i am sitting in a newly designed, sheen, coffee shop that stands where Hines Coffee once was. Hines Coffee is legendary, a place i learned about coffee, roasting, espresso & that there is a Difference. now, it appears the Mermaid is copying what the small stores have been doing for years in seattle. making one drip choice a day, roasting in its stores; i found the news unsettling when one of the local papers made it a front page story.

roasting in a store does create an ambiance, coffee dust goes everywhere-something i learned when i would sit with my laptop on a fugly green couch at Hines. i enjoyed the roasting days because i would smell of roasted coffee from my head to my toes. the dust & the smell clung to my clothes. i enjoyed listening to the sound of the grind & the beans roasting. roasting is a loud process-i would rarely ever hear my cell phone when i was sitting in Hines on roasting days. i learned after a while that showering after being there was more useful that doing it before hand.

i enjoy small coffee houses, for me sitting @ a place that has more than 3places in seattle is embarking on a chain mentality but if the coffee is consistent i tend to go back. the Mermaid concept is over wrought with copying this small coffee house feel. their new strategy is much like if a 5th avenue designer decided to go back to garage sales everyday with their thousand dollar gowns & apparel-that won’t happen. why does the Mermaid want to revamp itself into a neighborhood coffee house when it’s a global conglomerate that sits & competes with itself on street corners in NYC??

i heard that several hundred locations have been closed due to lack of sales, Not a Shocker. i am such a die hard small coffee drinker that i won’t go into their location @ pike’s place market. Why. because they have stripped the store of how it used to look like, modernized the location. being Mermaids original location Why would shultz take away from how the place looked. i enjoy flagship stores because they are not changed into something else, they have a feel of how the original concept felt like.

revamping several domestic stores with expensive drip machines& now come included with coffee dust doesn’t make much sense. Mermaid prices have always been to high & their service has been lackluster for the last decade. changing the concept into What the small places that i frequent won’t make me a new customer. i tend to only pay close to $3 for my 80z latte. supersizing coffee is gross-something i am sure the Mermaid will still keep doing even with its new Image.

i am grateful for Hines, teaching me how coffee Truly is & there has been no place like like it. Not anywhere. i am partial to Vivace has a concept of exceptional quality that only comes from running 3 locations. the service, the taste & the aroma can’t be beat. you won’t see me clutching a Mermaid cup unless i am sitting for hours at Ohare& am trapped into drinking the only thing there is. Mermaid crap that will cost me more than small, yummy tasting lattes i enjoy the new sheen looking place, that took the place Hines once occupied. i still miss that Fugly green couch & coffee dust in my hair. i always will.

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