Food & Drinks

April 28, 2014

What’s the deal with Starbucks®, anyway?

Several things come to mind when I think about the world famous coffee brand Starbucks, and it’s definitely not coffee. Words like frappuccino and overrated first infiltrate my mind, with the latter being the most pertinent. I mean, let’s be real: The word pretentious comes to my mind, and after playing the “Why” game (i.e. using the word why as a response in order to figure the roots of something), I understood. Viewer discretion advised, though. Okay, so, tall, blonde and skinny white girls, money, Instagram and lengthy orders – what do all of these things have in common? Other than being overrated (debatable since I love me a good Insta photo), Starbucks.

Places like Waves, Blenz, Second Cup and a multitude of other hipster places in Downtown, especially, all carry multiple varieties of both hot and cold beverages and baked goods. What really sets them apart? The freshness of pastries, the quality and type of bean and the atmosphere of the shop are all important things to consider while deciding where to spend an afternoon or where to pick up a quick pick-me-up.

I’ve heard some pretty crappy things about Starbucks’ coffee and Tim Horton’s coffee – however, because of Tim’s’ overall low prices, there is never too much anger around that store. Starbucks, on the other hand, has received a fair amount of complaints about their low quality beans and lousy treats, which are understandable at the prices in which they are being sold. So, why does the average consumer still opt for Starbucks? It’s all a name brand.

As I sit here at SFU’s very own new and beautiful, if I may add, Starbucks location, I see only a handful of free and open seats. Some seats are even being used by those not even sporting a green mermaid in hand! Dishonour? Apparently not. The Starbucks vibe is strong – classic jazz trickles over my ear drums, well-dressed students occupy communal tables and worldly vintage coffee photos fill the walls. Students sit here to study, some to discuss, and some to be even be interviewed. This so-called classic Starbucks vibe is often what attracts individuals to this somewhat overpriced brand.


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Do people who drink Starbucks think they’re better than those who opt for, to some, equally as good coffee, from Tim’s, for example? Or is all they’re trying to do use up their gift cards? Or maybe it’s all about collecting the stars to becoming a Gold member? Why do you drink or not drink Starbucks coffee? If you are part of the latter group, a more pertinent question exists: Why do you not embrace the Starbucks culture? In a city that runs of caffeine, do you prefer smaller shops, with a more hipster vibe as opposed to what is turning into a go-to coffee place?

The funny thing about Starbucks, though, is that no matter how many better coffee shops seem to fill the streets of Downtown Vancouver and the bulk of the Lower Mainland, people – businessmen and women and LGs alike – have a tendency to turn to the seasoned red holiday cups. Perhaps people turn to what they’re used to, or perhaps it’s simply the name opposite of “Mooncents” that people hold onto. Or, maybe, the coffee is just that good.

No matter what other coffee bars do, since its 1971 birth in Seattle, Starbucks has not yet failed to impress the crowd it aims to draw in. For now, at least, I truly believe Starbucks will continue to reign. With 15,000 stores in over 50 countries, I don’t see the green mermaid going anywhere any time soon.

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About the Author

Recultured Team
Recultured Team
This is where you'll find the blog posts that the team has contributed to collectively! What team? Wildcats! -Nope, wrong team. Recultured!

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