Why I Hate StarbuckssteemCreated with Sketch.

in food •  3 years ago  (edited)

I do, oh yeah, I do. I can count on one hand the number of times I have been dragged into one of its plethora of locations, always by my wife. Every second in there is another second of me wanting to get out of the place. Luckily I don’t work in a normal office environment so there is no pressure to go there in that half of my life. So, why the hate?

I don’t like coffee. I don’t like it for no other reason than I hate the taste. Sometimes I feel like I am the only adult on the planet that hates coffee. Give me hot chocolate or tea, but I can’t take a sip of coffee without my tongue hating me. I think that many people have trained themselves to enjoy it, mostly after drenching it with good tasting stuff like milk, sugar, or syrups to cover up the nasty taste of the coffee itself. Drinking it has become a way to show you are “part of the group”, like a ritual to fit in. I’ve always been too independent to do things I don’t want to fit into a group, so I’ve never trained myself to like it. I’ve had one drink from Starbucks, a hot chocolate, and it wasn’t anything special.

Just because I hate coffee isn’t the reason I hate the company though. That would be ridiculous. Let me explain why an outsider, like me, hates Starbucks.

You are paying $5 for 50 cents of materials. Give or take. The more you add to hide the disgusting coffee flavor the more it costs you.

Even after all the other expenses they have, the customer is getting ripped off! As they are taking your money, they are taking your time. Most people trade their time performing their skills for a certain amount of money. So when you overpay for something you are actually trading the time it took you to earn it.

Starbucks is a master of marketing though, so people happily line up to grab a 'harmless' $5 'luxury treat'. In fact, I think their whole business is just marketing, coffee has just become the thing the marketing revolves around, but it could have been nearly anything. They have sold the idea that Starbucks is the thing to have and people have fallen for it. Pure social conditioning.

Since they are bringing in huge profit margins, they can afford to have a location everywhere. In some places you can’t even WALK 5 minutes down the street without passing 2 or 3 of them.

They are a plague. They are to coffee what McDonald’s is to hamburgers.

Certainly having stores that close takes business from the others, but they don’t care. They have so much money and they use it to destroy any other challenger. Say goodbye to anyone that stands in its way. It’s a scorched earth policy, let no competitor survive.

The entire thing is fake. They have killed the old school culture of nonconformity that used to be the local coffee shop and replaced it with a generic, faux, one-size fits all mold that attempts to look like a small business. A coffee stained prefabricated box that they can replicate, like Star Trek’s Borg. They are a global chain, it’s how things are done but Starbucks tries to act like they aren't.

Many coffee places used to be different, like what you can see on old Friends reruns. Things would happen there, different art would be up on the wall, at night people would read poetry. That’s all been lost.

We have this corporate giant that is promoting the sameness you see everywhere now. Our world is becoming bland – one note. It is the price you pay to be able to have the same drink anywhere in the world. I hate our rapidly dwindling differences. It’s like the American that travels to Europe but ends up eating fast food because it’s what they know, it’s safe.

First we have their size chart which is some blatantly fake Italian naming system – Tall – Grande – Venti – Trenta. Why don’t they just call them small – medium- large – extra large? Because it is a trick, it makes them seem exotic or foreign, something special that you can treat yourself to. Who would spend $5 on a small drink? But when you can have a ‘tall’ one it subconsciously flips it around. Stop it, you are from Seattle not Italy.

Secondly they perform the same trick by calling their servers ‘baristas’. It is just another word trick to make them feel better about their low paying job and reinforce the exotic ‘specialness’ of being in a Starbucks.

The biggest thing is the ridiculous names of the drinks. No one goes to Starbucks for a regular coffee, so they have all these ways to feed you a coffee drink that is much more like a shake than anything else. Seriously, look at the calorie count on some of the drinks there – 400, 600, 800+ calories. If you really liked coffee that much you could drink a cup which has something like 10 calories in it, black.

But noooo, you need to pretend that you do and so order something like Triple, Venti, Half Sweet, Non-Fat, Caramel Macchiato a Venti Iced Hazelnut Macchiato, Sugar-Free Syrup, Light Ice, Extra Whip or a White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino. Stop pretending you like coffee and just get a hot chocolate.


Since pretty much everyone is ordering a ‘coffee’ that is so far from actually being one you end up with hordes of fake people that swarm over to it. People that want to be part of the “in” crowd. You end up with a denser concentration of beard growing, scarf wearing, hipster men and dog-in-purse, fake nails and everything else women. You end up with a bunch of entitled brats.

These men are the same type of people that complain about capitalism while wearing American Apparel, Levi jeans, and Vans below their scarves and beanies. Simultaneously tapping away on their Apple products and drinking this swill from Starbucks. All of them expressing their uniqueness while looking nearly identical.

These spray tanned women are all about status, so for them its all about their clothes and accessories (A Starbucks cup is just an accessory too). Gucci/Hermes/Luis Vuitton/Jimmy Choo... – basically how they can spend the most money on something just for that precious tag to show off. A tag that says “I am better than you”, but more like “I fall for this shit” as they photo it and post it to instagram.

Then you got these teens that think they need a coffee to get through their obviously stressful lives of texting and worrying about the next math test. It's a hard subject when you can't even. Why do 15 year old people need to drink cofffe? Hint: they don't. At least I think the Uggs thing has passed, or has it - I dunno for sure.

Fake Fake Fake

As they fork over their money to obtain the precious status symbol that is a Starbucks cup, they are so happy to patronize a company that cares for the environment and its workers. Free trade coffee and cardboard cups. Healthcare and schooling assistance for its workers. So kind of them. It is easy to be that way when you overcharge for a simple product. Where do you think they get the money to do all that from? If you didn’t figure it out, it is from gouging their customers – you probably. They can do these things because of the crazy profit margins and the marketing message that it promotes for their image.


I know pretty much everyone has been assimilated by the Borg known as Starbucks so I expect a bunch of hate for it. "How could you hate Starbucks, OMG!!!1!1!!

If you are still free from the addiction that it is, let me know I am not the only one because it seems to me that way. Everyone loves Starbucks, I am the odd person. Just the way I have always been. Give me a hot chocolate or an English breakfast tea with a splash of milk.

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I absolutely love coffee. If you're like me and want a coffee fix without the extra $$$, just get the double espresso (iced or hot), and add the half-and-half or milk yourself at the self-serve counter. Basically same thing as a latte for half the price. You can get either a tall or grande, just by specifying which cup to put the espresso shots in. Fill it as full as you want.

Hehe, I save money by not going in there and drinking water I brought from home. :D

I pretty much completely agree with you. Starbucks is terrible. Not only is their coffee bad, but they provide a very poor example of what coffee actually is. Also - as long as they pretend to be the "upper class" of the coffee industry, they give premium coffee a very bad name.

I know a lot about coffee and I used to feel the same way about its taste. If you want a different perspective, from someone who has learned a lot about the entire industry, give this a read. It's the last in a six-part series that I wrote a couple of months ago. The first five are linked in it. It might change your mind and I would encourage you to give coffee a chance like I did.

There is excellent coffee out there that is much cheaper than you would think and that actually tastes good. You just have to know what to look for.

I read your post, great work there, but I fear that coffee is just something I will never find tasty. I will try a sip if I come across any that you mentioned at the end there.

I know the feeling, trust me. I spent my entire life completely hating coffee - the smell, the taste, the mere mention of it. Then, a couple of years ago, I actually tried a truly premium coffee that had not been pre-ground and sitting on a store shelf for weeks or months. At first, I refused to try it, because I just knew I wasn't going to like it.

I was wrong.

Less than a year later, I started organizing a business to work with coffee farmers, directly purchasing, importing, and selling their coffee here in the United States. I just recently met with an investor and we should be moving things forward after the new year. I may even be selling the beans through an online store that accepts Steem. We'll see what happens.

Just for the record - even most of the small coffee shops these days simply buy their coffee from the large importers and basically all do the same thing. You won't find many who actually have good coffee that's worth drinking as it is. I bought a "premium" cup from a local shop that pretends to be the solution to Starbucks and their awful coffee...and I threw it out less than halfway through. It actually made me feel sick for a couple of hours. It's hard to screw up good coffee, but there sure are a lot of companies doing their best to serve garbage to their customers. It's really sad.

It's certified organic and Fairtrade? Sign me up!


They might have good coffee, but I'm not too fond of certifications. Most are useless as far as product quality and ethics are concerned. Here's a bit of info on Fairtrade from the first post of the series I mentioned above.

Well I have been following you for a long time now, since before your Sherlock Holmes'ing with the sockpuppets - great job there BTW. If you make a post telling us where we can get these magic beans I will buy some, if I don't like it I am sure someone around me will. :D

Excellent liberal girl meme-age BTW! P.S. I like Starbucks coffee, but NOT the corporate entity that surrounds it!

Hah! It's not mine but I always write my stuff then go looking for pictures and this one complemented it perfectly.

I used to like Starbucks, but can make better coffee myself at home. The main reason I no longer support Starbucks is because they supported Monsanto when we tried to vote last year to label GMO's.

Startbucks supported Monsanto's blocking of GMO labeling and for that I will never forgive them or ever step into a Startbuck ever again.

They are just another large corporate entity. Show the world they are 'good' while doing crap like that behind the backs of everyone. I think it was about 10 years ago or so they were found to be using coffee bean suppliers that ran off of slave labor - and they knew it was going on. I think it was them and Nestle, the big two in on it. I read that when I was writing my post on unethical food companies.

But good on you for sticking to your guns on not patronizing them.

I'm in Seattle too and they are everywhere here, but there are many other good coffee shops.

Nestle is another company that is bad. I have heard their CEO claiming that water is not a basic human right as he tries to justify cornering the worlds' water supply.

That is true, he did say that. They were on my list as the 2nd most unethical company - right behind Monsanto (which has recently been purchased by Bayer).

Haha, fantastic post. I so feel the same way, except I'm like David and like good coffee now. But it's more of a hobby because I enjoy it more than I enjoy the coffee, I think. I appreciate the coffee and art of preparing it, so roast, mill and make my own lattes. Star$$$ only get my $$$ when I'm flying or something and there's only ONE coffee shop in the airport and I'm in the mood. Otherwise, I'll go several miles out of my way to avoid a Star$$$, or I'll just go without. Their beans are burnt, they're overpriced and I doubt that 1% of their employees could actually define an espresso. :)

Abstinence from Star$$$ is the best policy :)

I am sorry but most people in the west don't drink real coffee! Pure nasty stuff packaged as coffee.

I am no coffee drinker, but from what people are saying I must agree with you.

Same here, I always regret it after drinking coffee.

No Starbucks, no regrets!

Best thing I've read in quite some time. Followed.

I checked your stuff out, I like it an its in my ballpark of interest so you got a new follower too!

Hey @getonthetrain.

You put forward some good arguments. Will consider your points next time I think about entering a Starbucks.

Just acclimating back to normal life, my friend, after the craziness of the fest!

Oh no @ezzy, you are addicted to Starbucks!

Every second coffee I had @ starbucks tasted like charcoal.

I've never had their coffee but it is probably why people don't order coffee there. They order a dash of coffee with tons of stuff to cover up the taste.

I really do like coffee! I went once to Starbucks. Once... :)

Hehe, quick learner! :D

I miss the local coffee shops, even the high end ones. When I lived in Boulder, the cafes served drinks in real glasses. They cost a fortune too ($3 for a mocha latte in 1994), but they were also mini-to medium-sized bookstores with worn floors. They were like "Cheers" without the alcohol but were caffeine-fueled communities. Every once in a while, I run across a single-proprietorship cafe, but they usually come across as gimmicky.

Things seem to run in cycles. I have hopes that one day Starbucks will lose the stranglehold it seems to have. Then, just like craft beers, small shops will open to a warm welcome. But right now it seems we are stuck with it, similar to when America was pretty much stuck on tasteless, mass-produced beers.

The craft beer industry boom is a very interesting comparison. I would love to see a variety of personally produced coffee options (same thing for tea and other beverages) available in one place. It's difficult since coffee doesn't have a host bar culture where proprietors don't own their pick of poison and local cafes typically choose 1 brand to serve.

St*rbucks' coffee is awful. If you actually get a regular coffee, it tastes burnt and bitter. And not like coffee bitter, like headache inducing something isn't right in here bitter.

Without all the sweetners to cover it up, the stuff is just awful.

And compared to real coffee shops I used to know, st*rbucks is really a crummy environment.

I couldn't comment on the taste as I've never tried it, so thanks for filling in that part. I figured it was crap, since everyone is buying stuff with tons of sugar, milk, whipped cream and very little coffee. Of course it will taste good when its all dessert stuff.

I feel you there, the places are just fake. They are trying to be hip, and people fall for it.

haha, great rant! Even though I don't drink coffee, I go to starbucks to get their blueberry muffin. As you mentioned overpriced as hell, but sometimes I just want one.

Crap, how much is a muffin?!

2,65 Canadian Dollars here in Toronto I think.

Well they are a business not a non-profit organization. They can have the margin and people love it. Every huge business can be challenged by small teams of creative entrepreneurs. It's already proved thousands of times in the history. If they are not challenged yet, that's simply because there is no better approach to the need of this huge market.

I'm just hoping that people wise up to the crap that they are doing :)

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Agreed. I home-brew or buy local if at all. I prefer tea.

It's the best way, starve the beast that is Starbucks. Just what you want, without it being expensive or full of crap to cover up the taste.

I ask for a tall in a venti cup or my mug and if the employees not new they wont care and fill it close. All the cents I save adds up. Often theres not another coffeee shop near by that isnt crappier watered down coffee same mark-up, so stuck with Starfucks.

That's how they get ya, there are just so many of'em that nothing can get a foothold and so makes it that choices are limited.