• Nick Cho makes his debut this week as the Coffee Nazi — or something like that. From the glossy web pages of U.S. News’ Money & Business section, to the frenzied spaces of Boing Boing and MetaFilter, Cho’s Murky Coffee was grabbing headlines as the coffee shop that wouldn’t serve it the way the customer wanted it.

    “It sounds like a cheesy sitcom scene: Man goes into coffee shop. He orders his favorite drink, a triple shot of espresso over ice. Barista declines; he says the drink goes against company policy because pouring espresso over ice ruins the quality of the coffee. Man gets angry. He leaves a tip with an expletive scrawled across it.”

    It didn’t end there, of course, as the customer blogged about the experience — complete with a snapshot of the explative-laden dollar bill he left as a tip. (Yes, he hated the experience so much he left a tip. Go figure.) And that led to the colorful, open letter from Murky’s Cho.

    Oh, the calamity.

  • Starbucks gets “back to basics” by… introducing smoothies? How does this get back to the core that Howard was talking about not so long ago?

    “One of the results has been stores that no longer have the soul of the past,” he wrote. “Some people even call our stores sterile, cookie cutter, no longer reflecting the passion our partners feel about our coffee.”

    No worries… the Jamba Juice gambit will surely make folks focus on the coffee. Meanwhile, in light of Starbucks’ malaise, how are independent shops faring? Just fine, thanks.

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