According to E-Imports , 50 percent of the population, equivalent to 150 million Americans, drink espresso-based drinks or iced or hot coffees daily. Evidently, coffee is an important component of many of our day-to-day lives, including my own. Working as a barista, I understand the basics of the traditional latte, cappuccino, macchiato, etc. However, after working in the coffee business, I've noticed several fatal flaws as to why Starbucks isn't the coffee connoisseur they claim to be.
First of all, several of Starbucks' drinks are improperly named. For example, their famous Caramel Macchiato is, in fact, not a macchiato. A macchiato is made with espresso and two dollops of foam on top. Yet, Starbucks misleads and misinforms the public by calling what actually is a caramel latte, a macchiato.
Why does this matter, you may ask? Well, when Starbucks misleads many uninformed coffee drinkers, these customers come into stores like mine and order a "macchiato." We make this drink for them, as it should be properly made, and then they come back and are displeased and, at times, infuriated with their orders! Now, tell me, why on earth should we get the heat for correctly making a drink when Starbucks has fabricated and manipulated the definition of what a macchiato, or any other drink, actually is?
In addition to their naming misuses, they also invented a new word for a concept that already exists. This is their all-too-popular Frappuccino, combining the words "frappé" and "cappuccino." The Frappuccino is a frappé. Though the United States has adapted the traditional Greek frappé foam-covered iced coffee drink made from instant coffee into more of a blended, milkshake-like coffee drink, Starbucks still chooses to alter the name, as if they are creating a whole new idea! The jig's up, Starbucks. You're not original just by simply adding a few more syllables to a word. It's still just an American frappé.
Aside from their complete lack of coffee knowledge and unoriginal naming tactics, Starbucks' quality of ingredients isn't that much better in comparison to other coffee chains. For example, Starbucks uses a mocha sauce for most of their drinks while chains like Caribou Coffee use real chocolate chips steamed with milk. Now, I'm not sure about you, but which sounds of higher quality? Starbucks needs to certainly step up their game if they hope to rightfully rep their coffee top-dog title they seem to possess.
Lastly, the quality of service you get at Starbucks will never be nearly as satisfactory as you would get at smaller chains or individual coffee shops. Because they are a large chain, they are dealing with hundreds upon hundreds of customers each day with no time to worry about the individual customer. And the customer service definitely reflects this mentality. At the register, I often feel disengaged by the cashier and, at times, rushed. However, compare this to other coffee shops where they may ask how your day is, comment on your choice of coffee, or even recommend a drink for you.
In addition to this, the atmosphere of a Starbucks' shop is very sleek and impersonal – not at all relaxing or cozy. Not only this, but it is always way too crowded. How can you possibly enjoy your subpar beverage in such a subpar environment? I suppose that is the norm for the usual Starbucks experience, though.
So whether it is their lack of knowledge, mediocre ingredients, or even their poor customer or store experience, Starbucks is anything but exceptional. While I do at times drink Starbucks coffee, I do caution everyone to be aware when putting Starbucks on a pedestal, and I hope these few reasons expand your views of coffee overall. Sure, Starbucks is convenient and OK, but there certainly are better shops and quality cafés out there, and I urge you to explore those options before raving about how "amazing" Starbucks is.