I happen to live in the Seattle area, where corner coffee stands are abundant, but for some reason Starbucks is the place I end up. When I stop to reflect on why, a few solid reasons confirm my subconscious’ ability to automatically point my car in the direction of the nearest one.
For many people, holding a steaming cup of Starbucks Coffee is a status symbol. Someone told me that there is actually a person he works with, who refills his paper Starbucks cup with lunchroom coffee, and walks around with the lid on pretending it’s the real thing. I don’t think you’ll find this coffee phenomenon here in Seattle, we are all used to seeing a plethora of paper coffee cups bearing all kinds of logos. This particular event happened in a different state, where perhaps a paper cup of Starbucks Coffee actually improves your status. Hmmm…a four-buck status improvement, interesting.
Other people find that their loyalties lie at the Starbucks counter. They can have their coffee drink made exactly the way they want it, and have it served by the same person who served it yesterday, in many cases. Coffee aficionados can tell you why Starbucks Coffee appeals to their taste buds. They can tell you about grower alliances, the harvesting of coffee beans, how roasting them affects their taste, and so on.
These are not among my reasons for why I find myself at Starbucks most mornings, (a fact my husband says I need to change). I could care less if I’m holding a Starbucks paper cup, or one that I got at the coffee stand down the street. The actual cups are probably made in another country, and the logos add to the price of my latte. As for loyalty, I couldn’t tell you anything about how Starbucks makes their coffee, and I sure don’t have a clue about their alliances in Africa or Guatemala.
For me, having a drive-thru is a major factor for me, in whether or not I will frequent a Starbucks. I’m certainly not going to get out of the car when I’m running late with three children in the back. For a few years, there was only a walk-in Starbucks and I hardly ever went inside. I found a few good coffee stands on my many routes, and was fine with them. Recently, however, two more Starbucks stores opened exactly seven minutes from my house in either direction (it’s so sad that I know this), and these are the ones I frequent. So long independent coffee stand representatives, unless I happen to be on a different route.
When I do have time, Starbucks is open late, and I often meet friends there to chat over our steaming cups of java. The atmosphere is strangely relaxing amid the caffeine, and if I need to buy a gift for someone, all I have to do is peruse their many available treasures. Who doesn’t like coffee?
Although I’ve been told to reduce my Starbucks expenditures to respect our budget, perhaps I can share these reasons with my husband, and becoming enlightened, he will allow me to go to Starbucks carte blanche. I won’t hold my breath, how will I suck down the Grande-Vanilla- 2-Pump-Extra-Hot-Latte, I’ll be enjoying in about seven minutes?