Taylor Clark has penned a tall tome titled “Starbucked: A Dark Tall Tale of Caffeine Commerce and Culture.” It’s supposed to be a rich read packed full of nerdy facts. Check out a detailed review at the Observer.
I’ve already written on my experiences as a coffee snob, and I’m the recent recipient of a pound of Kona coffee, which from what I understand is equivalent to holding a bag of 100% pure uncut cocaine. It’s still sitting unopened on the couch now because it intimidates me, but when I do try it, you’ll be the first to know. So here’s what I learned this morning: the first Starbucks opened in NYC in 1994, a far journey from its Seattle home. If you’re anything like me, you probably grew weary in the next few years of ordering even the plainest Cup o’Joe only to be forced into swank-sizing it with a modifier…. tall-venti-grande? I remember an experience in the late 90’s in Princeton where I asked for a “medium” coffee, and was corrected “Grande?” to which I snarkily replied (and I was WAAAAY more snarky then) “Uhh… yeah, y’all are from Seattle right???”…. blank look from barista…blink…blink…cricket…cricket…I resumed, “Yeah, just checking.” Snark unappreciated.
Anyways, when the first Starbucks opened in NYC it was one of 425 stores, now they have expanded to 14,000 (4,000 of which are located outside the US…. they’re overtaking the world!!!)and 170 of those 10,000 in the US are right here in Manhattan!!
But they’re not all evil….they may have infected our entire country with a caffeine habit, as evidenced by the compete surge of coffee shops from 585 in 1989 to 24,000 in the US today… only 10,000 of which are Bucks…..Nah, they’re not so bad, and bonus!! they have those sweet inspirational quotes on their recycled cups to ease the yuppy pangs.