lately ... only 3 1/2 more months!!! Chloe can have some in her ba-ba too! :) see, i'll be a good mommy ;)

At 11:33 AM, Blogger Deena said...

I don't want to short-change my readers with my reviews. Which means, no matter how busy I get or how time-crunched I am, I read the WHOLE book before giving my humble opinion.

They are going to pop up with at least $15.00--they deserve to know if I think it is worth the money:-)

At 11:37 AM, Blogger Rachel Hauck said...

I'm not a coffee drinker but I actually had 5 iced or hot mochas from McDonalds on my drive up to my mom's in Knoxville AND back! Kept me awake!

Yeah, instant, blech!


At 11:49 AM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

Yeah, yeah, yeah, so you think I was dropped on my head just because I can drink instant coffee. Whatever. But the truth is if you add chocolate and whipped cream even vinegar would be good--well, okay, maybe not.

At 9:45 PM, Blogger Leticia said...

I cannot believe they would actuallly offer instant coffee, no respectable coffee drinker would ever think about about drinking instant, eww...

One of my pet peeves is when Avon discontinues one of my favorite products and they seem to do it a lot...grrrrrrr

At 10:08 PM, Blogger Peg Brantley said...

Okay. Haven't tried it. My Starbucks usually comes from the bags of coffee I buy at the grocery store. I like mine a dark roast. Either Italian or French. The smell gets me almost more than anything. I can walk by and get a terrific coffee high. It's a wonderful thing.

BUT. I've heard, from a LOT of people, that they cannot taste the difference between the regular Starbucks and the new offering. SO. You go to your Starbucks, whisper your order for the money-saving cup, and sit down to EXPERIENCE the EXPERIENCE, the same as before, but just not a expensive.

Save money. Soak up the flavor of the coffee shop.
Just don't tell Colleen what you're drinking.

At 8:23 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Laughing, Peg! You know me too well. LOL

At 7:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, I just have to share two Tweets that I read this morning, one from Michael and one from Matt Baugher (Publisher Thom. Nel.) - both Starbucks Diehards.
The Marriott housekeeping staff forgot to reffill the in-room coffee. This is why God invented Starbucks instant coffee. Whew!
Like @michaelhyatt, this morning I am thankful for Via instant coffee from Starbucks to rescue my morning hotel experience!
I'm just sayin' :-)

At 8:28 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Gail, Gail. And here I admire Mike so much. I thought he was a TRUE coffee addict like me. No true coffee love would let instant pass his lips! :-)

I'm in Nashville! So bummed the two of you aren't! I so wanted to see you.

At 8:30 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Oh and here's how snooty I am. In room coffee? Blech. Those itty bitty machines usually make such awful coffee. Only those little fancy ones do a good job. So I haven't had mine yet. Not until I get to the lobby!

At 9:37 AM, Blogger Peg Brantley said...

I saw a horrible Sixty Minutes or other news show story about in-room coffee pots. I used to love them for the convenience of having a cup of coffee while I got ready to meet the world. Now I don't go near them.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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