Borrego Sun - Since 1949

VIEWPOINT: Fast Food Starbucks Coffee in La Casa Del Zorro's Coffee Cafe


Last updated 7/18/2023 at 1:14pm

I start my morning drinking about two cups of strong coffee with a splash of non-fat milk of which I make in a French coffee press, and although through the years I have weaned myself off coffee for a few months here and there, I presently know I really like a cup and a half (no less) of really good coffee in the AM to jump start my internal batteries for the day.

I’ve been very fortunate to come across superior cafes and hotel coffee service while traveling around the world serving the very best of cafe con leche (Mexico), expresso and cappuccino (Italy) cafe (Spain and Portugal) and so on. By all means, I am not a coffee aficionado nor coffee snob, however, I have had the blessings from the coffee gods and good fortune to drink good coffees. And when I moved to Borrego Springs from New York City in December 2003, I was very happy to have found a great French press coffee being served at La Casa del Zorro restaurant and bar. That was back in the days when the Copley’s owned and managed the resort and spa. When I recently read that “Starbucks was tucked away in a corner at La Casa del Zorro” I was, well, startled.

It’s been years, if not decades, since I’ve bought coffee drinks from a Starbucks. On April 22, 1994, Starbucks opened its first store in New York City located on the tony upper east side and I, liking coffee as much as I did then and as I do now, I too wanted to taste the brand. Unfortunately, at that time, Starbucks was fourth rate in comparison to other local coffee purveyors and cafes in the city and very disappointing based on all the costly advertised hoopla buzz. However, thoughtfully, I decided I’d give Zorro’s Coffee Cafe a try and mosey on over on a Wednesday morning and try a cup. After ordering a small cup of plain coffee with my usual splash of milk and paying $5.39 for, yes, a small cup, I was hoping it had changed and I was going to experience a good cup of joe. Well, it did change, the flavor is most unfavorable than ever! Yikes.

Starbucks is now considered and operates as a “fast food coffee” chain. Its coffee beans are burned through out and the temperature of its coffee is scalding. The flavor can be described as burned bitter black coffee ink. The batches are too big and made to sit too long in very large over heated containers. This is not a “premier coffee experience” selection for La Casa del Zorro Resort and Spa nor is it going to be a customer draw locally or by La Casa’s decerning guests and visitors. Certainly, from here forward when I dine at La Casa I’ll be asking “what coffee brand is being served?”

When in town, I often order and buy good made coffee from our local Bighorn Fudge Co, Calico’s, Carmelita’s and Kendall’s Cafe. These Mom-and-Pop small businesses make several small batches with quality coffee bean brands throughout the morning and day while paying attention to customer’s standards. I will continue to support La Casa del Zorro’s restaurant and bar however, with high hopes that its current selection of fast-food Starbucks coffee will be removed from its menus and replaced with a better brand.

Elizabeth Rodriguez

– Borrego Springs, California (Resident and Small Business Owner)