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Old 10-28-2007, 10:58 PM   #61
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Based on the reaction, I presume I was the first person to ever order a glass of milk in a starbucks and they had to invent the item and price it on the fly.

Hand it to my wife to go to a premium coffee shop and order milk.
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Old 10-29-2007, 12:19 AM   #62
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I guess I'm hooked........I go there nearly everyday, but I only have the coffee, which to me is pretty good, but I have mine "loaded" (creme and sugar). Some oddities I notice:
The service is horrendous......
Long waits even when there are 6 people working.
The employees are usually more engaged with side banter than customers
I get the disapproving looks because Im only ordering coffee...(also...we just ran out!)
They don't add cream and sugar like Dunkin donuts ( and even McDonalds does this)
Crowded, untidy area to add your cream and sugar
cold (as in refridgerated) pastries!
I'll stop there...........

Our local SB is a converted bank branch, so they use the teller window for drive thru. I've heard people call friends on thier cell phone shrieking about the novelty of a drive thru starbucks. Ive also seen drive thru starbucks in california that are literally right on the freeway exit ramp.

So with all my complaints, I still go 5 times /week and it is one of the top expenses I should eliminate($2x5x4=$40/mo). My wife says the coffee is too strong also. She gripes about the 20-somethings she works with and the whole latte factor bit.
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Old 10-29-2007, 08:03 AM   #63
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I'm just pissed that I didn't come up with the idea to sell coffee for $5 a cup...
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Old 10-29-2007, 09:23 AM   #64
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I have been reading through all of the threads on this one, and I think this angle might have been overlooked. Most of us are not super wealthy, and are not catered to very often. EVERYONE likes to be made to feel special. I think that is what makes Starbucks so attractive to some people. For your $4 or so they make it any way you want it, etc. Most times I have gone to ANY starbucks they are VERY pleasent and make you feel that you are getting that special treatment. Then you can sit down on a comfy chair or couch and pretend for a while that you are wealthy, or famous, or important somehow. That really expensive price for coffee is your passport to a 30 minute fantasy that many like to indulge in. I think the real triumph of Starbucks is catering to that dream.
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:51 PM   #65
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I think it's seen as a "hangout" more than anything -- a place where people get together, sit around and chat, have a beverage or two and surf around on their wifi.
Yes, precisely. What you've described is Starbucks' 'third place' conceit [see A Little Something About the Big "S"]. The target market is women between the ages of 25-45.

Perhaps because I don't fall within the above demographic, I can't really understand the appeal of paying inflated prices for burnt coffee; but clearly many, many people have bought into the concept. This explains everything: Virtual Coffee: Feature Articles.
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:58 PM   #66
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Yes, precisely. What you've described is Starbucks' 'third place' conceit [see A Little Something About the Big "S"]. The target market is women between the ages of 25-45.
There's actually a pretty cool coffee shop in my town called "The Third Place". Back in the day, I used to go in and buy a $1 cup of coffee and get hours of fun out of the experience. Great people-watching and it was located in an eclectic part of town. Nice little sidewalk seating area. Nicer than the one starbucks I've been in.

I'd have to say the main allure of this particular coffee shop was the people there. After being a regular for a while, there would always be friends or friends of friends there, so you could just walk in and randomly meet up w/ your friends or strike up conversations w/ familiar faces.
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Old 10-29-2007, 03:09 PM   #67
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Most of us are not super wealthy, and are not catered to very often. EVERYONE likes to be made to feel special. I think that is what makes Starbucks so attractive to some people. For your $4 or so they make it any way you want it, etc. Most times I have gone to ANY starbucks they are VERY pleasent and make you feel that you are getting that special treatment. Then you can sit down on a comfy chair or couch and pretend for a while that you are wealthy, or famous, or important somehow. That really expensive price for coffee is your passport to a 30 minute fantasy that many like to indulge in.
Very true. Starbucks' success is a classic case of 'aspirational consumers' purchasing an 'accessible superpremium' product. See further Trading Up: The New American Luxury, by Silverstein and Fiske [trading_up].

More generally, see Luxury Fever: Why Money Fails to Satisfy in an Era of Excess, by Frank [Frank diagnosis: We have a case of "luxury fever"], or The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don't Need, by Schor [the overspent American -- an interview with Juliet Schor].
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Old 10-29-2007, 03:27 PM   #68
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On oprah and some other shows, it seems the debtors had a common daily starbucks habit (at hundreds $ over the month)! Addiction to starbucks indicator for financial indebtedness? or is it just the sugar high distorts your decision making...

or if it follows the luxury lifestyle, than it's more accessible than the $2k bag and $500 shoes you are eyeing while you sip on your frapp'o.
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Old 10-29-2007, 03:36 PM   #69
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I am a coffee snob, I guess. I like Columbian coffee and don't like the roasts like French or Italian. Starbucks tastes burnt to me so I am not one of their customers for that reason alone, nevermind the price.

Today my wife and I had a free sample of Starbucks mocha something or other and a little sample piece of orange-cream cake. They were giving away free samples in the Harris Teeter grocery store, in which they are located.

Worth every penny!

Mike D.
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Old 10-29-2007, 03:40 PM   #70
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My DH and I HATE Starbucks. Am I the only one who thinks their coffee tastes burnt?

I don't think it tastes burnt. But I do think that most other coffee places are too weak.

CFB - You got hosed by that particular store. I buy milk for my niece all the time at Starbucks. It comes in a container like a large juice box. It costs something like $2.5 - $3.
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Old 10-29-2007, 03:49 PM   #71
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On oprah and some other shows, it seems the debtors had a common daily starbucks habit (at hundreds $ over the month)! Addiction to starbucks indicator for financial indebtedness? or is it just the sugar high distorts your decision making...

or if it follows the luxury lifestyle, than it's more accessible than the $2k bag and $500 shoes you are eyeing while you sip on your frapp'o.
2 starbucks frapowhatevers per day won't break most people. It's the combination of that, plus $10 takeout lunches, plus $1 snack machine purchases and a few $1.25 drink machine purchases, plus a $2 snack/drink at the gas station on the way in to work. Suddenly, $20-25 per day is disappearing. That adds up to $600-750/month for a "few conveniences".
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Old 10-29-2007, 03:50 PM   #72
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I love Circle K coffee, Ajava I think it is. I try to limit myself to 2 times a week, but at $1.49 for an extra large with all sorts of fancy creamers at no additional charge, it seems reasonable.
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Old 10-29-2007, 03:59 PM   #73
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My DH and I HATE Starbucks. Am I the only one who thinks their coffee tastes burnt?
I don't hate Starbucks, but I think their coffee is way too strong.

Per the burnt coffee thing - that would mean that you are drinking a French Roast blend. French roast means burnt beans. I hear from others that this blend is an acquired taste. Like you though, I haven't acquired the burnt coffee taste and I prefer to drink a good Colombian blend that isn't burnt. Those French should stick to what they do best, and that's fries and bread (as in French Fries and French Bread).
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Old 10-29-2007, 04:09 PM   #74
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CFB - You got hosed by that particular store. I buy milk for my niece all the time at Starbucks. It comes in a container like a large juice box. It costs something like $2.5 - $3.
saluki, you're getting hosed too ($3 for a small container of milk?).

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Those French should stick to what they do best, and that's fries and bread (as in French Fries and French Bread).
Actually, 'French Fries' (aka pommes frites) are Belgian ... but you knew that, didn't you?!.
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Old 10-29-2007, 04:16 PM   #75
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At the risk of being ridiculed for attempting to compete with unclemick as the cheapest b@stard on the forum (I pale in comparison to His Frugalship), I've never had coffee - or any other beverage - from Starbucks.
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Old 10-29-2007, 04:21 PM   #76
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Actually, 'French Fries' (aka pommes frites) are Belgian ... but you knew that, didn't you?!.
I did not know that and am so disillusioned and shocked. But thanks for the info.

I looked it up on wikipedia...


Although in most anglophone countries (outside of Europe), French fried potatoes are called "French" their true origin is Belgium, as in 1781 Joseph Gérard wrote:
"The inhabitants of Namur, Huy and Dinant have the habit of fishing in the Meuse River, frying their fang, to expand their menu (especially poor people). If the water is frozen and fishing is hardly possible, the inhabitants then cut potatoes in the shape of fish and fry those. This kind of procedure is over a hundred years old."
In North America, "French fries" became known much later when US soldiers returned from Europe after WWI. As they knew the new food predominantly from France, they called them "French fries".



So the name comes from what the Doughboys called em' , not where they originated. Besides who wants to eat a burger and Belgium fries with your Coca Cola ?
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Old 10-30-2007, 10:14 AM   #77
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saluki, you're getting hosed too ($3 for a small container of milk?).
It's fine by me. I'm paying for the convenience and I'm ok with it. $3 isn't going to kill me.
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Old 10-30-2007, 11:52 AM   #78
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At the risk of being ridiculed for attempting to compete with unclemick as the cheapest b@stard on the forum (I pale in comparison to His Frugalship), I've never had coffee - or any other beverage - from Starbucks.
Neither have I.

There are Starbucks in some of the local grocery stores (Kroger).
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