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Starbucks has taken over the UK!....... HELP!!!! (1 Viewer)

Paul_D

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I remember on my last trip to the US, being amazed at the sheer volume of Starbucks available to american consumers. I didn't expect to see the day, but they obviously deployed their destroyers across the atlantic on a colonisation mission, cos theres a Starbucks on every street corner now. What's even more disturbing, is that their coffee tastes damn good! :p) And boy it ain't cheap. :eek: Maybe your average Starbucks warrior is vulnerable to yodeling, or maybe the common cold? Either way, they must have a weakness, and it must be found! :D
EDIT: This is probably one of the most incoherant posts I'v ever written.But its too late to do anything about that now. ;)
 

Danny Tse

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You came, you saw, and you still didn't warn your fellow countrymen??

You know, the Beatles wrote a song about Starbucks...."Here, There and Everywhere".
 

Ben Motley

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Hell, you guys never understood coffee anyway, what's your gripe? When I was over in '91 (had a lovely visit, thank you) I was frighteningly alarmed when I found that most of your cafes, restaurants, and other eating establishments only served instant coffee... and charged per cup, no refills given! What the hell?? I mean, come on, refills... they're the God-given right to caffeine fiends across America. I'm not talkin' your Mocha Lattes and Caramel Machiatos, no, those you don't get refills, but with just a simple cup 'o java there is an expectancy of unlimited refills. It's the same with iced tea, but let's not go there ;).
As for Starbucks, I personally can't stand their coffee, but this may be the best thing coffee-wise to happen to y'all. ;) :p)
 

Scott L

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I remember one of Dave Letterman's Top 10 lists of "Top 10 Qualifications for Starbucks Workers." One of em was "keep a straight face while charging $5 for a cup of coffee." :laugh:
 

Jed M

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Paul, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!! Actually Ben is right, it probably won't hurt any, but I still feel for you.
 

TheoGB

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Yeah, their prices are astronomical...
It's not just Starbucks, for always three there are: Starbucks, Coffee Republic and Costa (ho ho - appropriate name!!).
They really are all together.
Douglas Adams was way off. It's not the Shoe Event Horizon but the Coffee Event Horizon...Actually there are probably still more mobile phone shops out there than the world can comfortably handle!!!;)
 

Steve Deacon

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How much do they cost over there? You say they're expensive, but that usually still turns out to be a lot less than we pay, here in the UK.

I haven't been to a Starbucks here, so maybe someone who has could supply a UK price for one of their products, and then we could get a comparison from the US.
 

Paul_D

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£1.75 for a small (tall) Latte.

£3.25 for a large (Venti) Chocolate Cream Frappuccino.
 

Brian Harnish

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Mmmm...my favorites are the Grande` (medium) Mocha and the Grande` Chocolate Brownie Frappucino. Although, if I feel really daring and want to stay up for three days I'll take the Venti (large) Mocha. :D :emoji_thumbsup: :emoji_thumbsup:
 

Anthony_J

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I'm not really a fan of Starbucks. The plain coffee is always burnt. Convenience store coffee always seems to taste better, at a quarter of the price.

"Tuesday is Starbucks day".
 

andrew markworthy

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I don't want to sound like a killjoy, but I'm always amazed that people can't go shopping without feeling the need to stop for a drink. Just think - if you hadn't stopped you could have been home half an hour earlier and made your own drink at a fraction of the cost (and probably saved on parking fees as well).

Having said that, the one time I went to a Starbucks I bought a really nice big coffee mug which is great for my breakfast drink (milky decaf instant, before you ask - I have no taste for coffee and caffeine gives me migraines).
 

Paul_D

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Caffeine is like bliss that's been liquified and inserting into brown goo (coffee). :emoji_thumbsup: Decaf is like a paradox in my book..... unexplainable. :D
 

Jefferson

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Apr 23, 2002
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And it isn't just their coffee that may infiltrate.....The bookstore chain Barnes and Noble owns Starbucks and it is equally shocking to see how they are putting independent booksellers in America, right out of business. Their book and coffee combo is fine for areas of the United States (like the my teeny southern hometown) that wouldn't otherwise have a large bookstore/coffehouse.....but.....it is getting out of hand, indeed.
 

Ben Motley

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Jefferson, I wouldn't be afraid of Barnes and Noble getting too much of a toe-hold on the island, as they have very well established bookstores (an understatement, legacy stores may be more like it) that both Barnes and Noble and Borders seem to have tried to emulate. While we're the coffee fiends of the two, England certainly kicks our butts in the bookstore area. :emoji_thumbsup:
Having said that, the one time I went to a Starbucks I bought a really nice big coffee mug which is great for my breakfast drink (milky decaf instant, before you ask - I have no taste for coffee and caffeine gives me migraines).
Is this the norm over there Mark? No wonder I couldn't get a good cup. ;)
 

BrianB

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Jefferson, I wouldn't be afraid of Barnes and Noble getting too much of a toe-hold on the island, as they have very well established bookstores (an understatement, legacy stores may be more like it) that both Barnes and Noble and Borders seem to have tried to emulate.
I wouldn't be too sure. The oldest, most established book chain in Scotland died a year or two ago. The other large chain there was assimilated by one of the larger chains. Right now, the book trade is fiercely competitive - in Glasgow for example, there's a stupid number of stupendously large bookstores (including a brilliant Borders). It can't last - there's not the business to support it.

For me, I liked B&N when I first moved to the US - the novelty/selection was cool. Then seeing almost exactly the same (relatively) small range of titles in /every/ store REALLY started to grate. Borders is much better for the genres & technical fields I read.

As for Starbucks in the UK - interesting history to the launch of the chain there. Before Starbucks was launched in the UK, a couple of Brits asked Starbucks for the British franchise rights. Starbucks told them to take a hike, they weren't interested in the UK at all. So the couple launched "The Seattle Coffee Company", a /very/ Starbucks-lite chain. It was a *huge* success. Starbucks buy them out for way way more than it would have cost for the original set-up.
 

andrew markworthy

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Ben, until a generation ago, tea was the drink of choice for practically everyone in the UK, and the tea equivalent of instant coffee - tea bags - was resisted by all good-thinking Brits. For a variety of reasons, coffee was generally seen as a vaguely upper-class drink. Then there came a sea change and there was a switch to coffee (though tea remains very popular; tea bags, incidentally, have improved over the last couple of decades). My taste in coffee is atypical. I'm not v. fond of it (and I hate tea), but I like a hot drink in the morning, and it's healthier than hot chocolate (about the only hot drink I really like). I agree that decaff is an abberation, but trust me, if you had migraines and could stop them, you'd drink the bloody stuff too.

At the risk of being a heretic, I'm not all that bothered about the spread of Starbucks. A generation ago, the UK was infested with Wimpy Bars, and a generation before that, Lyons Tea Rooms, both of which served the same purpose. Just because there's a new kid on the block doesn't really matter, does it? It's only fulfilling the same function as the aforementioned establishments - and where are they now?

On a slight tangent, I'm not totally saddened at the loss of small booksellers. I'm sure there were some good ones who have been driven to the wall by the onslaught of big book chains, but in general I found such shops to be dingy, poorly-stocked and almost inevitably staffed by snobbish staff who clearly only liked the 'right class of person' to be in the shop.

I think the reason why Brits put up with no endless cup of coffee (and similar oddities of catering)is historical. Remember that the UK, unlike the USA, experienced very serious rationing during the two world wars and for nearly a decade after WWII as well. The idea of expecting generosity in food or even good quality food would be regarded as either unrealistic or even greedy by people who lived through those times and this mind set has lingered ever since. It can be argued that rationing was far worse in continental Europe, but you don't get the same attitude to restaurant food there, which is true. However, Europe in general had already established a habit of dining out. The same is not true in Britain. Good cooking was largely confined to the home (and to simple, non-restaurant type meals), and 'dining out' was seen as a very special treat and/or the preserve of the very rich (the British class thing again). Therefore, Brits were generally unaware of what good restaurant food should be like, and caterers were only too willing to exploit this ignorance. However, the idea that *all* Brit restaurants are dire is wrong. There have always been good ones (and not all of them over-priced) but I admit at times you have to search hard to find them.
 

TheoGB

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Ben, until a generation ago, tea was the drink of choice for practically everyone in the UK, and the tea equivalent of instant coffee - tea bags - was resisted by all good-thinking Brits. For a variety of reasons, coffee was generally seen as a vaguely upper-class drink. Then there came a sea change and there was a switch to coffee (though tea remains very popular; tea bags, incidentally, have improved over the last couple of decades).
Yeah coffee is now very popular over here, though there is nothing quite like a nice cup of Earl Grey...
Incidentally apparently the reason for the switch to coffee is down to advert breaks and instant coffee: people discovered that instant coffee was the only thing they could easily make in the advert break in the middle of their favourite program!! :D Any idea if this is true, Andrew?
 

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