A few weeks ago, James Hoffman travelled to a Starbucks in Milan to try the new “oleato” coffees. The oleato drinks are coffee mixed with olive oil. They sound weird, but James seemed to enjoy them. It was a really entertaining review and seemed to be getting tons of views, but James decided to remove it from Youtube one week later.
I’m glad he did. It’s hard to hear any news about Starbucks these days without also thinking about the poor way they treat their workers. It seems like Starbucks keeps trying to make crazy announcements about special edition NFTs or olive-oil coffees, just to try to bury the big news about their illegal union busting activities.
James hasn’t said much publicly about why he removed the videos, but I did find a comment about it on his now “private” video page. You can see the comment below:
I also found this Twitter thread between James and a fan, in which James says he is contributing all of that video’s ad revenue to the Starbucks Workers United:
I’m really glad that James is donating the funds to the Starbucks union, but I hope he considers reposting the video along with a note about Starbucks’ union-busting efforts.
FWIW, it is sometimes hard to find a way to review something while also addressing the elephant in the room. I think Li Goldstein handled it well in her review of the Oleatos for Bon Apetit.
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