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My love affair with Starbucks…

My love affair with Starbucks…

I don’t really drink coffee. I’m not a particular fan of global consumer mono-branded capitalism like McDonalds. And yet, the sight of a Starbucks mug fills me with pride and joy.

It’s a unique combination of solid working-class workmanship – this is a big chunky mug for drinking out of – and branded middle-class aspirations – I’m drinking in a funky trendy cafe.

One recently fell into my hands, and I’m very reluctant to let it go. It just sits there on my desk, and I feel a very odd sense of pride when I do end up drinking out of it. I’ve found myself making more cups of tea just so I can drink more out of it.

and what other chain can promote themselves on the basis of “Oooh, the red cups are back!” ?

That irrestible siren, Starbucks

That irrestible siren, Starbucks

This is the thing. I’m a (reasonably) ethical consumer. My energy comes from green suppliers, I try not to drive, and I use Ecover. I don’t like using multi-national corporations, like Tescos and Microsoft. They make too much money. Especially Starbucks.

But … this is the thing …

I like their coffee shops. I like their coffees. I like their inoffensive quasi-community (without actually having any community) style which manages to be bland but slightly quirky and trendy at the same time. I know it’s all part of a ruthless clever marketing strategy and it’s a huge colossus which is stamping out small entrepreneurs and innovation in the coffee marketplace. But I don’t really care, I like it that much.

I could walk into any $tarbuck$ and feel utterly safe, relaxed and even slightly trendy with my thick white mug. I could die for a six-pack of frappucinos to take home and stick in my fridge. I even harbour a desire to start collecting $tarbuck$ mugs, and work as a barista in one asking whether you want chocolate sprinkles with your coffee.

Why ?!

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