Starbucks endorses unnatural “marriage”. Buy Mystic Monk Coffee, not Starbucks.

Need another reason to buy Mystic Monk Coffee?  As if my requests weren’t enough?  As if helping Wyoming Carmelites wasn’t enough?


In news that will come as a heavy blow to many coffee lovers, Starbucks has officially backed homosexual ‘marriage.’



You don’t need them.

If Starbucks wants to tear at the bonds of society and promote mortal sin, the Carmelites want to build a place to give glory to the God who made us in His image in two sexes.

Buy Mystic Monk Coffee

If you haven’t tried it yet, here are a few suggestions.

First, always use my link.

Second, start out with a Sampler.


Mystic Monk Coffee!

It’s swell… and it’s not tainted.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Dogs and Fleas, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, The future and our choices and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Dr Guinness says:

    Really?! Ah well, I guess I’ll have to find another café from which to buy my morning coffee…
    My local one run by Fundamentalist Evangelicals was great! But they’re gone as well…

    [Make your coffee at home and save money.]

  2. acardnal says:

    It’s Mystic Monk coffee for me – soley! Or is it “soul-y”. FYI, I don’t buy any Levi products either for the same reason – their support of the homosexual lifestyle.

  3. AnnAsher says:

    I emailed Starbucks about this matter and they are forcefully unconcerned about their traditional family customers. It’s a problem for me – switching coffee is a big deal. But I am done with Statbucks.

  4. disco says:

    I guess their ideology is as crappy as their coffee.

  5. keithp says:

    Septuagesima Sunday and Lent coming up very quick now. A good opportunity to see how and where we are spending our money or indulging.

    I don’t buy coffee at Starbucks. Too expensive. On the other hand, I wonder what I would do if my place of employment did this same thing? I wonder if I would have the courage to quit?

  6. JayDeee says:

    Their Hermit’s Bold Blend tastes, to me, a whole lot like your basic Starbucks coffee. So that’s what I’m drinking nowadays – delicious and it’s helping actual monks. (And I clicked from here, too).

  7. JohnE says:

    I only wish I was a Starbucks customer so I could have the pleasure of switching. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve bought their coffee.

  8. Girgadis says:

    My husband is not a Starbucks fan, but he is a Mystic Monk enthusiast and his only “complaint” is that the monks don’t offer an espresso grind. Still, the coffee is that good that he’s willing to make do. We’ll be clicking on your link again very soon.

  9. Mary Jane says:

    I have been avoiding Starbucks for a few years now, only occasionally breaking down and treating myself to one of their Pumpkin Spice Lattes…no more, however! I’m avoiding caffeine at present; if anyone can recommend some Mystic Monk decaf flavors that are tasty I’d be most grateful.

  10. Marie Veronica says:

    ah! I’ve been wanting to find an even better reason to boycott them. Their coffee is astringent, burnt, and overpriced. I only buy it when traveling on business – but no more! When on the road, I’ll find a substitute or go without.

    Been buying Mystic Monk for a few years now – typically for Christmas presents for (Starbucks fan) family members. Will continue to do so – and via the link on your blog.


  12. APX says:

    I haven’t been to Starbucks since they discontinued their tangerine frappiccino juice blend and butchered spelling my name on my cup somewhere in Oregon. Oh, and then there was that time in Great Falls Montana I went to Starbucks and they were completely out of coffee. !?! I had to drink a watered down expresso instead! Blegh!

    I’m good here in Canada, as my coffee run supplier only promotes hockey and kids sports. Having worked for them for innumerable years, they don’t seem to be the company to go that route.

    Mystic Monk is good, but unless they set up drive-thrus for when I need to stop someplace, I still need to find a drive-thru place.

  13. robtbrown says:

    Starbucks endorsed unnatural coffee prices a long time ago.

  14. The Sicilian Woman says:

    In other news, Susan G. Komen is no longer funding Planned Parenthood. If this is true, it will be very interesting to see how this plays out. Frankly, I’d like the Girl Scouts to disengage themselves from PP, too.

  15. EXCHIEF says:

    Can’t give up something I don’t do…but our family has been Mystic Monk drinkers for quite some time and we are not giving that up. Don’t take this wrong, but Starbucks has always struck me as catering to the young leftist yuppie crowd anyhow. And not being young, a leftist, or a yuppie I felt out of place and so avoided it like the plague.

  16. James Joseph says:

    I’m hoarded granulated white sugar, incandecent lightbulbs, and Mystic Monk coffees of the month.

  17. lucy says:

    I’ve always wondered why anyone liked their coffee to begin with. My husband and I drank Gevalia in college and now drink only Mystic Monk. I recently took my children to a debate tournament and the hotel had Starbucks in their breakfast room. I had to choke it down to start our day, but hated it!

    If you need fast coffee in the morning – get yourself a Keurig and fill the handy mesh cup with your favorite Mystic Monk flavor and you’re out the door in less than a minute!

  18. Faith says:

    Please tell me Dunkin Donuts has an imprimatur. Do the monks sell K cups?

  19. mibethda says:

    When you say that the monks do not off an ‘espresso grind’, I assume you mean a fine grind (they do offer an espresso roast, but in medium grind). Your answer is to buy a grinder, purchase the Mystic Monk’s whole bean espresso roast and grind your own daily – it only takes a couple of minutes. Note, however, for a consistent fine ground, a blade grinder such as the Bodum Bistro is rather unsatisfactory. A burr grinder is far superior as it gives a consistent and even grind (particularly for the finer grinds) and does not burn the coffee as a bladed grinder is likely to do via the friction of the blades striking the beans at a high rate of speed.

  20. pseudomodo says:

    Just wear your favorite t-shirt or button in favor of traditional marriage and buy your Starbucks as usual. Sometimes the best defense is a good offence. Let THEM squirm a bit.

  21. frjim4321 says:

    I’m not a big fan of Starbucks anyway. Mainly due to price. Having been decaffeinated for about three years I am resigned to the fact that I will never ever taste what real coffee is supposed to taste like ever again. Anxiety problems have precluded the intake of caffeine forever for me.

    That being said, how hard is it for people to realize that marriage rights is not about “redefining marriage” but rather about preserving equal protection under the law for all people regardless of sexual orientation?

    I suspect this recent news story is related to the situation in Washington state where the state house and the state senate seem poised to extend marriage rights to all couples. My understanding is that the judicial committee has approved a resolution and that joint bill is being prepared for final vote perhaps as early as Wednesday.

    Regarding K-cups, I don’t think the monks provide them now. Somebody markets a stainless steel insert for the Keurig machine that you can put you own grounds into, but be advised that that insert does NOT work with all of the Keurig machines!

  22. NoTambourines says:

    Man, the decay of society is saving me so much money. I quit treating myself to the occasional Whole Foods run since I heard about their Planned Parenthood connections [] . And there goes Starbucks.

  23. Centristian says:


    “Please tell me Dunkin Donuts has an imprimatur.”


  24. xzsdfweiuy says:

    [I really don’t like this inhuman, impersonal username. – Fr. Z]

    Would clerical commenters (or just those with theology degrees)
    care to tell me whether my continuing to trade with
    Starbucks could be considered to be something
    like “Mediate Material Cooperation” and
    how serious a sin that would be? You needn’t opine if you’re not
    qualified; else we will have the blind leading the blind.

    [Whether it is or not, there is a great Catholic alternative.]

  25. jaykay says:

    Truth to tell, I never liked their stuff anyway so have avoided them – not hard to do here in Ireland where they only have about 25 stores. The following guff appears on the “Mission Statement” section of their website:

    “Now we see that our responsibility—and our potential for good—is even larger. The world is looking to Starbucks to set the new standard, yet again. We will lead.”

    Get off the stage, guys! You’re sellers of beverages (and not very good ones, at that). The only thing (a very small proportion of) the world is possibly looking to you to do is to improve on the guck you sell masquerading as coffee.

  26. Marie Teresa says:

    I went to their customer service page and under “social responsibility” sent a message that I previously bought coffee every morning on my way to work and would no longer be doing so.

    It’s not much – only $2 a cup. But if enough people cut it out, they will have to notice.

  27. Cephas218 says:

    I’ve always found their coffee more hit than miss. It’s usually old and definitely not worth the money in their pocket. No love lost.

    – a coffee lover

  28. APX says:

    I too sent a strongly worded letter to Starbucks.

  29. Stephen D says:

    Tesco (the UK equivalent of Wallmart) decided to reduce their contribution to cancer charities in order to subsidize the annual London ‘Gay Pride’ march. They were subject to an e-mail campaign by Christian groups threatening a boycott and to some leafleting outside their supermarkets. One of their PR staff said on his private Facebook account that the campaigners were “evil”, for which the company had to aplogize. The company have not backed down but are known to be very concerned. If they had done this 20 years ago, they could have been admired as very misguided but prepared to take a principled risk but nowadays it is obvious that they are jumping on a well used bandwagon in order to appear ‘progressive’. Get those e-mails out to Starbucks telling them what you think.

  30. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Just placed a new MM order (including the monk press so I can make tasty java at my desk).

  31. jm says:

    Boycott? Are we also trashing our iPhones, etc? This skirts the issue entirely. How about some thoughts about how we can intelligently keep our distinctiveness without resenting/hating the surrounding culture. Relatedly, this OLD article by Peter Kreeft hints at the same issues:

    [Is there a Catholic company that makes the equivalent of an iPhone? Please let us know! o{];¬) ]

  32. robtbrown says:


    I would say it’s not mediate material cooperation because Starbucks has not been established to promote homosexual “marriage”. It would be different if it were the Lesbian-Gay Coffee Company, whose profits go to promote such an issue.

  33. LisaP. says:

    O.k., the insufferable snob in me is coming out here.
    Starbucks? Why would anyone expect otherwise of Starbucks?
    This is the conflict I see, which many disagree with honestly, that so many of the folks I know seem to feel like two lattes a day from Starbucks and religious belief are in no way contradictory.
    Now, I’ll grant that for some it might not be — maybe it’s just the closest caffeine on the way home from the night shift. But Starbucks is really an icon of American indulgence, gluttony, consumption and materialism, vanity, wastefulness, and bad taste. Why is it o.k. to spend $5 on $.50 worth of coffee so that you can walk about with a brand name on your cup, but once that brand name is associated with gay marriage it’s not o.k.?
    Yes, I even want to tell myself to give it a rest. But isn’t it kind of true?

  34. irishgirl says:

    So I guess that means when I go to the well-known bookstore that has a cafe which sells Starbucks products, I can’t have a snack there, right? [Look… we can all do as it pleaseth us to do. I think that Mystic Monk is a good Catholic alternative. S’s is convenient, but there are alternatives.]
    I’m not a coffee drinker, except when I’m ‘on the road’-my drink of choice is tea.
    But I don’t have a way to purchase the Mystic Monks tea-no credit card, and even if I did have one, I’m very leery of doing any kind of financial transaction online, anyway.
    Like pseudomodo’s suggestion of wearing a t-shirt or button supporting traditional marriage, though…yeah, I’d like to watch the proponents of unnatural marriage squirm, too!

  35. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    That being said, how hard is it for people to realize that marriage rights is not about “redefining marriage” but rather about preserving equal protection under the law for all people regardless of sexual orientation?

    The protection to which you refer exists because marriage (or matrimony–both refer to motherhood) places the woman in a vulnerable position because she is occupied with the children. For example, I know a married couple, both of whom have law degrees. She has been busy raising their 6 children and has never really practiced law. The protection gives her rights to the goods of her husband (incl workplace provided Heath Insurance). You might know that in the old American Indian culture, such rights didn’t exist. If a woman was widowed, she would have to be taken in by someone–or else left outside to freeze in the winter. Ditto the pagan Roman Empire, where prostitutes were often widows.

  36. Do the monks make cartons of individual coffees for a Guerig machine?

    [There are some alternatives if you prefer K-Cups. There are, for example, reusable filters into which you can put your MMC.]


  37. philologus says:

    Usually companies interested in making money align themselves with the sentiments of the many. I wonder if Starbucks knows that gay marriage when put to referendum has continually been shot down by the people. Something like 30 states. This is such an odd issue to promote because the majority of people in the country seem to be against it. Kind of makes you wonder about the reasons for its being promoted.

  38. tmjost says:

    My husband just got a new coffee grinder! Looks like we have some Mystic Monk in our future! :) Thanks for keeping us informed! :) Pax tecum!

  39. Mark Windsor says:

    I e-mailed them earlier this morning. This was their response:

    “Thank you for contacting Starbucks Coffee Company.

    “I am sorry to hear that you do not agree with the Equal Rights and same-sex marriage equality. I am sorry that this is a disappointment to you.

    “Starbucks is proud to join other leading Northwest employers in support of Washington State legislation recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples. From our very earliest days, Starbucks has strived to create a company culture that put our people first, and our company has a lengthy history of leading on and supporting policies that promote equality and inclusion. Domestic partner benefits have been an important part of the work experience for our partners (employees) here in Washington State. We look forward to seeing this legislation enacted into law. I want to assure you that we appreciate your feedback and comments and they will be shared with the proper department. Thanks again and have a beautiful day!”

  40. LisaP. says:

    Philologus, the important thing to remember is it’s not about the population at large, but about the demographic that buys the product.
    It reminds me of the parenting magazines I got all sorts of free subscriptions for after my ob/gyn put me on the list, chock full of products geared towards people who could afford high priced gizmos. Not a lot of articles in there for families with seven kids, a religious bent, with one parent staying home — disposable income as well as priorities ruled those people out as ones to appeal to.
    So I guess my point is that if you want to be the “kind” of person that Starbucks targets, you ought to consider who Starbucks considers your bedfellows to be. Not that Mother Theresa can’t have a cup, but Starbucks is not aiming its marketing at her for a reason.

  41. wmeyer says:

    Recently, Costco began offering again their own brand of Sumatrain French Roast, which I like very much, and is about 2/3 the cost of the Starbuck’s which they also sell. I will offer my comments to Costco on the situation with S, though given they are both WA based, I do not anticipate Costco will drop S.

  42. LisaP. says:

    And Starbucks is not alone, as their email hints.

    Seattle Gay News (I’m not linking, if you don’t mind) says over 100 companies have signed on supporting the legislation.

  43. xzsdfweiuy says:

    @Fr Z says [I really don’t like this inhuman, impersonal username. – Fr. Z]

    An old habit based on privacy concerns, father. I’m not a troll,
    just a fifty-something reverted Catholic that doesn’t want people tracking
    me across the Internet.

  44. Brad says:

    Starbucks sends mixed messages! We have this news and yet Starbucks apparently supports Israel (I don’t know how “support” is defined), is anti-pot (i.e. the explosion of fraudulent medical marijuana “legality”), and complies with prevailing laws to allow concealed firearms to enter stores. But then we have this news about marriage. I also recall their CEO saying something along the lines of that although he is forced to allow concealed weapons in his stores where the prevailing laws allow it, the people who carry weapons (read: own weapons) are not the sort of clientele he wants in the first place. I can’t find the quote.

    Re pro-life iPhone alternatives: at least for the service, maybe the devices too:

  45. Star… Who?… STARHAWKS?

    At any rate, I’ve been enjoying Mystic Monk HERMIT’S BOLD BLEND here at Holy Souls Hermitage. Really, really good.

  46. Centristian says:


    “This is the conflict I see, which many disagree with honestly, that so many of the folks I know seem to feel like two lattes a day from Starbucks and religious belief are in no way contradictory.”

    Are they contradictory? I wonder; I can’t see it, myself. I’d be happy to read an expansion of that idea but I have trouble imagining that I could be persuaded that buying overpriced coffee contradicts the Faith, really. I’m not attacking your position, mind you, but I just don’t seem to understand it. In any event, it’s not the same as just buying coffee from a machine, is it? I mean, there’s an “experience” you’re paying for when you go to a coffee shop, right?

    With the gay marriage thing…eh. I think there’s a sort of urban, leftish coffee shop culture that probably obtains in whatever chain or independent local coffee shop you might find yourself in, mostly arising from the age of their employees and most of their patrons. Twentysomethings are liberals and idealists. One day they will be mugged, develop health issues, or turn 40 and things will change. In the meantime, when a twentysomething barista serves me a cup of coffee in any coffee shop, I assume that he’s a flaming liberal whose girlfriend doesn’t mind that he also has a boyfriend who supports his belief that trees have a constitutional right to marry whales that ought to be allowed to vote (but only for Democrats). I still tip him. That shouldn’t imply that I endorse his belief system.

    However…if the “Mystic Monks” opened a chain of coffee shops at which they sold their coffee, and they had one or two in the area, I would certainly choose to give them my business. And I would be happy to pay way too much to drink their coffee, too, because, again, when you go to a coffee shop, you’re not just paying for a cup of coffee, you’re paying for service and atmosphere, too…perhaps some live entertainment, a poetry reading, a theraputic massage…what have you.

    In the case of a coffee shop run by Carmelite monks I imagine the “experience” would be more along the lines of, say, Chant performances, lectures on the writings of St. John of the Cross, demonstrations on the art of scapular making…that sort of thing. As far as the “atmosphere” of a “Mystic Monk Cafe”? Hmmm…what sort of atmosphere would obtain, I wonder, when you cross coffee shop culture with Carmelite spirituality? An interesting thought to ponder as I leave my office for a coffee break.

  47. B Knotts says:


    Your idea of a coffee shop run by Carmelite monks is interesting. I don’t know if there are enough to go around, but how wonderful it would be if visible religious were in coffee shops, or other places in urban settings where one does not expect to find them.

    We have a Dominican priest who is a youthful 86 years old, and visits one a year. He goes into the local mall in his habit, and just answers questions.

    We could certainly use more visibility in the quest to promote a Catholic culture.

  48. ndmom says:

    There is a Starbucks inside our local grocery store. The manager and other employees are terrific — they are always pleasant and cheerful, even when there is a line, and they unfailingly remember the drink orders of the regulars, of which I am one. This is the midwest, not a trendy urban area, and many of the folks who pick up a coffee and head upstairs to the seating area are small business owners with laptops, or Bible study groups (lots of those), or friends having long conversations. I can’t make lattes at home, and the artisan bakery at the store bakes fantastic scones, so I visit this spot daily after my workout to get in a second breakfast before errands and mid-day Mass. I take my spiritual reading there, and am very grateful for the opportunity to enjoy two good products, read some great spiritual classics, and see the regulars. It’s unfortunate that Starbucks is supporting the wrong side in the Washington state matter, but I’m not planning a boycott. I am buying their excellent (IMO) coffee product and customer service, not endorsing the political views of their management.

  49. APX says:

    “I am sorry to hear that you do not agree with the Equal Rights and same-sex marriage equality. I am sorry that this is a disappointment to you.

    What a load of hog wash. I as a heterosexual woman have no “right” to get married. Marriage is not a right. There are numerous other reasons people can be denied marriage. Furthermore, a homosexual “marriage” is not equal to a heterosexual marriage. Heterosexuals can have children naturally, homosexuals cannot.

    If homosexuals want to live a life of grave and morally corrupt sin, then they have the free will to do that. However, in doing so, you forfeit those things appropriate to those things appropriate to heterosexual people. Because it’s anatomically impossible to have children, you do not have a right to adopting children or unnatural means of having children. Furthermore, you don’t have a right to a desecrated “marriage” because you want what married couples have. You have no need to be married.

    Lastly, just because you choose to live your life contrary to nature, I should not have to forfeit my ligitimate right to freedom of conscience and religion, which, unlike marriage, is actually laid out in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as my fundamental right as a Canadian.

    *steps down from soap box*

  50. philologus says:

    “Twentysomethings are liberals and idealists.”

    Meh. This was true maybe in the nineties. The times they are a’ changin’.

  51. APX says:

    I’m 26 and I’m more conservative than our conservative government.

  52. irishgirl says:

    APX @ 1:34 pm-Yes! Yes! You go, girl! You said it far more eloquently than I could ever do!
    And you can get on that virtual soapbox as many times as you think best!
    Your neighbor south of the border [me] gives you a thumbs up!

  53. Luke Whittaker says:

    To ask what the degree of cooperation in evil one is culpable for when trading with a public entity which supports lifestyles that run contrary to our great faith, or to what extent one sins, or whether one might be far enough removed from formal cooperation to avoid sinning altogether, is to ask the wrong question–no matter how interesting that question is. It seems to me that we should ask simply, “Why would we give any support to a company that endorses moral evil?”

    “Walk like children of the light…and examine everything to see what’s pleasing to the Lord. don’t participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness; instead, show them up for what they are, for it’s disgraceful to even mention the things they do in secret” (Eph 5: 6-12).

    Besides, making regular stops for expensive cups of coffee departs somewhat from gospel frugality. But rather than sharing my own arguments I will direct those interested in this subject to Father Dubay’s book, Happy Are You Poor. I will only add that if we are called to imitate Christ and to imitate Saint Paul, who imitates Christ, then mining the depths of the gospel call to transformation of life is worth every ounce of energy that we put into the task.

  54. avecrux says:

    This is a serious bummer to me… Starbucks is THE date spot for my husband and I. Ugh. BUT – you know what? It is just so very, very awful to have companies treat grave immorality like it is not just normal but noble. So – that’s it. I’m just done with it. If I’m not willing to make little sacrifices like this then I better believe the world is going to hell, cos it is.
    I love Mystic Monk, btw… so, I am going to have to find a good date spot where we can sip our Mystic Monk coffee together. Good places to drink coffee in Chicago in the winter…. ?
    I never did really like the cheesy music they played too loudly at Starbucks anyway.

  55. ndmom says:

    Amazon and Google have also signed on in support of the Washington legislation.

  56. APX says:

    I can’t help but wonder if these companies actually support these legislations, or if they just say they do to gain popularity? I’m sure if the majority was opposed to homosexual “marriages” they’d all be supporting anti-homosexual legislation. I hate getting the label “homophobic” (I do not have an irrational fear of homosexuals. I have a legitimate concern for the future and our choices!) from these community organizations that make presentations here. I always educate them on their incorrect use of the word “homophobic” in their presentations and explain the truth at the end in their surveys. I had to attend one on prostitution recently and when they got on tithe topic of “homophobia” and MSM I almost left the boardroom in offended disgust.

  57. Mike Morrow says:

    Why would one get all bent out of shape about Starbucks, if one uses the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and/or iPad…all signature products of a left-coast company that has reveled in its support of such issues for decades?

    I’m pretty sure a large percentage of folks here use these products. It’s likely that some of these comments were entered using these products. What sense does this make, while decrying Starbucks? Is that too close to home, to hard to correct? Is this not the textbook definition of hypocrisy?

    Saint Jobs knew that the value of hype is not wasted on the ignorant fad- and fashion-sensitive masses. But there are better alternatives.

  58. New Sister says:

    Just ordered my first shipment of MMC – Adieu, Starbucks.

  59. Kerry says:

    In the same way that movie stars…(are there any of those any longer) lost their glamour when what came out of their mouths was not dialogue, so Starbucks has announced that a political, (moral) position is part of their business identity. Do they think that after abandoning Hollywood movies giving up their coffee will be a sacrifice of Lenten proportions? Ha. Starbucks is dead, Long Live the Mystic Monks!!

  60. lucy says:

    I use this Keurig mesh cup thingy. It doesn’t work well the way they’ve made it to work, but I instead use the insert only and place a double foil overlay and crimp down around the lip. Works perfectly.


    Mystic Monk every day. Period.

  61. LisaP. says:

    Centristian, thanks for the thoughts, and I am happy to be told I’m all wrong on this subject.

    Here’s the deal, when I worked at a school with a lot of Hispanic kids, the boys liked to wear the dropped jeans with the undies popping out. The trend came from gang members bragging that their belts had been taken away when they were arrested. These kids didn’t necessarily know that, didn’t necessarily want to look like gang members, and often got very offended when people assumed they were gang members. But there’s not getting around it that the fashion was based on the gang member rapper cache. Can’t have it both ways.

    So in addition to it being, to my thinking, questionable to want to brand yourself by buying brands if you’re Catholic (Christian, etc.), because that is conflating things and people and their value, when you buy Starbucks you are identifying yourself with a certain “type”. That type is very much worldly, worldly successful, young urban professional, successfully consumerist, with enough disposable income that they can overspend on things like coffee to conspicuously consume (a la the label on the cup). Not all of that is bad or unCatholic, but a lot of it kind of is and a bunch more pretty iffy. So maybe you just like a few minutes of quiet with WiFi and caffeine, but by picking Starbucks instead of Loaf and Jug you are seeming to make a statement.

    I’m not saying it’s evil, I’m just wondering why now the line should be drawn, when not before?

  62. Girgadis says:

    Thanks, I will keep that in mind next time I order. This time around however, I opted for the flexible-cover New Testament/Psalms to carry with me wherever I go. I can’t speak for the coffee (I don’t drink the stuff, though conversion is always possible) but I love the books and religious items that the monks offer. The fact that they bless their religious goods before shipping them is a plus.

  63. mfranks says:

    The only thing that stops me in my tracks from buying something online is the shipping cost… I was just about to complain, but then I noticed after putting another bag in my cart that my “prayer” was answered – Free Shipping for 45 dollars or more! Now that’s what I’m talkin about!

  64. Margaret says:

    @APX– the term we need to start using is “homosceptic.” I’m bowing to the British spelling here, of course– in the US we’d spell it homoskeptic. Go to mercatornet dot com to read a good essay entitled “I’m coming out as a ‘homosceptic.'”

  65. Martha in SD says:

    I shop at Hy-Vee for groceries (I hope they aren’t in on this too) and there is a Starbucks in the store. I buy an occasional treat from S, but won’t any longer. I will just nicely leave a “love note” on their counter when I go by, letting them know I can no longer support them for said reason. Thanks for the info, Father. I depend on you for things like this.
    Staying close to God,

  66. That is it. I am done with Starbucks. In fact, the second I am done with this post, I will deep-six my Starbucks coffee supplies and replace them with Mystic Monk coffee – and my new coffee mug will be a WDTPRS mug. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some ordering to do.

  67. Peter G says:

    Starbucks did have a chain of coffee shops here in Australia but they went bust several years ago and have all closed.No loss by the sound of things.

  68. PostCatholic says:

    I didn’t know they’d done this. Thank you for calling it to my attention. I think I’ll upgrade to a venti this morning.

  69. inara says:

    LisaP, I just want to say “I agree!” While it’s almost impossible to avoid all brands that might support things contrary to Catholic teaching, the Starbucks ethos is so obviously so (for the reasons you mention) that, to me, it should be high on the list of labels to do without (Ben&Jerry’s also comes to mind).
    I’ve become quite discouraged lately while reading blogs of Catholic ladies who tackle the topic of modesty in dress (which I am totally in favor of), while in the same post they are bragging about their Hermes scarf or Jimmy Choo stilettos or posting photos of this or that designer ensemble they are currently coveting. The call to simplicity in 1 Peter & 1 Timothy seems lost on even Catholic women.

  70. Centristian says:

    “I’m not saying it’s evil, I’m just wondering why now the line should be drawn, when not before?”

    I’m not sure he’s actually drawing a line, here, so much as taking advantage of the opportunity to promote Mystic Monk Coffee. It’s understandable, though, that Father would bring this news item to his readership’s attention and then say to us, “hey, here’s a great alternative to Adam & Steve Coffee that you may have heard me mention 1 or 2 (million) times before…” But he doesn’t seem to be suggesting that Catholics are now, therefore, forbidden from going to Starbucks. His thrust seems less anti-Starbucks and more pro-Mystic Monk to me.

    “So in addition to it being, to my thinking, questionable to want to brand yourself by buying brands if you’re Catholic (Christian, etc.), because that is conflating things and people and their value, when you buy Starbucks you are identifying yourself with a certain “type”. That type is very much worldly, worldly successful, young urban professional, successfully consumerist, with enough disposable income that they can overspend on things like coffee to conspicuously consume (a la the label on the cup).”

    Now that’s the part I’m just not getting, I guess. For a couple of reasons:

    1. Does a Starbucks shop necessarily mean all of that? Some might see it as just a coffee shop. Furthermore, are their customers really that conscious of an image that they want to project by giving Starbucks their patronage? I wonder if all of it doesn’t represent a subjective interpretation as opposed to a set of inherent qualities. I wonder genuinely because I can say that any time I have gone to Starbucks, none of any of that has ever occurred to me. The only thing that has ever occurred to me is that our celebrated local chain is much, much better and that I’d rather we had all gone there, instead.

    2. None of the things you identify as grave flaws concerning the Starbucks culture (material success, young urban professionalism, the consumtion of products sold for profit, and having plenty of disposable income) can actually be identified as immoral, whereas same-sex marriage certainly can be, from the Christian perspective. And so one could, in that sense, say that a line is drawn with that issue where it could not have been with any of the other issues you present. As Christians we may be successful, we may be upwardly mobile, and we may buy overpriced coffee in an overpriced world, particularly if we can well afford to, without severing our relationship with God, after all. But we may not marry another person of the same sex or endorse the idea that anyone else can; to do so would, indeed, sever our relationship with the Father.

    But is a line, in fact, drawn in the sand, now, I wonder? Does merely going to Starbucks represent an endorsement of same-sex marriage, just because their upper management think its great? I’m not sure it does mean that. If I’m going to Starbucks, for example, it isn’t to promote an opinion that has been expressed by the company’s management on an issue over which they have no direct influence in any event. If I go to Starbucks, it is in order to get a cup of coffee (perhaps a dessert item, too) and to spend time with friends, probably after dinner. What the owners or managers of the place happen to believe with respect to any given issue doesn’t factor into it at all.

    I can’t imagine that Christians are obliged to poll the managers and owners of business about highly-charged issues of the day in order to determine at which places they may shop and at which places they may not. Perhaps the owners of the Ford-Lincoln-Mercury dealership that I bought my last car at believe that abortion is perfectly fine. They might. I didn’t think to ask before I bought my car. What difference does it make what they believe, however? They sell cars, not their beliefs.

  71. Luke Whittaker says:

    At the risk of oversimplifying the subject, it seems to me that when we spend a dollar we are casting a vote, at least in a sense. Let’s say that I shop at a store that gives a percentage of its income to Planned Barrenhood. Every time I purchase something I vote in favor of that store’s ideals. While coffee shops do provide a nice atmosphere for conversation while enjoying a warm cup of your favorite they also reflect upon our affluent society. I don’t believe that Mother Teresa would have favored coffee shops for any reason. We can learn a lot from the saints.

    Christians aren’t necessarily obliged to poll managers in order to determine where to shop but we are commanded to “test everything and hold fast to what is good,” to “avoid every kind of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22).

    Regarding the comparison made between Apple and Starbucks, coffee shops are less of a necessity for the masses today than technology is. If a Macintosh is the best computer for my needs and there is no real alternative then I necessarily cooperate less in the poor choices that Apple might make than I do by freely choosing to give my money to a business whose products–and services–are arguably unnecessary for my life.

    We are obliged to please God and in these turbulent political times giving even silent support through our purchases to a company for the sake of our own perceived needs means to yield to evil rather than avoiding it, as Saint Paul calls upon us to do. “Don’t participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness; instead show them up for what they are” (Eph 5:11). One simple way to show that coffee shop that you believe the words of Saint Paul, who wrote that it’s shameful to even mention the things that certain people do in secret, is to never darken their doorway again. The bottom line is the distinction between love and hate. If I love my fellow man then I will not give credence to his concupiscence, not even by the remotest means.

  72. LisaP. says:

    Cen has great points.

    I’m old enough to remember when Starbucks came in. At that time, the message seemed to me to be clear, it may have changed by now.

    As for whether it is sinful, or even “as sinful” to conspicuously consume, to use a cliche? I think it clearly is. Because you are not saying you are participating in a free market economy by purchasing things of value because you produce things of value and can therefore afford it. That’s good stuff. What you are saying is that you can intentionally and proudly overpay for stuff in order to show people you are wealthy enough to not worry about frugality and reason. It’s gluttony, pride, a form of envy, and can serve greed and sloth because what logically follows promoting yourself by showing you can buy regardless of value is to promote yourself by showing you can be paid regardless of the value of your work.

    I think it’s a major problem in the U.S. today that folks no longer even consider whether they are earning an honest dollar, and they don’t consider whether they are getting true value out of the way they spend. I consider it fruit of the materialistic heresy.

    So, yes, I think for some (only some, because many are, after all, just getting a convenient cup of coffee with friends as you say) it can be sinful to buy at Starbucks. And, honestly, while I truly believe all sex outside of marriage is sinful, I don’t believe that gay sex (which Starbucks is not participating in, just approving of) is necessarily more sinful than the kind of materialism that can be — can be — demonstrated when people flash the Starbucks logo.

    And regarding the logo, here’s a link to an interesting essay on the origins. Again, it’s interesting that this company got millions of people to flash this picture around considering what it is supposed to symbolize. And this from the beginning.

    I totally get that people may be entirely innocent in shopping Starbucks, I’m not against boycotting or protesting and I’m certainly all in favor of MM purchases and think that’s great. I just know my human tendency is to substitute political outrage and boycotting for looking into the little acts I make every single day of my life for information on what personal wrongs I am doing right now. I feel most of us need to make a complete overhaul of our lives if we want to follow our vocations, and that tinkering around the edges can sometimes help us avoid that instead of begin it.

    Surely I’ll hit a word and post limit soon — sorry to monopolize and I’ll go back to lots of reading.

  73. Supertradmum says:

    But we can and should boycott those companies which are obviously supporting gays rights and abortion, such as Ben and Jerrys and Starbucks. I have been trying to do this for years using the lists of companies online. I used to pass out these lists to my Catholic students in religion class and their moms and dads boycotted some. It would work if we all did it.

    It may be hard. Coke has never supported PP, Pepsi has always supported PP and so on.

    Sacrifice for a baby’s life is not hard, just complicated. I have written on this before a long time ago on this blog. When we can boycott, we must. If we cannot, such as with all the phone companies supporting abortion, then we can either pray and fast to make up the difference, or be completely counter-culture and do without. I have simplified my life to avoid such, but not all can do that. We must try, however, in little and big ways.

  74. HeatherPA says:

    Just subscribed to the four bag deal at Mystic Monk & looking forward to trying it out. We go through a lot of coffee in this house.

  75. Mary Jane says:

    Without getting buried or immersed in the ongoing discussion, I just wanted to make one point.

    LisaP. said “I don’t believe that gay sex (which Starbucks is not participating in, just approving of) is necessarily more sinful than the kind of materialism that can be — can be — demonstrated when people flash the Starbucks logo.”

    Without taking into consideration the history behind the logo and what it represents, I just wanted to say that the actions gays protest their right to engage in are WAY more sinful than materialism.

  76. I don’t buy starbucks, I just use the free wifi when I need a place to work. The internet at home doesn’t always play nice.

  77. Marie Veronica says:

    @Lisa P:
    I enjoyed your post on the materialist heresy.
    I think you have hit on some good observations – we consume, often, far beyond what is prudent (misusing our income or gifts?), and some do so to signal they can live like a rock star. I don’t think people should be prevented from consuming as they do (e.g. a hipster tax) but our preferences and habits perhaps reveal an underlying cultural malaise, self-indulgence, escapism – Living by bread alone, or gathering up riches on earth?

  78. Elizabeth M says:

    Ordering Chocolate Cherry ASAP! Cannot actually drink any until the baby is born, but then I’ll need all the coffee I can get since we’ll have 2 children under 2 years old.

  79. Centristian says:


    “What you are saying is that you can intentionally and proudly overpay for stuff in order to show people you are wealthy enough to not worry about frugality and reason. It’s gluttony, pride, a form of envy, and can serve greed and sloth because what logically follows promoting yourself by showing you can buy regardless of value is to promote yourself by showing you can be paid regardless of the value of your work.”

    That’s just too much to put on the purchase of a cup of coffee, no matter what any customer may intend by it (although I’m not sure what one can intend by purchasing a cup of coffee in any case, apart from obtaining a cup of coffee, that is). I simply cannot believe that buying a pricy cup of coffee could possibly, under any circumstances, cause a soul to be quite so heavily burdened. With all due respect to your position, Lisa, I suspect you may be drastically overstating things.

    We’re not talking about Louis XV bankrupting the realm to satisfy his lust for luxury, here; we’re talking about someone buying a cappucino at a cafe. While old King Louis may have sinned gravely, I cannot imagine, on the other hand (taking the whole gay marriage issue out of the argument for the moment) the reaction of the priest in the confessional listening to a penitent confess that he purchased a latte from Starbucks. For that matter, I cannot even imagine anyone being able to muster the contrition necessary to validate the Sacrament. How could anyone be truly sorry for that?

    “And, honestly, while I truly believe all sex outside of marriage is sinful, I don’t believe that gay sex (which Starbucks is not participating in, just approving of) is necessarily more sinful than the kind of materialism that can be — can be — demonstrated when people flash the Starbucks logo.”

    I cannot even conceive of a circumstance under which publicly revealing a Starbucks purchase could ever be considered on a par with the completion of a homosexual act. In fact, if I were to hold a Starbucks cup out of the window of a brand new Rolls Royce Corniche driving down Ventura Boulevard while wearing a mink coat over a Versace suit under which I would be sporting Abercrombie and Fitch boxer shorts, I can’t think that I would have to even confess it before presenting myself at the Communion rail again. It seems to me that the most I would be guilty of is bad taste. I cannot imagine, therefore, that even such a bold display of consumerism as that, however gauche it may have been, would garner for me anywhere near the same degree of Divine retribution as would two men in the act of making love to one another other in private.

    I think your assertion might be a tad over the top. Again, I don’t mean to assail you and I fully acknowledge that it may be, somehow, just an insensitivity or a flawed understanding of these things on my part, but I just can’t see it.

  80. As soon as we heard this terrible news about Starbucks endorsing and supporting gay ‘marriage’ here in Washington State, we immediately ended our 20+year love affair with the chain. Our daily caffeine supply (made at home) will be coming from Mystic Monks via Fr. Z, or another locally Catholic-owned coffee company in Bellingham. Our luxury cuppa’s (on the road) will no longer be picked up at our long-time favorite. It’s over Starbucks~you have alienated this Catholic family, loyal customers for decades (and a former employee to boot). Farewell siren.

  81. ndmom says:

    “What you are saying is that you can intentionally and proudly overpay for stuff in order to show people you are wealthy enough to not worry about frugality and reason.”

    There seems to be more than a little judgment in this comment. And perhaps a little envy as well. Lots of people seem to despise Starbucks, and for lots of reasons, which is their right. It’s just a coffee shop, after all, not a human being. But it is troubling to read these sorts of sweeping condemnations of people, based solely on a difference of opinion regarding the value of the products they buy. And even more troubling to consider the suggestion that Catholic Christians should avoid worldly contamination and consume only those goods and services provided by people who agree with us.

    Sometimes — indeed, most times — a cup of coffee is just that. It’s not a statement. And whether it is a sin is between God and the coffee drinker.

  82. LisaP. says:

    Thanks for the thoughts, Centristian, sorry I couldn’t be more clear and I completely own being over the top!

  83. Centristian says:


    I enjoyed the exchange. If we were near one another I would invite you to continue our tete-a-tete over a cup of coffee.

    My treat, of course. ;^D

  84. Joanne says:

    This was disappointing to me. I love Starbucks coffee. I usually try to stay away from chains, but Starbucks has always been a chain I was happy to patronize. I’ve been to them in a few US states, in France, and in Japan. I also gave quite a few Starbucks gift cards to family and friends at Christmas this year.

    I drink iced coffee most of the year at work and theirs is really the only brand of iced coffee I like, but will have to figure out an alternative for work days, I guess. As far as Starbucks’ being pricey, I think for about $2, to get a drink I love and will sip on all morning is hardly extravagant. I am frugal with my money in lots of ways and in fact, while I will probably continue to buy some of MM’s exceptionally good coffee for days I’m home, quite honestly, there are cheaper alternatives to MM, too. Though I realize of course that we are helping to fund a greater cause when we buy MM.

    At any rate, have sent S-bucks a polite email, not expecting it to accomplish much, but the point was more to let them know why I’m taking my business elsewhere.

  85. I am glad so many people are seeing that what Starbucks did is a problem.

    Stick with Mystic Monk!

  86. Muriel says:

    My cousin takes me to starbucks as treat for me once a year for my birthday and she pays for the coffee or tea. I might have to tell her no to starbucks even if she wants to pays for it. I will buy Mystic Monk.

  87. Yup. Got three bags of the stuff and brewed it. Dad said it tastes better than his usual. He’s right. Trading in Starbucks for Mystic Monk is like trading in a cheap no-name watch in for a Rolex.

    I’m sticking with Mystic Monk from now on. Breakfast Blend WILL wake you up with the quickness.

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