CWC: Coffee Reviews: Starbucks (Let’s start with the basics)

Hello, coffee lovers!

You know how sometimes things don’t turn out quite how you planned? Well, originally I had planned this site to be loaded with coffee reviews and for some reason that didn’t happen. It kind of ties back to a post I did not too long about about procrastination. In that post I mention how some things, even if very delayed can still be resurrected. My coffee review idea is one of those things.

I figured to start this series, we need to begin with the basics. Right? Starbucks. Let’s talk about it. I know many people have very strong opinions about Starbucks. We won’t delve into those in this post but I want to share my Starbucks story with you.

I think my first exposure to this coffee chain was in a Barnes and Noble many many years ago when I first started drinking coffee. The smell of a Starbucks inside B&N is vastly different than in any stand-alone store. The smell? White chocolate caramel. Or, that’s what is smells like to me. Its such a strong smell though that I can barely think about the bookstore chain without that smell instantly coming back to me. It’s a sick-sweet smell that is part appetizing and part disgusting. The first coffee drink I ever ordered from a Starbucks was a Café Mocha. Does anyone still say the “café” part when ordering a mocha anymore? I felt so grown up ordering a Café Mocha, which is basically a caffeinated hot chocolate. I used to sink myself into own of those big comfy chairs Barnes& Noble with mocha and browse equestrian magazines until my mom and dad we’re ready to go.

Since those days my Starbucks order and overall experience has changed quite a bit. When I lived in the Midwest and later in Maryland I used to frequent Starbucks almost daily because it just so happened I lived down the street from a Starbucks in both the Midwest and Maryland,  so it was the easiest way for me to grab coffee on my way to work or hangout in-store while working on my laptop/reading.  My drink of choice when I lived in a colder climate was a soy latte with a sprinkle of cinnamon. While, I don’t miss much about living in cold weather I do miss enjoying a hot coffee beverage on cold Fall and Winter days. Does that make me #basic?  P.S. I’ve actually never had a Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Now that I am in Florida, my go-to Sbux coffee order is almost exclusively an iced Americano or iced coffee (unsweet). I then usually add my own stevia and sometimes I will ask for a splash of coconut or soy milk.  On a very rare occasion when they have a BOGO deal my husband and I will opt for his and hers frappuccino because they are admittedly a nice treat every now and again.

Starbucks for me is where I go when I want comfort, convenience, and consistency. I have spent many hours studying, working, relaxing, and of course drinking coffee within the walls of various Starbucks locations around the world and if there is one thing I can say about this coffee chain is that they are consistent. If you go to a Starbucks in St. Louis and one in Barcelona you are going to generally get the same level of quality and service. I think for this reason many airports, malls, and even the CIA headquarters feature Starbucks stores because in situations where you are prone to be stressed it’s nice to have a familiar and comfortable option.

I will say I was a bit shocked when I listened to the Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks talk about his business venture with Alec Baldwin on Here’s The Thing back in 2016. Originally Schultz had imagined bring the classic Italian espresso bar concept to the U.S. He detailed his vision during this podcast episode and it was very different that the modern presentation of Starbucks today. A Unicorn Frappuccino was definitely not in the plans. He did admit though, that many of the interesting coffee fads and options that you will see in your local store are also news to him! On a daily basis Schultz sticks with a more classic coffee order, similar to what you’ll actually find in Italy. In fact, I heard that they have opened a new Starbucks Reservein Seattle which seems much closer to Schultz’s original vision. If you’re in the Pacific Northwest and have been there please let me know how it is!

Also, If you have some time during your commute or around the house I highly suggest you listen to the podcast.

Overall I would rate Starbucks a 4/5 because it’s usually a very enjoyable experience. What’s your Starbucks story? Let me know in the comments or chat with my on my other social media platforms listed below!









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