A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 28, 2011
Charbucks (Starbucks nickname)

Starbucks Coffee Company is a coffeehouse chain that began in Seattle, Washington in 1971. There are many Starbucks outlets in New York City, especially in Manhattan.

Starbucks has been criticized for over-roasting its coffee beans. The Starbucks nickname of “Charbucks” has been cited in print since at least 1994.

Other Starbucks nicknames include “Starfucks” (since 1995), “Fourbucks"/"Fivebucks” (since 1998) and “Starbugs” (since 2012).


Wikipedia: Starbucks
Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX) is an international coffee and coffeehouse chain based in Seattle, Washington. Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world, with 17,009 stores in 50 countries, including over 11,000 in the United States, over 1,000 in Canada, and over 700 in the United Kingdom.

Starbucks sells drip brewed coffee, espresso-based hot drinks, other hot and cold drinks, coffee beans, salads, hot and cold sandwiches and panini, pastries, snacks, and items such as mugs and tumblers. Through the Starbucks Entertainment division and Hear Music brand, the company also markets books, music, and film. Many of the company’s products are seasonal or specific to the locality of the store. Starbucks-brand ice cream and coffee are also offered at grocery stores.

Urban Dictionary
Charbucks
Starbucks is called Charbucks because they burn their coffee and produce trendy “coffee” addicts.
Man that coffee three doors down from Charbucks is cheaper, friendlier AND taste better. Man I hate Charbucks.
by Mocha_Is_Just_Syrup Apr 28, 2005

The Black Bear Micro Roastery (Center Tuftonboro, NH)
What it’s all about?
(...)
The term “Charbucks” had been in widespread usage for many years all over the United States, but during the early 90s, it was being used intensively in the Boston, MA area.  George Howell, former owner of the, now non-existent Coffee Connection, had brought it into prominence in the Boston area.

The Coffee Connection was the most popular coffee roastery in Boston, and was known, and highly revered, for roasting coffee in a manner identical to the way we do, that is, not “over roasting” coffee.  George Howell, founder and owner of the Coffee Connection, regarded Starbucks as the antithesis to what he believed in.  By 1994, the Coffee Connection had expanded to twenty-one retail outlets, and Starbucks was actively attempting to purchase the chain.  Since George felt so strongly that Starbucks “over roasted” all of their coffee, he began to refer to Starbucks as “Charbucks” extensively.

2 January 1994, Boston (MA) Globe, “A brewing battle: Coffee Connection is on the defensive as Starbucks comes to town” by Frederic M. Biddle, pg. 29:
Indeed, Coffee Connection’s Howell calls his rival’s coffee “Charbucks”—an unflattering reference to its exceptionally dark roast preferred for espresso but…

Google Groups: alt.coffee
Newsgroups: alt.coffee
From: ()
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 1994 07:23:49 GMT
Local: Tues, Mar 22 1994 2:23 am
Subject: Re: Starbuck’s Rules!

I’ve heard various reports that Starbuck’s (some folks call them Charbucks ) often roasts their beans several weeks or months in advance - not too fresh!

Google Groups: rec.food.drink.coffee
Newsgroups: rec.food.drink.coffee
From: (ACoffeeMan)
Date: 1995/05/11
Subject: Re: Starbucks - how do I get?

My word...Do you people actually drink Starbucks..Personal bumper sticker reads: Lips that touch Starbucks shall never touch mine.  Most people in the industry refer to it as “Charbucks”... They roast it that way so you cant tell how bad it really was to start.

Google Groups: rec.food.drink.coffee
Newsgroups: rec.food.drink.coffee
From: (Jill Rachel Stuart)
Date: 1995/06/04
Subject: Re: Starbucks too dark

Maybe you don’t intend this, but do you realize that this remark about “acquired taste” makes it sound like “enlightened taste"--i.e., if I don’t like Charbucks, I haven’t evolved to appreciate the “intensity” of what, to me, is burnt coffee?

Google Groups: alt.coffee
Date: May 16, 2000
From:
Newsgroups: alt.coffee
Subject: Beware Beware Calling it Charbucks

I just learned today from an exchange of email with a commercial coffee micro roaster that Starbucks Corporation has apparently little sense of humor and zero tolerance for calling a coffee blend “Charbucks.” As the situation was explained to me, trademark attorneys in Los Angeles representing Starbucks Corporation had contacted them indicating they were willing to discuss this issue further-- in U.S. District Court. 

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Bakeries/Food Stores • (0) Comments • Thursday, April 28, 2011 • Permalink