When was the last time you actually enjoyed a cup of coffee?

When was the last time you actually enjoyed a cup of coffee?

When was the last time you actually enjoyed a cup of coffee? I don’t mean slurping one down in traffic or sipping from a paper cup while rushing down the street to work. I mean sitting down with a steamy glass mug and making your coffee break just that – a break, a luxurious moment to savor, a simple pleasure, like people do in Argentina and France and Italy, and many other countries, where no one takes their coffee to go. Will the banks fail if we don’t make it to-go?” Will our jobs be imperiled, our productivity diminished, the GNP jeopardized? Probably not.

So far have we fallen from the plain civility of a coffee break that we can barely stand an extra minute in line. Leave it to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to capitalize on that undeniable woe. Today, he giddily announced that mobile ordering and payments will expand soon and be available at more than 600 stores in the Pacific Northwest, including Seattle, as early as March or April.

The initiative was launched last month in Portland, allowing Starbucks customers to order coffee and food in advance, and pick up their purchases without waiting in line.

On Dec. 3, 2014, Geek Wire’s Tricia Duryee offered a glowing account of this monumental event that is reshaping lives in Oregon’s biggest town:

“Two minutes after ordering my tall sugar-free vanilla latte on my iPhone, a barista called my name saying it was ready.

“A minute or two after that, my pipping hot panini came out of the oven, ready to eat. I didn’t have to stand in line, fight the crowds, talk to anyone or even be inside the Brewery Blocks Portland Starbucks to place the order.

“That’s the beauty of the new mobile ordering service Starbucks launched today, allowing customers to place their coffee and food orders in advance and pick them up without ever having to stand in line.”

Adam Brotman, Starbucks’ chief digital officer, said Starbucks is confident about the future of mobile ordering and will be aggressively rolling it out throughout the nation by the end of next year.

Brotman figures that if fewer people are standing in line, more Starbucks employees will spend their time making drinks instead of working the register, leading to a better experience for customers.

“We believe this is going to be game changing, in terms of both the customer experience as well as driving incremental transactions and improving throughput and capacity in our stores,” Brotman told Geek Wire. ”

Nothing here about taste or aromas, nor of spending a few minutes relaxing over a cup of Joe. No, in the World According to Starbucks, the “customer experience” will simply be enhanced by the speed in which one is able to secure a paper cup of coffee.

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