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To wonder what's so great about Starbucks?

(159 Posts)
ACatCalledColin Thu 10-Apr-14 12:44:58

Every time I go in there, it's always overcrowded and there's nowhere to sit or if it's not crowded the tables are usually still filthy from previous customers and nobody's bothering to clear them up hmm.

The coffee is okay but certainly not anything to write home about. I quite like their hot chocolate (especially with some caramel syrup) and frappes though. Unfortunately I always seem to get dragged in there by friends on shopping trips as they all seem to love it.

Even my 14 year old sister has started going there with friends after school and at weekends and they usually go for the coffee rather than the frappes. And she raves about Starbucks a lot these days too.

Do they hypnotize you into coming back for more of their dirty dishwater coffee? Are they trying to take over the world?

Southeastdweller Mon 14-Apr-14 22:15:55

mushy It's not always possible to go to smaller places - as been stated several times upthread, a couple of reasons of many why Starbucks is so successful is because there's so many branches and the long opening hours.

Mushypeasandchipstogo Mon 14-Apr-14 19:51:58

Should read "without paying tax".

Mushypeasandchipstogo Mon 14-Apr-14 19:50:30

Went there once to meet friends. The coffee was awful and all the tables were dirty. Would never go there again, people should try other smaller places. Don't agree that they get away with paying any tax too but that is the government's fault.

musicalendorphins2 Mon 14-Apr-14 02:19:15

Dirty dishwasher, yep, that is what their 'coffee" tastes like. We tried it once, threw it away, and never again. We figure the people who enjoy the flavoured coffee drinks are the ones who love starbucks.

Sharaluck Mon 14-Apr-14 00:23:31

I don't like their coffee but their same-same-same atmosphere in every store is nice.

BoomBoomsCousin Mon 14-Apr-14 00:20:56

I have looked at their corporate social responsibility impact (along with numerous other comapnies) for work in the US in the past. There's plenty of bad but, on balance, probably less than average given their size. There's also a fair amount of good. It's complicated, hence I just said not so easily dismissed, rahter than claiming they were shining paragons of virtue. Small independent shops tend not to be that great on the whole (though huge variation) as many struggle to survive, so corner cutting quite common, but at least with them you don't have the issues that go hand-in-hand with multi-nationals.

grobagsforever Sun 13-Apr-14 23:33:12

Have a Google and see some of the other nasty stuff they are into.

HelloBoys Sun 13-Apr-14 16:17:33

Starbucks is overrated but I quite like their small square cake things and pastrami sandwiches if I eat lunch there. I find staff in my work one to be quite rude/brusque but then I'm comparing to Caffe Nero who I love!

BoomBoomsCousin Sun 13-Apr-14 15:59:03

I don't think it's as easy to dismiss Starbucks' ethics as that grobags. I do think there are general problems wth multi-national corporations that Starbucks don't avoid but...

Starbucks pay above the industry standard for coffee and are the biggest Fair Trade purchaser in the world. While the industry standard is not a good bench mark, that's an issue with the coffee industry in general and just as applicable to other coffee shops. None of my local independents serve Fair Trade, nor do they provide any information on how they source their coffee.

Also, though I'm sure there are plenty of individual poor experiences, over all they're a sought-after employer. Starbucks has made Glassdoor's Best Companies to Work For list (an award based on employee opinions) for several years.

tiredandsadmum Sun 13-Apr-14 10:33:19

Ghastly place. Coffee is weak AND over roasted. YUK.

Staff are lovely.

grobagsforever Sun 13-Apr-14 10:18:24

Has anyone mentioned ethics yet? Starbucks has a poor reputation for paying low prices to coffee bean growers, squeezing local indie places by opening multiple branches then closing all but one when they've killed off the competition, treating employees badly and not paying tax. No reason for anyone with either a brain or taste buds to venture into the boring hell hole. Even my three year old prefers independents.

hollyisalovelyname Sun 13-Apr-14 08:59:51

I just wish they'd clean and clear the tables more often.
And the food is bland.
I thought they'd never come quick enough to Ireland.
I was really disappointed when they did - nothing great at all.
The one in the Kildare village outlet ( like a smaller Bicester) is always crowded , long, long queue and just meh.

SybilRamkin Sat 12-Apr-14 12:09:36

Mmmm, coffee light frappucino...

FelixFelix Sat 12-Apr-14 08:00:43

Starbucks coffee tastes like cardboard. So does Costa. It really isn't very nice at all. I'm lucky to live close to some brilliant independent coffee shops who also happen to serve tasty tasty baked goods. Drool.

Madamecastafiore Sat 12-Apr-14 07:59:14

I prefer the Waitrose or John Lewis cafe. You can't get a pecan butterscotch yum yum in Starbucks!! grin

Blondeshavemorefun Sat 12-Apr-14 07:54:54

I love sb. Go there often. I hate coffee but drink chai latte and sb's is delicious

Both costa and Nero and other coffee shops attempt to make a chai but taste so different to sb

I have done the chai test and can easily tell the sb chai

Our sb in kent in local - clean - have books for kids - toilets which are rare in our town so if kids need changing etc

Plus nice to meet friends there for a gossip catch up smile

JapaneseMargaret Sat 12-Apr-14 07:38:18

Crap coffee tastes crap.

Good coffee tastes great.

You could as easily say, 'all wine tastes the same'; it does if you don't like it, have no interest in it, or have never had a decent bottle. It definitely doesn't if you know something about it.

If Starbucks is the extent of your coffee experience, then yes, I'd agree that it does all taste the same. Given that the interior of every outlet across the planet is the same, it's no surprise that the coffee is identikit, too.

BoomBoomsCousin Sat 12-Apr-14 07:28:28

For me Starbucks beats Costa and Cafe Nero for the range they have available of things I don't mind eating/drinking and usually for service too. The quality seems the same for all of them. I generally try and stick to independents just because I like variety on the high street and the quality is generally better. But the things I can get at Starbucks that I can't get at any of my local independent coffee shops include fresh fruit, filter coffee, Fair Trade coffee and a latte smaller than 12 fl oz.

The barristas in Starbucks are, mostly, surprisingly knowledgeable about coffee. And while the services isn't as fast as I'd like it is quite a bit faster and more accurate than the local alternatives.

The coffee is nothing to write home about though. And I have no idea why anyone would "rave" about it.

amandine07 Sat 12-Apr-14 06:52:00


I'm with you on that one!

When I've been into chain coffee shops, I'm stood there looking at the vast menu thinking I just want a bloody coffee please!

All this bollocks...people and their convoluted orders- skinny, soya, put the coffee on the side fluff the milk up etc.
And Babyccinos- er what are they all about?!

amandine07 Sat 12-Apr-14 06:47:55

Success is partly due to the fact there's a bloody Starbucks everywhere!

I prefer to take my own homemade coffee to work in a travel mug- saving me money too!

At a push I'd go for Costa, the coffee there is definitely superior.

Some of the Starbucks I've been you have has sticky, dirty tables from the previous occupants and the toilets were disgusting with flies...this left an impression with me and I tend to avoid nowadays!

As to the OP's question about what is so great...I'm of the opinion that Starbucks is not that great at all, they're just ubiquitous, profiting off the fact that grown adults will pay £££££ for mediocre coffee and/or heated up milk all presented in a crappy paper cup.

Oh and I detest Starbucks for not paying the tax that they should have done.

Prefer an independent or bring my own (I'm tight like that!).

TruffleOil Sat 12-Apr-14 06:29:25

I am baffled by coffee differentiators. It all tastes the same to me (kind of bad).

Misspixietrix Fri 11-Apr-14 22:32:46

unmitigated coffee snob grin

JapaneseMargaret Fri 11-Apr-14 21:16:53

Oh God, I hate Stabucks! It turns me into an unmitigated coffee snob. grin

They don't serve coffee, they serve coffee-favoured milk.

A Starbucks had to close down in our city, as there is too much competition from the masses of independent cafes, all of which, even the middling ones, serve way better coffee. And all of which have their own vibe and personality. And decent menus.

I honestly don't undertand the appeal. The interiors are all generic, the food is standard issue, and lacks flavour. And the coffee is bland and poorly made.

Only tourists go to Starbucks here. Nobody else would be seen dead in one. Good coffee is too widespread here for locals to have any desire to patronise Starbucks.

CombineBananaFister Fri 11-Apr-14 21:03:15

Apparently I've forgotten how to use commas tonight or indeed spell blush

CombineBananaFister Fri 11-Apr-14 21:02:19

Starbucks and coffee to me in the same sentence doesn't feel right tbh - when I think of starbucks I think of warm milky coffee flavoured soothing drinks or dessert drinks like frappes and theirs nowt wrong with that.

If I want an actual coffee, I want arabica beans with not too hot milk (160 degrees or less or it burns the sugars in the milk and tastes watery) so costa cortado or marks and spencers flat white. A proper barista should be like a somelier.

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