I am not the greatest fan of the black stuff but on occasion I do like to grab a coffee when I'm out and about to warm me up or give me a boost. Starbucks is certainly not my first choice of coffeehouse yet it would appear that there is one on every corner. Here in my new home in Santiago, Chile I find myself passing this beacon of capitalism everyday merely two blocks from my doorstep. I try and avoid it but laziness and the lure of free Wi-Fi is enough to drag me in now and then. Fortunately upon checking the prices I usually come to my senses and walk straight back out again. The current price for the cheapest coffee on offer; a 300ml cup is 2000 Chilean Pesos which is about £2.40. To be honest when you're in a rush or your feeling cold, coffee has the same effect wherever it's from. I would much rather turn to the street vender selling some instant for 50p than waste my hard earned cash in Starbucks.
i'll start by saying i used to work in a coffee shop and was a barista for a few years myself so i'm very critical of coffee shops.
starbucks is a nice place to go for a treat if you've had a hectic day shopping and need to perk yourself up.
i tend to go to starbucks because i like their blend of coffee, i find Costa coffee is a bit too strong and slightly bitter, where as starbucks is smoother, albeit , a little weaker, so if if you like a smooth,sweet coffee go to starbucks,
the food on display is pricey and the sandwiches, i dont find that appetising as i always have a bit of a dilemma when trying to pick something to eat while waiting in the que. i usually end up getting my coffee to take away and grabbing a sandwich from somewhere else.
if i do need to have sit down, the furniture is nice and its always well decorated and maintained. if it is busy though i always find i need to clear the tables myself, which is sometimes a little annoying but isnt the end of the world as the baristas are too busy making great coffee!
the attention to detail while they make your coffee is always top notch as i have never have take my coffee back because they have missed something out! well done starbucks! the one little gripe i have when they make the coffee is that the coffee machine is always on the front counter so you can't watch them making your coffee, i know this is not the barista's fault, its just the way the store is designed, but being a barista myself i know its a bit of an art form and the baristas should be able to show off their skills and impress them customer as its not just a case of pressing a button!
i like to make sure they're using the right group handles ( where you put the coffee to strain it, if you like) so if i fancy a decaf coffee they dont put decaf in a normal group handle.
overall a good coffee experience
good customer service
large selection of coffees and tea's
good surrounds and decoration
it's allll goood!
Starbucks coffee is not the ideal place to go for a normal cup of coffee.
However, this is not a bad thing.
I first started going to Starbucks as soon as I became a student, I usually have iced mochas or vanilla fraps.
Starbucks isn't the best for sandwiches (although they are trying to improve this, they do listen to customers), as the sandwiches they currently have are quite expensive and don't look very appetizing, the sweet stuff is okay, but not exactly worth the expense.
The reason I go to starbucks, is firstly the vast choice of all the different types of drinks you can get.
On a freezing cold day you can get a lovely steaming hot cup of hot chocolate, on a boiling hot summers day you can get a freezing iced mocha to cool you down.
They do seasonal special drinks such as the gingerbread latte around Christmas time, to get a full idea of the pure choice you have to go in and have a look, everyone I know who goes there drinks something different.
The furniture and decoration of starbucks is also really nice, big comfy chairs for people relaxing, or semi-professional looking tables and chairs for people on business meetings, and there are a lot of people on business meetings, because starbucks isn't the type of place where just anyone hangs out, it's mainly students and business people generally, but that, the nice furniture, the good coffee and the relaxing background music all makes a lovely coffee drinking experience.
I'd recommend, even if only as an occasional treat whilst out shopping, as it is quite pricey.
starbucks coffee house is a really nice place to sit and enjoy a drink whilst you are out shopping. its comfortable and stylish. they offer a wide variety of drinks so its not just coffee which some people may think.you can also buy snacks such as sanwiches and cakes which are of a high standard. the only problem with this shop are that the prices are quite high and in my opinion quite overpriced however the chocolate frapacinos are absolutely gorgeous but you have to get it with extra cream and chocolate sprinkles. they also sell lovely chocolate chip shortcakes which are really nice they melt in your mouth. if you are very fond of the coffee they sell it in packets so you can take it and make it at home. very stylish coffee house i would definately reccommend. it is probably quite fattening but for a treat once in a while its worth it. they are located in most shopping centres
I never got the starbucks crush that everyone else seemed to get, maybe that was because i'm not a great coffee fan but the other half is. So one day whilst out shopping he dragged me in and I had a toffee hot chocolate...YUM!! This was absolutely beautiful, never tasted anything like it and I was finally won over by it, also in the summer the have frappuccinos in different flavours which is nice to go in and have a seat and a nice cold refreshing drink. On top of this you can also buy sandwiches, rolls, biscuits, cakes etc. so you can grab something to eat whilst you chill out. It can be quite pricey though so it's not somewhere I go that often and the queues are always so long!
The have sofas as well as tables with comfy chairs and also tables with harder chairs which means theres something for everyone, the downside to the one's I've been in is the sofas to look quite past it and are no way near as comfy as they once used to be, like they need a makeover. There is always a nice friendly buzz in the stores though and you could sit there for hours.
It's good you can also buy packs of coffee, biscuits, cups etc. I like to buy them for stocking fillers they always seem to go down a treat.
I like the fact that they are all in the middle of the shopping area so always handy for a pit stop to recharge the batteries before you carry on with shopping
Many years ago, I heard that American coffee taste terrible hence they need to change the taste and outlook . This is the begining of what it was known as Designer coffee.
The days where coffee is enjoyed for its wholesome flavour, the aroma and the romantic stories of its origin is somehow diminishing. Since American coffee outlet like Starbucks have taken the world by storm, starbucks in every corner of the world, ( I saw a starbuck cafe right in front of the Forbidden city in Beijing, the irony of new vs old ).
What are designer coffee? To me, its a blend of coffee with other non coffee flavouring like vanilla, cocoa and caramel. Names like Frappucino, Macchiato, Americano are the designer names for their coffee. Most of starbucks coffee are shots of expresso coffee blended with other flavouring, steamed milk and cream.
I have to admit that I do like the flavour of these designer coffee especially the ice blended version. My favourite Starbuck coffee if I do visit one would be caffe latte which is steamed milk with a shot of expresso coffee.
I missed the true aroma of coffee and its distinctive flavour. I, too,like many been sucked in by the Starbuck culture, attracted by the lattes and the cheese cakes.
Starbucks coffee, don't agree with the concept but can't stay away from their coffee.
ok so what is about starbucks that everyone loves?! i admit that once in a while, moreover during summer, i will pop in for a frappucino. but seriously there are too many of them and everybody just looks like clones carrying their little cups of coffee in one hand and their briefcases in the other. the advantage is that their mugs are rather cool so you can try and put one in your bag once you have finished your drink. not that i have ever done that! perhaps i just have a thing against all these coffee shop chains. it does little to promote diversity and places too much emphasis on looking cool. but then again i also take issue with people holding those crappy carton like cups and strutting down the street like they own the place. back to starbucks, they need to at least sort out their interiors, give each branch a little originality. all in all, the coffee shop in general makes me feel most ill at ease
Everybody knows Starbucks, the largest coffee house in the world. As everyone knows what Starbucks does/is/has for sale I am going to make my review a bit different and review the one in St Katharine's Dock in London as this is my nearest and dearest.
I think Starbucks is rather like marmite, you either love it or you hate it. Some people hate the fact that they have to pay £3 for a cup of coffee, other people can't get enough. I am definitely in the second camp, I am a Starbucks fan.
I think what has captured the world is their relationship with coffee, they like to think of their stores as a "third place", ie the third place you go in this world after home and work and I think it is this attitude that produces the friendly asmosphere and sense of belonging that their houses promote.
The store in St Katharine's dock is a beautiful building, it is a round, almost mill looking type building with a dome on top and has two floors. It is fairly small but there is quite a bit of seating with lots of nice comfy seats upstairs. The same people have worked in there for a long long time so they recognise you and are always nice and polite. This defintely lives up to their cultural stereotype and makes going in there a fun experience and one I look forward too.
The view is probably the best thing about this location. You look out over the docks and see all the boats and there is a bridge which often opens up during the day which is fun to watch. Also Tower Bridge and the Tower of London are 5 minutes away so it's a great palce to stop if you are sightseeing for the day. There are always quite a lot of tourists in this Starbucks so you always come across some interesting people.
They do take debit cards at this lcoation but that can be a bit slow so there is a cash point just outside which is handy. They sell sandwiches and other drinks besides coffee and also have some of the mugs, CD's, coffee beans on sale too.
All in all a great location for a great cup of coffee
Starbucks, we all know it, we can't escape it. Most of us have probably bought a coffee or two from them at some point, even if we aren't addicts, but what do you really know about this company? And do they deserve the worldwide renown that they seem to have?
The Starbucks Corporation was founded in Seattle, Washington, in 1971, as a small coffee bean roasting centre and bean retailer. The company was initially managed under an ideology that coffee was a product to be made in the home, and the owners were not interested in expanding into selling espresso drinks. However, in 1987 the founders sold the company to Il Giornale, which then adopted the Starbucks branding and quickly began to expand the chain.
Starbucks was first listed on the stock market in 1992, and at that time consisted of 165 outlets. Since then the chain has continued its wildfire-speed expansion, both through opening new stores (the first outlet outside of North America opened in Tokyo in 1996), and by buying out existing chains in countries around the world. The company now espouses the rather contradictory view that it wants to maintain a small company stance and yet aims to operate 40,000 outlets worldwide eventually.
It is probably this tension between expansion and principles that has led to the enormous amount of criticism against Starbucks. Many critics feel that Starbucks deliberately creates an atmosphere of ethical, caring, slightly liberal but still mainstream sensibilities, while in fact it is intent on building a global monopoly in the coffee/café industry. In fact, one anti-Starbucks website (check out <http://www.spacehijackers.co.uk/starbucks/index.html> if you're interested) has dubbed the company the "McDonalds for the new media generation". On the other hand, Wikipedia reports that despite monopoly accusations that have been levelled at Starbucks, it actually accounts for only 2% of the world's coffee production.
Perhaps in response to this tension, Starbucks introduced in 2000 a range of fair trade coffee products to its outlets. The company is now the largest single purchaser of Certified Fair Trade coffee in North America. Of course that doesn't mean that your average Starbucks coffee is in any way more ethical! You have to specially request (and pay for!) the more socially responsible option.
Starbucks is primarily a beverage retailer. It offers a range of espresso coffee drinks from your standard cappuccino and lattes to flavoured coffees. As with other coffee houses there are also choices for tea drinkers or hot chocolates etc. Starbucks also has a wide range of cold drinks, including its frappe range of blended coffee and cream drinks.
In terms of food, Starbucks outlets generally have a range of muffins or scones, a small selection of cakes, and some savoury foods. The latter usually consist of sandwiches, savoury muffins, or croissants. There are usually sweets or small chocolates available on the counter.
Specials are generally run according to the season, such as white hot chocolate or spiced warm drinks during winter or iced teas during summer. Additionally, most drinks can be customised in some way, by choosing skim or soy milk, adding a flavoured syrup, or another shot of coffee to make it stronger.
--Taste and quality--
My personal opinion is that Starbucks coffee is produced for people who don't actually like the full taste of coffee. They use very mildly flavoured beans as the house blend, and tend to make the coffees quite weak so that the final taste is nowhere near as full as you can get at a decent independent coffee store. Plus with the range of flavoured coffees, these are essentially candy coffees - more like a version of a hot chocolate than a coffee. They are made simply by adding a sugary flavoured syrup to the coffee, thus making it very sweet as well as losing the real coffee flavour. Of course this is not always a bad thing - I used to get the caramel macchiato once in a while if I was feeling a little sluggish in the morning because the combination of sugar hit and caffeine always did the trick.
I do have a particular soft spot for the frappes, although they are incredibly sweet and I would never confuse them with an authentic iced coffee. These are great for a sunny afternoon, but I would classify it more as a dessert than a coffee!
As for the food, I have tried a couple of items in a range of different places and have found that the quality can really vary. In Japan a range of scones were available that would be great one day and stale on another occasion. I think that since the outlets deal mostly in beverages, the movement of food is not necessarily as consistent so you may end up with something that is a day or two old.
For me, this is one of the biggest disadvantages to the Starbucks products. They are simply too expensive for what they are. In almost all countries where you can find Starbucks products, there are other options for coffee that are around two thirds of the price. I wouldn't mind paying the extra if I felt like I was supporting a particularly good company, or purchasing a particularly high quality product, but I don't believe that either of these things is true. In the same way that you wouldn't expect to pay more for a fast food burger than for a homemade, wholesome sandwich from your local café or delicatessen I don't expect to have to pay more for a Starbucks coffee which comes from a chain with huge buying power and global influence in the market.
Perhaps one of the reasons that Starbucks continues to be able to ask these inflated prices is that it is seen as somehow cool or stylish. We are forever seeing images of celebrities popping out for a casual day of shopping with Starbucks coffee in hand. The conspiracist in me would ask how much Starbucks pays those celebrities for their visits (it's not too far-fetched when you consider that it is commonplace for bars and nightclubs to pay appearance fees for stars to attend their parties). But, whatever the reason, I am only interested in paying a higher price because the product is worth it.
All in all I honestly dont see why Starbucks is so popular these days. I wonder if it begin to lose its glamour over time. I cant say that I would miss it terribly much if it was to disappear. I much prefer the uniqueness of independent cafes or coffeeshops, and I like to know that I am supporting local businesses rather than putting money into the pockets of American shareholders. That being said, I do occasionally crave the sugar hits disguised as coffee that the brand sells!