Why do people like Starbucks?

Posted July 06, 2006 by Evan Tishuk

Yeah, it's rather unremarkable. Starbucks is everywhere. What is remarkable is how damn successful they are. They use sub-par coffee beans and price it as if they were brewing the good stuff. Instead of saying "we use cheap burnt South American robusta coffee beans" they say, "we use a wonderful, straightforward blend of Latin American coffees." What's a "straightforward blend" anyway?

If you are a coffee drinker/addict, a person of taste, and a frequenter of Starbucks, I want to know why. Is it because they are conveniently located or is it for the fact that a cup of Starbucks has replaced quality taste with up to 300% more caffeine?


SEZER OZGENC (Chemist) ~ October 17, 2007

because of white chocolate mocho ;)

Visitor ~ March 16, 2009

I had one of the White Chocolate Mocha's & it tasted like Raunchy Instant coffee same
Frackin after taste with what I imagine it was burnt milk taste, i hope. Anyway Get a Double Chocolate Mocha from Dutch Bro's you won't be sorry, As I was with that pathetic toxic waste they call coffee over there at "Starbucks" , Frackin Disgrace to coffee. If you think different about them its your opinion you have your right to differ, Im just not paying for instant coffee. you can waste your money the way you see fit.

Billy ~ March 01, 2010

I HATE Starbucks Coffee. It taste like over burnt crap! I worked for a coffee company and let me tell you that the darker you roast coffee beans the less caffeine the coffee will have! The amount of caffeine doesn't even differ by much so all GOOD coffee has roughly the same amount of caffeine the only difference is that Starbucks Coffee taste like the bark of a tree. I dont know why on earth people say that Starbucks has good coffee. To me they are all posers. There are so many other great mom and pop shops and chains I would rather go to. Starbucks people: get a life.

Visitor ~ May 11, 2011

This isn't a hate site. People with nothing better to do but complain, grab on to a life and never let go. I go to starbucks not just as a coffee drinker, but as someone who was pleased with both the service, and quality of my request. The number of choices one has almost makes it impossible to be dissatisfied with whatever you get, and get this; you can have them make it over or how you want it specifically if you are dissatisfied. Starbucks has taken the opportunity that other small business haven't yet. This is why so many people drink it. It's everywhere, convenient, and practical as a beverage seller. Their marketing strategy, like most places, makes people WANT to be a part of the community. If you personally don't like the coffee, they have entire menu with things that are NOT coffee. No negative things need to be said just because you don't like it.

Visitor ~ June 29, 2011

Starbucks = Rubbish
Starbucks is good for cheap, low level people.

Visitor ~ October 23, 2011


Visitor ~ October 23, 2011

I love starbucks, anyone who says different can suck a fat one.

khodam ~ February 09, 2012

Starbucks is only good for the zombies & the loosers

Visitor ~ September 15, 2012


Visitor ~ September 18, 2012

I'm not English, thank you for correcting, you are very nice.

Scooter ~ October 28, 2012

I as a member of the non living class resent being called a Zombie. The proper term is living impaired. I just would like living to know that even living impaired persons have standards. Starbuck's in no way meets my standards. Chemical waste would probably taste better.

Visitor ~ January 06, 2013

"The number of choices one has almost makes it impossible to be dissatisfied with whatever you get" this is far from true. The number of liqueur's that starbucks offers are slim along with the basic chocolate and carmel syrups. Starbucks as a whole is a billion dollar company that has locations not even 3 blocks apart in citys in some locations. Wouldent you want to support a local coffee shop, where the money goes back into the community? rather than to billionaire CEO's pockets for selling what seems like burnt coffee for on average 4 to 5 U.S. dollars..

Azrael ~ February 23, 2013

Yeeeaaaaah. They' also drained the Uk's economy of millions of pounds via tax avoidance. The only thing they put back is the products they sell themselves and the low-wage jobs they provide.

Visitor ~ March 15, 2013

Starbucks had paid no corporation, or income, tax in the UK in the past three years,
Starbucks deficient, loll!!

what a comedy!! rubbish Starbucks on every corner of UK town, just want to strangle the small family business with the help of politicians.

Starbucks is a huge slave factory.

Anne ~ February 08, 2012

You know why some people drink Starbucks coffee, because they have no brain & have no personality, these kind of rubbish people want to be somebody like the rubbish & inculte celebrities.

Oscar ~ August 05, 2012

The reason why people buy Starbucks is for the same reason that people buy Macs, they seem very chic and stylish yet aren't giving you a whole let when it comes to the bang and the buck. People think they look like a person of status when they hold the cup with the instantly recognizable logo on the front. I live in SoHo, and the Starbucks around the corner is packed with hipster wannabes that have nothing better to do than type away on their iPads whilst drinking a ten dollar cup of coffee...to put this in simplest terms, watch this vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJRXYIM0Iqo

Anne ~ February 08, 2012

You know why some people drink Starbucks coffee, because they have no brain & have no personality, these kind of rubbish people want to be somebody like the rubbish & inculte celebrities.

Sharon Smith ~ October 31, 2012

I totally agree. The best coffee I've ever had was in Paris, France in a cafe during a long weekend vacation. I wanted to bring it back home with me. It was so good. If you have an opportunity to go to France, you'll find the best coffee in the world. Starbucks burns the coffee and it's simply awful!

Seth ~ January 27, 2011

Nice comments visitor, and Billy.

The problem I have with Starbucks is that it is so darn expensive for coffee no better than anywhere else. I find it funny that people complain and whine at paying $3.00 for gas at the pump, yet the same people end up paying $40.00 - $50.00 per gallon of coffee at Starbucks. It absolutely baffles me and irritates me to no end.

I feel like people who buy Starbucks coffee are nothing more than gullible zombies. Just because they can, they do.

Here is an option for the same quality coffee, for a heck of a lot cheaper. Take a coffee mug, I prefer at least a 40oz mug, and take it to Diamond Shamrock. You can fill that cup with several different types of coffee and/or cappuccino for only $.96. A 40oz+ refill for less than one dollar. A lot cheaper, same product, and if you aren't a big coffee drinker, you will have extra for to tomorrow.

Visitor ~ October 23, 2011

screw u! starbucks is amazing. Starbucks is more expensive than cheap ass coffee, but thats because it is really god. Did u know that starbucks spent millions and millions of dollars to put million dollar coffee machines in their store? Stop being a wuss about the coffee, because it is incredible. Stop complaining and being an ass, and get a life.

Alex ~ January 23, 2012

If you think Starbucks coffee is good, you are honestly an idiot. The quality of coffee depends on the quality of beans, not machines. I would start explaining why, but your chicken brain would not comprehend it...

Anne ~ February 09, 2012

You are right, Starbucks coffee is CRAP.

Daria ~ October 19, 2006

Guys, and what is the most interesting, I'm making a project about this stuff, but I like niether coffee nor I've been to Sturbucks. Don't you now think that they are incredible?

Brian ~ October 30, 2007

Hmmm... so I too am doing a project. However, its leans toward the bias of how Starbucks mistreats the people from where they get their coffee beans from. I've heard plenty of propaganda like: "oh well they do this and that for so and so" and "they help the communities for the farmers and blah blah blah" but have you heard there are some coffees that are approximately 6 dollars a cup and farmers in countries such as Ethiopia get about 6 cents per cup. I'd have to say that consumers are blissfully ignorant to the truth of Starbucks, which is why they continue to swarm in like cattle. I guess it would be proper to include that I happen to work for Starbucks, and they have put me through a full day of propaganda/brianwashing course about the perks of Starbucks (pun intended). To conclude this rather long spew I'd have to say people go to Starbucks for the social environment and/or the "300% more caffine"; except maybe for the obese demographic who come solely for their extra extra whipped cream Venti-make this right or I'll slit your fucking throat-frap [just kidding]

-Embarrassed to work at Starbucks Barista

PS I don't like Starbucks-- at the same time I acknowledge they do make an effort to help benefit the society they are ruining. [I mean helping HAHA.....]

Amnon ~ October 30, 2007

A few of the Starbucks coffees are not so bad but the problem is that they often sit for a very long time before being served. Usually, the better coffees are not available brewed.

My biggest personal gripe with Starbucks is that they replaced all of the espresso machines with automatic versions over the past few years. The quality and strength of the espresso has gone down substantially and the price is no longer even partly justified since it no longer takes time, effort, or skill to make espresso beverages.

I still occasionally buy Starbucks coffee since it is convenient but I prefer coffee from 7-11 or smaller coffee houses.

Fox ~ November 13, 2007

We all have our opinions. We all have different things about ourselves that makes us the people we are. Whether it is be the clothes we wear, our form of transportation, our favorite foods we eat; everyone is different. I find it somewhat silly how the people posting in some way say how they dislike starbucks. That is all good,please keep in mind I believe this is all "good"- I am not saying "oh you must love coffee- hell no- hey we all aren't vegetarians- so people aren't all going to be coffee lovers now are they.
I find that because it is the fourth -most effective brand in the world, behind Apple, Google, and Ikea; it gives people the right to hate it. Coffee, it has a taste like all things we eat. If you don't like it, fine. Is it necessary to put this company down verbally. Oh, wow its a big company, get scared now, heaven forbid they come out with a drink that you may just like and then Oh my you'd have to say you like it. Coffee is coffee, it may be burnt to some of you and others dirt, but guess what its gonna be coffee how ever you look at it. So maybe you should all use your energy and do something productive instead of bitching and crying like a bunch of immature punks.
It is possible that the other coffee shops add junk to their coffee and take away the "burnt flavor you all hate" or it could be possible you are not coffee people to start with and your taste buds aren't able to handle the real taste of what coffee actually tastes like, the raw, no sugar added, organic coffee.
come on people coffee isn't candy didn't your moma's ever tell you that. Do you know what coffee really tastes like or is your imaginations toying with you. Do you want the coffee? maybe you can't handle the coffee!
"Hey carrots are so gross they are orange and come from the ground, i mean they are going to take over and some places I heard don't call them carrots but orange sticks."- Just a blunt example of the magnitude of ridiculousness you people are putting out there on this page.
Please voice your opinion though its is so entertaining.

Visitor ~ March 17, 2010

maybe you should just relax and quit wasting YOUR time complaining about other people wasting THEIR time, mind your own business. Coffee is NOT just coffee, there are different ways you roast them, different types of roasters...if you use a shitty roaster, you will have burnt tasting coffee. EW EW EW !!! COME TO TAFFY'S IN EATON, OHIO!!! We have the best coffee around, best music venue around. We have artists play here like John Hammond, Johnny A, Adrian Legg, Michael Kelsey, open mic nights every Saturday night at 8, in the month of April, we will be having jam time on Saturdays from around 4 then open mic at 8 :) :) Hours of operation...Monday-Thursday, 7 am-6 pm. Friday- 7 am- 11pm. Saturday-8 am-11 pm. Sunday closed!!! Stop in if your ever this way :)

Evan Tishuk ~ November 13, 2007

@Fox: I don't think anyone is affraid of the Starbucks coffee or brand. Granted, they are multiplying at an alarming rate and forcing other (possibly better) coffee companies out of business.

My biggest problem with your comment is that, coffee isn't just coffee. There are different levels of quality, price, and flavor options. Fact of the matter is that Starbucks uses cheap low-grade coffee beans. Just like Burger King uses cheap low-grade beef (you know, like snouts and entrails). The difference is that Burger King doesn't try to price their beef like filet mignon.

Do you enjoy eating low-grade beef more than a filet? Do you think it's silly to try and differentiate the two? I don't. If you personally prefer Burger King over a fresh NY Strip from your local butcher, you're certainly entitled to that opinion, but don't try and tell me they're the same thing.

Fox ~ November 13, 2007

Do you know enough about starbucks to be talking about it. I could have made that post longer. I could go on and on but I had to draw the line somewhere.
You are right coffee isn't coffee, what I was saying by that I meant that coffee is distinctly coffee it has a taste. There is a wide variety of coffee tastes varying with the bean itself and where it is grown. You may not like one type of coffee that starbucks brews.

Evan Tishuk ~ November 13, 2007

I don't know how many more ways I can restate myself. But how about this... To keep costs down, Starbucks blends "single source" Arabica beans with some conglomeration of Robusta beans. Let's be generous and say a 1 to 9 ratio (though they don't always tell you the exact blend ratios). Robusta beans generally have a harsher taste and about 3 times the amount of caffeine.

I personally don't like harsh hyper-caffinated coffee--regardless of the frilly language used to describe it. For instance:

A Warm Aloha in Every Sip -- Perhaps it's the rich volcanic soil, or the gentle afternoon showers that fall, like clockwork, over the Hawaiian mountains. Maybe it's the nurturing spirit that the Big Island's legendary coffee growers invest in the care and farming of this rare, highly prized bean. Perhaps it's the bright, balanced Latin American coffees we add to perfectly complement the distinctive Kona taste.

I'm sure Starbucks has blends of coffee that taste fantastic--though I haven't had one. You, Fox, may even love all their various brews. What gets me is that they are pricing cheap blends and as if they were exotic beans harvested by monks from enchanted mountain forests. Doesn't that annoy you a little?

KM ~ November 21, 2007

I have to agree with the makers of this website because yesterday I had some Starbucks coffe and I still feel sick. I swear that coffe is liquid pesticides. I had them put some stupid holiday raunchy peppermint flavoring in it and I haven't felt so great since 4 yesterday afternoon. I've been bouncing off the walls too, what do they do, put 10 times the normal level of caffeine in this crap? To top all off too that cup of shit cost 2.05! What a racket, what a rip-off! I am so sick of crappy companies self promotion bs lies they spew just to be rich when they don't deserve to make a dime. I am never buying their shitty coffe again and I am writing them a letter to complain too. Screw Starbucks, THEY SUCK, next time I am going to go to McDonalds and get Newman's Own coffe-that coffe is incredible. I hope Starbucks goes out of buisness, because they don't deserve to be in buisness.

Laaaaaacie ~ November 03, 2006

Honestly, I think that the majority of people go to Starbucks because it makes them feel "trendy," and they like that. I actually feel kind of dorky going into one sometimes because I feel like people think I'm trying to be trendy, too. I just want coffee. And if I buy coffee before I go somewhere, I usually try to drink it before I go in. I also think that a lot of people that go there regularly really have no idea what "good" coffee tastes like, so they have no argument. Whatevah, whatevah.

katerina Gonzalez ~ December 13, 2007

I love it because it's warm, doesn't taste too much like coffee, and is way more delicious than a cold MONSTER. Yuck! I hate coffee! But this--Mm its almost hot chocolate-like. Most of the other places that try to be starbucks like end up making things too COFFEE LIKE--and who wants that anyway? It's not THAT expensive [3.00 for a soy mocha with whipped cream] some people who want to go overboard on calories and additives can spend a bit more. Banana Frappacinos are delicious also, NO COFFEE! WOW. Ok anyway--my point is they're delicious and have a wide variety of options. When you go to Mc Donald's your options are regular coffee and iced coffee [i tried it--its disgusting even for my coffee loving mother] In my opinion Starbucks is still number one. I don't go there everyday --they're more of a dessert type thing I do on occasion. But it IS something I crave. Delicious caffeine!!

Visitor ~ June 29, 2011

Starbucks = Rubbish
Indeed, Starbucks is good for cheap, low level people.

Gabriela ~ December 13, 2007

I do agree with you, Starbucks coffee taste bitter and has an after burnt taste!!!, most of their drinks have soooo much sugar and calories, and they have this fancy complicated lingo to place a coffee order....that should be so simple! I believe most people like
Starbucks is because is in style! even though they don't really know what they are drinking.
if you want to try good south american coffee
go to wholefoods and get organic peruvian sumatra coffee....very good and affordable!
whatever makes them happy!
I'm italian and I enjoy a cup of old fashion Illy Cafe.

Keith ~ November 06, 2006

Starbucks isn't trying to rip everyone off... At least for the coffee. The beans used may not be premium quality but starbucks actually cares about the developing countries that farm the beans and pays PREMIUM price to the farmers. That's why they need to charge a little more than the other coffee shops. The frapps and crap is a clear example of ripping customers off. But hey, thats how business works, high gain for little pain. If you're going to rat on Starbucks, make sure you do it to every other fast-food/coffee vendor.

kristi ~ January 22, 2008

i can understand why people do not like starbucks. they're everywhere, yes.. expensive, and probably over-hyped, the 'hater' is just not educated about Starbucks, or maybe they just had a bad experience or many bad experiences. You may think this comment is biased because i work at a Starbucks, however i'm not too thick headed to see 2 points of view.

For me, i think that Starbucks is a good company because despite what former employees or other people may say, Starbucks does hook up their employees. 30% discounts, full benefits for part time employees, and almost always a flexible schedule and supportive staff.

Like i said i can see two points of view. not everyone is the same, therefore not everyone will have the same feelings that i do. I love working in a very people oriented environment, therefore i enjoy my job a lot and always see the positive side of it.

The coffee may be bitter to people who are not used to drinking bold coffee but in the 5 hour training session we are sent to, it tells why our coffee beans are roasted longer and why they have a stronger taste. As far as calories and fat go... everybody makes their own decisions about what they choose to or do not choose to drink. It's silly to be mad at Starbucks for being fattening. The amount of calories in a frappuccino is no secret, Starbucks has pamphlets showing how much fat is present in each drink. Also, people find it easier to point out the negatives of Starbucks rather than search for good. Yes, Starbucks is more expensive than probably any other coffee you will buy. However, Starbucks also pays the coffee growers more money for all types of coffee, not just 'fair trade' coffee. And when i say it pays the growers more, by no means am i saying that Starbucks pays foreign growers as much as they would pay growers in a region like hawaii where the wage standards are much different than they are in a country like africa. What i'm saying is Starbucks pays farmers very well for the area that they live in. So while it may still sound like peanuts to us, it's making a big difference to the farmers in the growing regions. Also, the reason that the price of Starbucks has risen is not because it's a greedy company, it's because it continues to make sure that Starbucks employees keep their benefits, regardless of customer dismay. If customers are that angry with Starbucks prices they will go elsewhere, but most Starbucks customers are loyal and willing to pay. Starbucks also donates significant amounts of money to other countries and causes and it's not just what they tell us, employees in different stores are witness to the money and coffee that Starbucks donates.

My intention is not to defend Starbucks just
because i work for them. I just thought i'd give my opinion because i know how the company works and i know that people will always hate corporations for their own reasons.

For anybody that hates Starbucks, that's alright don't be so angry about it. Starbucks is definitely not the only company that serves good coffee! It's just what some people are used to. Heck i think circle k coffee is almost as delicious as Starbucks.

To touch on the "trendy" aspect...
Starbucks may be a trend to the younger crowd, but any adult who is willing to pay a higher price for Starbucks coffee is paying because they like Starbucks.


one more teeny comment. No type of coffee that Starbucks sells is made from Robusta beans. If a coffee says "blend" it just means that the beans in the coffee come from different regions. For example a Latin American blend would be different beans from different regions of Latin America. All Starbucks coffees are made from Arabica beans. Just thought I'd say that because i've tasted coffee made with Robusta beans and it's not too tasty lol..

Tracy ~ November 27, 2006

I am doing a project about Starbucks so I entered this blog accidentally. Personally in terms of business aspect, I admire what Howard Schultz has done, he changed the coffee shop history, I am addict to drinks with expresso base coz I think it's healthier than coffee. Apparently Starbucks is the one offering it best. Besides I also enjoy the music, the relaxing, non-smoking environment in Starbucks. Look how nice the cups are in senses of presentation and packaging, how much effort they've given to create the best experience for the clients, the interior design, the comfortable seats, the well-designed packaging, the product performance, the generous condiments station...Hence apart from the various expresso-based drinks Starbucks offers. I agree it's expensive, but why do you think they get people to pay $5 for a coffee? I think it's not just the trendy feeling which makes people come to Starbucks but also the experience from this elegant atmosphere, receiving emotional and esthetic satisfaction.

inna ~ February 26, 2008

well i definitely love starbucks. It is a cool place to relax and hangout. I don't only order coffee there anyways. I love their pastries and frapuccino. I love how they give a calming aura. It gets my stress off. And really coffee is delicious depends on the taste buds of the person.

Evan Tishuk ~ February 26, 2008

@Kristi: Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I understand and appreciate that Starbucks provides a "people oriented environment," and that's something that no coffee bean can reproduce. Subjective tastes, omnipresences and caffeine addictions aside, that might be the best answer yet to why it's so popular.

At the time of this original post in July of 2006, I was unaware that the coffee market was flooded with beans from an unprecedented harvest in Brazil and increased global demand. So, perhaps in that glut, Starbucks found it economical to imbue their "straightforward blends" with more good quality beans. It may be my own fault for leaping to conclusions, but I have not personally seen Starbucks officially state that their coffee is 100% Arabican. A quick Google search brings up a number of forum posts and blog comments that state Starbucks only buys the best Arabica coffee beans. But I couldn't find anything on their corporate website or product packaging to this effect. A search for "arabica" at the Starbucks online store produces zero results! Can anyone forward me to an unambiguous statement from Starbucks that shows a majority of their blends are in fact 100% Arabica? Maybe they just don't want to flaunt such a fact or maybe their lawyers told them that they'd get sued if they lied.

Anonymous comments on internet don't really cut the mustard as proof. And despite the fact that Starbucks does in fact purchase a lot of Arabica beans from the international market, I'm not convinced about what they do with it after they bring it home.

Evan Tishuk ~ February 26, 2008

Also germane to this discussion is the fact that Starbucks is closing down all storefronts today to teach barristas how to brew coffee.

inna ~ February 28, 2008

well ooohhh interesting.., and yea.., and wow., they're closing some starbucks franchise just to teach them how to brew coffee., the nerve of them. It's like telling them that they suck. Well starbucks here are great. They make good coffee.. It taste good to me and I dont want them to change their Recipes on coffee or any other item there.

JML ~ December 27, 2006

Speaking from an outsiders point of view (an Aussie who's been to the States a couple of time), it's nearly impossible to get a decent cup of coffee in America. The regular coffee there is like half flat white, half water... nasty stuff. At least Starbucks lets you dress it up a bit

An interesting read: http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/if-they-cant-make-it-here/2006/12/26/...

jimmy ~ July 06, 2006

That is because you are. Actually, you are just a snob--a coffee snob. Which isn't as bad as being a complete and total snob (which may or may not be in the works).

I once had a conversation with a guy who said you can't get a decent cup of coffee in Colorado Springs. He comes to Boulder once a week to get coffee at a place called the brewing market. He said something about how they use a better process (it is brewed hotter or something) and it is far superior to everything else on th planet. Me not being a coffee drinker, I took him at his word. I don't mind Starbucks and I know a ton of people also who don't. But then I don't really like coffee. I always get a mocha which is pretty much a liquid candy bar (especially if you get it with caramel). Maybe that is why, a lot of us don't really care for the beans, just the coffee-like taste.

nobrainer ~ July 06, 2006

I really don't like specifically coffee places, like Starbucks, in general. But it's not for the quality of their coffee. I drink coffee, just black coffee, and my tastes are satisfied by what Folgers makes. So I get upset when I have to wait in line for 5 or 10 minutes for a simple cup of black coffee while every other wannabe hipster in front of me has to order their frappa-mocha-halfa-caffa-crappa.

Adam Gautsch ~ July 06, 2006

I type this while sitting at the Coffee Underground- the coffee shop that gets most of my money- by far. Starbucks isn't that bad. The coffee doesn't taste the best- no doubt about that. But it is better than Maxewell House which is un-drinkable. It also is strong which is the important thing. The fact that they charge people like Jimmy 5 dollars for some fru-fru drink- more power to them. In fact, places like the Coffee Underground should thank Starbucks. They made drinking strange coffee cool and that did nothing but help CU's business (I imagine).

Mike Gowan ~ July 06, 2006

Downtown finally has the Carpetbagger's seal of a approval. In the seventies, we actually had rock clubs on Main Street, empty churches as rehearsal spaces, and people drinking coffee to wake up after having a good time. Wish I was there to see it.

Evan Tishuk ~ July 06, 2006

Mike, and we had Einstein in the 40's.

Nobrainer, I agree with you about the "frappa-mocha-halfa-caffa-crappa." People like trying to be unique though, and complicated lingo is one way to do that. Personally, I prefer my coffee with a splash of milk and sans-jargon.

Jimmy, when you move to NYC, you're going to dislike Starbucks too. Or, I don't know, maybe you'll love it. Keep me posted and perhaps answer my original question when you're addicted to the frappa-lappa-ding-dongs.

Adam Gautsch ~ July 06, 2006

The over jargonized nature of all places drives me crazy. When I go to Starbucks I order a large coffee. Not whatever their word for large is. At Moe's I'm still required to order a Joey Bag of Donuts but I would prefer to order just a burrito. I think they would ask me leave right away if I did that though. Everything these days is just too damn cute by half. In my day...

tom sherman ~ July 06, 2006

Yes, Starbucks coffee sucks. Yes, it is convenient. Yes, it has a lot of caffeine.

I drink it because the place is right across the street. I much prefer the coffee I brew at home.

Josh ~ July 06, 2006

Well, at least you don't live in Falls Church, VA. 7.7 Starbucks per 10,000 people. They have a population of 10,377. Who will save them?

Evan Tishuk ~ July 06, 2006

7.7 Starbucks per 10,000 people? I knew the folks in and around DC had lower standards. Who will save them? Probably gastroentomologists (for the ulcers) and cardiologists (for the hypertension).

Josh ~ July 07, 2006

Haha, so true.

Mr. Furious ~ July 08, 2006

Seruiously, the best "on the go" coffee is at the Circle K. You can a giant cup for $1.30 and you are gone.

The only downside is standing line behind the guy burning up $50 of his weekly paycheck on scratch off of the week and fifteen Powerball tickets.

ihatetrucks ~ July 10, 2006

I might be moving to Seattle in a couple of months so I will try the original starbucks and let you know if it is crap as well. Maybe all the good beans are sucked up in the northwest.

Evan Tishuk ~ July 10, 2006

If you go to your local grocery store look for Starbucks coffee. First, look at the price (anywhere from $7.00 to $9.00 for a regular sized package of ground roast). Then, read the package carefully. See that it says something like "Latin American Blend." This is code. That means "cheaper lower quality Robusta beans." If it said "Arabica" (the better harder-to-grow variety) they could justify the price. This is an example of Starbucks exploiting the market's ignorance.

olivier blanchard ~ July 10, 2006

Would it sound weird if I said that I like Starbucks' coffee drinks because they really aren't coffee?

See... coffee is something you drink in a little white cup. With a saucer. And a spoon. And some CUBES of sugar.

As soon as you pour it into a cardboard cup, serve it with sugar packets, stir it with a skinny piece of balsa wood or plastic, and put a lid on it, it stops being coffee and turns into a coffee drink.

So yeah, I like Starbucks' coffee drinks. As far as I know, Starbucks doesn't actually serve coffee.


Visitor ~ June 29, 2011

Starbucks = Rubbish
Starbucks is good for cheap, low level people.

Evan Tishuk ~ July 10, 2006

Interesting distinction Olivier. I can't say I disagree, but the Starbucks coffee beans are what get me angry.

olivier blanchard ~ July 12, 2006

They're called Mcbeans, I think.

Paulie ~ July 19, 2006

Hey...Starbucks is how old....ten years? Know what they sold last year? $1.7 BILLION....you guys all sound like you're from the school of "I think I know what everybody should want"....if Wendy wants to pay $2.89 for a Lite Frappa-Latte, if Marvin wants to pay $3.48 for a Double Choco-latte Decaf with Cinnamin, if Barb wants to pay $3.74 for a Mambo Espresso Decaf Latte and if Bob wants to pay $1.59 for a Tall black coffee, is it a marketing, a moral or a personal problem you have with them doing that?

Dunkin Doughnuts coffee works fine, but Starbucks...sure. They have a nice vibe. Small (I won't use their TALL - it ain't), black coffee, $1.59, thanks.

....hey - the world has changed. In the last 10 years, has anyone noticed an ever-so-slight enlargement of the population -- and yet an irrational disdain in people about appearing the same as someone else? (How ISN'T that possible...?) And a corresponding, and some would say psychotoc, need for people (and companies) to believe they/we can differentiate themselves/ourselves by the things we BUY?

Try this article from WIRED that discusses the change, and the new business model - and remember that we're giving Starbucks free PR.


Evan Tishuk ~ July 19, 2006

@Paulie: Thanks for the thoughtful comment. As for your question, "is it a marketing, a moral or a personal problem you have with them [Starbucks] doing that? [paying too much for coffee]" My problem is that Starbucks uses cheap, sub-par coffee BEANS and prices it like it's premium. If there's a moral problem, it's with Starbucks not the consumer. I'd hope to sway my audience's patronage to a coffee shop that doesn't try and swindle their customers. And yes, I do feel that Starbucks is preying on the consumers' relative ignorance on this. I don't believe "I think I know what everybody should want." However, I know the difference between good coffee and bad coffee and I look at it like my duty to inform everybody that Starbucks isn't good.

And yeah, I regret giving Starbucks any free PR.

jimmy ~ July 23, 2006

Evan, I think you answered your own question. Most people can't tell the difference between good coffee and bad coffee. This is true for many things, whether it be wine or music or anything else. If you truly appreciate said item, then you will most likely have a disdain for the tastes that everyone else has. Instead of getting pissed at Starbucks, you should appreciate them for how far they have brought us.

When I was growing up, my parents drank Folgers exclusively. As things have changed, their tastes have changed--probably due to what is now available on the market. Now they buy the Starbucks beans from the grocery store and remember the days of drinking Folgers as "the bad old days"

Just think of what the future will offer? I am sure people will eventually realize that there is something better out there and they will latch on to that. But knowing you, you will still probably be ahead of the curve and still bitching about how people have terrible taste in coffee.

Kelly ~ April 20, 2007

Have any of you been to any other coffee shop and/or place to get coffee? Their customer service is NOT customer service. I frequent Starbucks because I know that they are getting my order right, the shop is clean and they have a drive thru. Yes, I might sit in the car line for a few minutes, but it beats getting crappy service at some other place that I can't even drive through! And, best of all, they have Pumpkin Bread, it is absolutely heaven sent.

Teresa ~ May 04, 2007

Well, I think Starbuck coffee tastes burned and don't drink it. On the other hand up till today I used to drink the Green tea latte. I have been exchanging the mellon syrup which makes it too sweet for the soy milk since I am allergic to regular milk. For the past 6 month they have been exchanging it price wise since they could not figure out how to charge me for the 10cents difference. I was told today that they would no longer do that since they do not do exchanges. So now what they want to do is continue overcharging me for the green tea and then charge an additional 40cents for Soy milk. Needless to say I will not be going back.

Fiona ~ May 08, 2007

I work for Peets Coffee and Tea and i am totally taken aback by the comments people have left. Starbucks is shit. We all know it and people will continue to drink it knowingly. I am tired of people using starbucks lingo like they run the fuckin coffee world. Its small, middle, and large get it ride or go back to starbucks. Dont let starbucks take over the world. please god.

Fiona ~ May 08, 2007

Start drinking Peets. I dare you.

bulldog ~ October 11, 2006

wow have u ever heard of the underground starbucks

Evan Tishuk ~ October 11, 2006

Underground Starbucks? Do they serve smuggled or bootlegged coffee?

coffee ~ October 12, 2006

I ran across your site while just surfing around, wanted to say hi and I like the blog.

Alice ~ August 06, 2008

Starbucks coffee is usually only for those who really like strong coffee. It is not for weak taste buds who drink colored water. Why people who drink colored water ask for coffee has always puzzled me. If you don't want to taste the coffee, don't order it. Otherwise, drink tea. If you're like me, I want to taste the richest flavor of coffee I can find. However, I found one Starbucks (at Luke Air Force Base) who brewed their coffee so weak, the latte so badly that it tasted like colored water with milk. Maybe they didn't want the air force guys to get buzzed on the caffeine, eh
If you like the flavored coffees, I think the French Vanilla Coffee at Circle K or Seven Eleven is every bit as good or better than Starbucks. For plain coffee, one can't beat McDonalds, especially the iced coffee. If you like it cream and sweet, try Dairy Queen, hmmmm yum! Still in the Phoenix area, there are few places that can make a really good cup of coffee with a true coffee flavor without the bitterness. So most restaurants make colored water.

Bill ~ January 22, 2009

I don't like goin into Starbucks cuz one time I went in and they told me that you have to wear a shirt when you go inside. I was like your crazy an then they said that they wanted to call the poliice. I told them they were dumb. They made fun of me and called me and my wife rednecks. My neighbors brother makes a good cup of coffee. why cant people make coffee like my neighbors brother. I can go over to his house all them time and they don't tell me to put a shirt on.

Cat ~ May 30, 2009

Wow, I have to agree with Evan. Fox, if you think these punks are wasting their time talking about coffee then why did you post the longest Blog yet??? Wasn't that a huge waste of your time? I don't think people are commenting about Starbucks because they don't like "real, natural coffee" I think it is because they do like "real" coffee. I know coffee isn't supposed to taste like candy (though if you order a flavored latte from Starbucks you wouldn't know, not that you want to be able to taste their "espresso" over their syrup). But good coffee does have quite a wonderful taste, I only wish more people tried coffee from the smaller shops, for a short time I was a barista at a great locally owned shop ran by a man who was literally obsessed with coffee (plus he recycled, gave the grounds to local farmers, bought everything he could locally (the honey, baked goods...) and bought organic, fair trade beans, just so he could feel like he was offering something to his customers and community. It's the difference between wanting to do good and share your passion with the world, and then just wanting to make a buck no matter what the costs. Working there made me really wish more people tried small shops rather than Starbucks, they are really missing out, and good coffee shops are becoming a thing of the past. I am genuinely sad about this, not trying to be pretentious punk. I mean can you try to understand that, is there any kind of specialty item your into? Wine, cars, art, shoes? We'll call it "blank"... If there was a big company making mediocre "______" for the masses of poeple who don't really care about "______" and it caused all the other places that had a real passion for making that certain "______" that "_____" fanatics really really loved wouldn't that make you sad?

Visitor ~ August 03, 2009

Starbucks just renamed itself Starsucks. Seriously sepaking, it is a corporation and you know what corporations do best: Make profit...and not coffee....Their fake smile is so disgusting.. Why is it that Americans only smile when they are receiving money.....Not only startbucks coffee is incredibly expansive...it is also bitter ..

But I have to give credit where it is due...It is a best place to take a crap when you need one...That is where america rocks...captialism rocks...because these big fat corporations do not deny people coming and taking poop in their well cleaned toilets...even if all they do in the end is to order the cheapest coffee just to make baristas happy...But I have never seen a starbucks saying you need to buy something before you can use the restroom...

Try this at a mom and pop store...or in europe...where finding a public restroom is not so easy....

Sarah ~ October 05, 2010

I could get on some big soap box about how evil starbucks is for hoodwinking the unsuspecting public with it's borderline false marketing campaigns or the offensively overpriced menu, but really, if people like it and are willing to pay it, then what do I care?

BUT, don't sit there and tell me that, its "just how coffee tastes." Because it not only makes me angry, it makes me sad. That's NOT "just how coffee tastes." It's how burnt, cheap coffee tastes. I drink espresso straight because I LIKE the taste of coffee. I don't tell you that to brag about how big my coffee cajones are, but so you know that I am actually tasting the coffee itself. Now, to be fair, my mother likes burnt toast and burnt popcorn better than the properly cooked alternative, but that doesn't mean that burning is a legitimate "style" of cooking it. I have a friend who will only eat the KRAFT "processed cheese product" but that doesn't mean that it is better cheese, he's the exception.

Try this someday: order a starbucks doppio (without the panna, :) and look at the shots before you drink them, how thick is the crema? Does the espresso look dark and even-toned or a muddy, murky color? Smell it. Drink it slowly and let it rest on your tongue for a few seconds. Does it feel watery or thicker, like milk? Does it taste sooty or "dirty"? All good coffee tastes a little bitter (like all good chocolate), but cheap, burnt coffee leaves a lingering bitter, sour, taste. Really good espresso leaves a rich, sweet aftertaste.

If you love your skinny cinnamon dolce latte then, by all means, be happy. But don't say it's better coffee because it's not.

Visitor ~ May 30, 2011

it was the only thing open on bank holiday monday......the cup is huge....why is the cup so big......why do i need to crap right now..... It hurts so bad..... On a serious note, i was a little suprised at how large the cup was since i last went and that it doesn't taste that good,not that it ever did really, I've tasted too many coffee brands to count these days but none are as bad as the starbucks seem to have become. It has the burnt taste to it with too much water. Just about to finish the cup and it has the aftertaste of plastic. I'm doing a lot of late nights at the moment and had to resourt to mc donalds, and sadly their coffee taste pretty much the same as this one.

Food Fighter ~ November 05, 2011

First time I had Starbucks coffee was at our university's coffee shop, a lot of part time students work there. First taste, wow, this stuff has been sitting on a burner and is burned, i.e. student help screwed this up. Tried again, off campus, same taste. Had to laugh, once heard a professor say "they" were off to buy some good stuff, at the campus shop. Would rather drink hot water poured through a pair of dirty gym socks. Would be interesting to see a blind taste test with the professor with Starbucks and gym socks. This stuff is overpriced, bad tasting, their beans are too dark and oily, i.e. they over roast the bean. People think this stuff is good because it is over priced, reminds me of what people think English scones are like. Not what you find in an US coffee shop, scones are more like a true southern country biscuit, a bit dry, not very sweet, the English add a jam of some kind to make them sweet. My wife, an Italian, makes real English scones, our neighbors are English, they love them, they call the "scone cupcakes" found in the local coffee shops "rubbish". I don't think Starbucks or anyone could sell real scones, we like our sugar and it is all about looks. A real scone is rather ugly. The neighbors are not much of coffee drinks, so never asked them about it.

UnclearFizzyCyst ~ February 19, 2012

LOL, I'm English and can sooooo relate.

Traditionally scones are eaten with strawberry jam and Devonshire clotted cream (so full of fat it'll clog your arteries just by looking at it, mmmmm). Along with tea (REAL tea, not the American kind, try PG tips if you can find them).

Gaius Brendonius ~ February 07, 2012

There are some things, beyond science and math and other empirical fields, that are not opinion. At the very least, they must still be treated as such. Just ask Immanuel Kant. Because there are some people who spend their life making sure they know about things, and such people certainly exist in the coffee world.

For those of you saying it is wrong or silly or a waste of time to have these opinions, how about this: opinions are cheap. It costs me nothing to type this up except a few minutes, and hey, I do have a life, I promise. It is not about trying to differentiate myself, I recognize that I am one among 7 billion. It's about taste, about actually paying attention to flavor and sensuality and experience. In fact, it's about deciding that my time is worth MORE than spending it drinking cheap, crappy coffee.

When it's convenient, I'll drink gas station coffee. But the point is, Starbuck's is clearly, unanimously known to be, undoubtedly bad coffee, and that's the bottom line. Drink it if you want, what do I care. But when you have to face St. Espresso Doppio at the pearly crema-covered gates, think about what you might regret having missed every time you bought Starbuck's instead of quality coffee from a good independent coffee shop. Oh, wait, those places take a little more time and work to locate! Nevermind, don't waste those minutes. And definitely don't read "Conclusion to the Renaissance" by Walter Pater-- it will waste your time too. Hurry up, get out of here, you're wasting your time not buying cheap crap.

anonymous contempt ~ February 09, 2012

People like to drink the "coffee" at Starbucks because of the convenience. There's a place to sit down if you want to and it's anonymous. No need to talk to the locals, no need to be a hipster or to know the owners to get satisfactory service. There's also a restroom which is worth the cost of a cup of coffee since they keep their restrooms exceptionally clean, graffiti free, and stocked with toilet paper if need be. Now consider the alternative which in most cases if you're not from Seattle or any other big time city there is only a gas station which has the coffee pot which has been sitting on the burner all day, and the restrooms that aren't as clean or nonexistent. Now granted that I am not a coffee snob, and I'm not an Italian cafe aficionado by any means; I have noticed the greater potency in the coffee at Starbucks as compared to places like 7-11 or Dunkin' Donuts which serve hot water labeled "coffee." On another note just think of all the mom & pop coffee houses that went out of business because of people hanging around all day drinking coffee for free since they know the owner or whatever and have nothing better to do than complain about all the "cheap low level people" ruining the coffee business. Granted there are plenty of stupid people who don't know the difference and will never experience the difference in quality. Ignorance loves to be ignorant like a pig in shit. These same people don't care about the genocide in Sudan or couldn't pronounce Iraq or spell Afghanistan until gas prices started going up and that whole 9-11 thing. But gee whiz it's important to know that a straight forward blend of Latin American coffee beans is just a fancy way to say low quality beans grown in a far away place that average Americans couldn't find on a map. In all honesty the average citizen would drink any swill for a low low price along the appearance of being trendy or hip. For $2 to $5 bucks I can appear sophisticated, and perhaps even educated if for only a moment I am living the dream. And then there are just plain addicts. Don't you think Starbucks should take away their tip jar or make it less conspicuous? Pouring 16 ounces of liquid into a paper cup does not really entitle anyone a tip in my point of view since it takes all of about ten seconds, no real skill or education, etc... That's my stupid opinion. Have a nice day. ;-)

UnclearFizzyCyst ~ February 19, 2012

Their new blonde roasts are quite good, IF you make it yourself with a french press at the right temperature.

Personally I just subscribe to Gevalia and their 'special' blends when they attract me.

I haven't been to their cafe's because I'm just too plain cheap to pay that much for anyone's coffee. I just go to the Wawa (local convenience store and deli chain).

Raine* ~ June 18, 2012

It coats 15$ here to get the same, if not better, 69ยข cup of coffee you can get at Circle K. Plus, you get a free breakfast burrito, dounut, or snack. If you say the ridiculous price is to ' give benifits to employees', or 'pay farmers fair wages in their area', then you are giving each worker a two story house, and a cadilac to the employees! The market fluxuation is outragous! Just one crummy bit of banana bread there costs a minimum of 4.50$!!

Visitor ~ June 18, 2012

Their coffee tastes like dirt, but they price it as if it were liquid gold. I never go there anymore, however a friend forced me there the other day and I bought a small ice tea. In came in something like a shot glass, tasted like dish water and cost me $5. I think most people I know that buy Starbucks frequently probably spend more there, on coffee, then people that smoke a pack of cigarettes a day. Absolutely stupid.

Mike Gowan ~ June 19, 2012

In the five years since this thread began, I've learned to appreciate instant coffee. Just take a spoonful of instant in the mouth, sip some cool water, swish -- there you go. Cheap and easy!

Macy ~ June 21, 2012

It is funny how uneducated people are and the assumptions they make. Actually Starbucks does not buy robusta beans. All coffees are 100% arabica that they purchase. Please tell me how many of you actually knowthe difference? Let me ask any of you what company gives to your community what Starbucks does? Because schools get $90 cambros for free and tumblers, pounds of coffee, etc. They give weekly to multiple non profit organizations. Baristas are encouraged to sign up for relay for life and many other community service events. They are currently donating millions to creating jobs in America. They also give millions of dollars to help out their farmers. So besides not liking the taste of their coffee, how many have a logical argument you can back up? Not many.

Hey there Macy ~ June 21, 2012

I made absolutely no claims or assumptions about Starbucks's fiscal services to the community. I was talking only about their coffee. And I was not talking about disliking the taste of it. I was saying, pure and simple, it is bad coffee, burn-flavored always, and jacked with caffeine, and all of this is on purpose. It absolutely works to suck people in so that they pay them for coffee, but it is a disgrace to the sensual pleasures of human existence.

As for their community giving, I promise you that every single fortune 500 company you can come up with donates oodles and oodles to their community, whatever community of their choosing. Every company with any amount of money does this. It says nothing about their overarching ethics or their product's quality.

Evan Tishuk ~ June 21, 2012

"Actually Starbucks does not buy robusta beans...All coffees are 100% arabica that they purchase."

This is false, or at best, a highly dubious claim. When I originally posted my rant 5-ish years ago, I trawled the internet to find any reference regarding what kinds of beans Starbucks uses. While they may have some completely arabica blends in their catalog of roasts, I am confident that's the exception and not the rule--especially in what they foist on the masses who just want a fix in the morning.

"It is funny how uneducated people are and the assumptions they make."

To assume that the people commenting here are widely (or even partially) "uneducated" indicates your own insensitivity to irony. Have fun with that.

I invite you to provide a citation that shows what beans Starbucks uses -- to settle the debate. By their own admission they do a lot of blending. And in those blends is almost certainly a fair amount of robusta beans. Here's are the three primary reasons I say that:

  1. If all Starbucks beans are 100% arabica (as you claim) why wouldn't they be more forthcoming about that? It would be a nice selling point for people who are looking for such a distinction. Hell, 8 O'clock coffee proudly stamps "100% Arabica" on the side of their bags in the grocery store. Starbucks admits by omission. Again, please share a link to show me where I'm wrong here.
  2. They're also a massive company that can shake the world coffee market with their purchasing power. It's very likely they simply cannot source the best of the best beans for every customer. And, moreover, it's a stupid business decision to do that because there would be an enormous amount of potential variation and risk to their product's quality. I'm not an economist or commodity trader, but at their scale it makes sense to diversify their suppliers and do everything they can to homogenize their product. It may round of the peaks of flavor, but at least it's the same (more or less) flavor time and time again. It's like the difference between single malt scotch whiskey and blends. So, I'll give them a lot of credit for doing a damn good job of dressing up inferior beans as best they can and romanticizing it.
  3. There's also this: http://worldofcaffeine.com/2011/10/21/caffeine-content-doesnt-lie-does-s... which cites are Consumer Reports finding about the elevated level of caffeine in Starbucks coffee. Since robusta beans are known to have up to 300% more caffeine than arabica, it's implication is pretty clear. Although, it's possible that Starbucks uses 100% arabica beans and then adds extra caffeine...but the likelihood of that is vanishingly small.

"Let me ask any of you what company gives to your community what Starbucks does?"

Nice try Starbucks PR manager. You could ask that question about any company. It may very well be that Starbucks is a force of good in the universe, but it doesn't make a bit of difference about the flavor of their coffee and what kinds of beans they use.

"So besides not liking the taste of their coffee, how many have a logical argument you can back up? Not many."

Logical argument about what? If you mean the about the type of beans they use, I think I've done that. If you mean the flavor, I don't need a logical argument. If you mean the civic impact of Starbucks, I don't think that's germane to the conversation. As long as you brought up logic, I must say your comment's logical flow is all over the place. Perhaps you've had too much caffeine. :)

Hodges ~ June 21, 2012

I like turtles

Macy ~ June 21, 2012

Well I just became a coffee master for Starbucks and its in my traininh manual and journal that we only by 100% arabica coffees, it is also on the package. I am fully and 100% educated on Starbucks processing, buying, and producing methods for coffee. Complete a coffee master program and then you would see all your "facts" are indeed false.

Evan Tishuk ~ June 21, 2012

Can you post of photo of said packaging or the training manual? Or provide a link to some documentation? I'm reluctant to believe you because I have looked for this information and failed. Like I've said before, there may very well be certain roasts that are 100% arabica, but not ALL Starbucks coffee is 100% arabica.

Visitor ~ June 21, 2012

This particular argument notwithstanding, Arabica beans alone do not a good coffee make.

Evan Tishuk ~ June 21, 2012

Agreed. But you can't make chicken salad out of chicken shit.

Visitor ~ August 30, 2012

Did you really just call yourself a coffee master? I hate you.

Nobrainer ~ June 26, 2012

[I don't know what happened to the recent comments about the Arabica beans, so I'll just respond in a new thread]

I picked up a couple pounds of Starbucks beans over the weekend.

For the record I'm fine with Starbucks coffee, although when consumed black it can be a bit harsh. Interestingly this was a topic on America's Test Kitchen. They found that harsh coffees marry much better with cream than coffees that taste better when unadulterated. But I digress.

The two blends I picked up both said "100% Arabica" on the front of the bag, down in the lower left corner. So, in the least, you can visit your local grocery and canvas their Starbucks selection.

Evan Tishuk ~ June 26, 2012

I'll take a look next time I'm at the grocery store. I have to admit that I often skip over the SB coffee selection, so it's possible that things have changed since last time I took any notice.

John ~ August 07, 2012

I am a starbucks auditor. Thankfully i only have to weigh the coffee and take its temperature! I dont have to drink it. Perhaps starbucks know the cofee is awfull ?

raj ~ August 30, 2012

Star bucks does not serve coffee. They pump old lady diarrea through a machine behind theY keep behind the counter.

Visitor ~ September 23, 2012

i like starbucks cos it taste nice but i dislike starbucks cos it's expensive

Chris ~ September 23, 2012

to be honest, i prefer starbucks because it taste great, but at the same time, it's ex.

Visitor ~ August 08, 2013

Starbucks has a brand to uphold. They need consistency in their coffee. The easiest way to achieve this consistency is to burn the crap out of inferior beans. This ensures the same taste, day after day, year after year. This results in that wonderful burned and bitter tastes that most critics of Starbucks describe. You can't have a business wanting to make a profit with this large of an operation doing anything else.

Visitor ~ August 23, 2013

1 ) the waitresses are cute

2 ) it's the only place I can sit

3 ) I like to write and make people nervous while watching them

Lovingly crafted by orangecoat with some rights reserved, and a promise not to spam you.

Back to top