Starbucks Corporation is a coffeehouse chain based in the United States. Named after a character in the novel Moby Dick, it is the largest coffeehouse company in the world, with 7521 self-operated and 5647 licensed stores in 39 countries. Starbucks serves drip brewed coffee, espresso- and non-espresso-based hot beverages, tea, and ice-blended drinks. It supplements these offerings with pastries, salads, and sandwiches. Through its Starbucks Entertainment division and Hear Music brand, the company has ventured beyond refreshments into books, music, and film.
Starbucks was founded in Seattle, Washington, in 1971 as a local coffee bean roaster and retailer called Starbucks Coffee, Tea and Spices. Howard Schultz joined the company in 1982 and was inspired on a trip to Italy to develop a similar espresso bar and coffeehouse culture in the United States. To advance the concept, he founded the company Il Giornale three years later. In 1987, Schultz purchased Starbucks, merged it with Il Giornale, and renamed the company Starbucks Corporation. Starting with 17 stores, Starbucks has experienced a rapid expansion that began in the 1990s and continues into the 2000s. It has achieved similar growth in foreign markets; the first international location was established in 1996 and now they comprise almost one third of Starbucks' stores.
The first Starbucks was opened in Seattle, Washington, in 1971 by three partners: English teacher Jerry Baldwin, history teacher Zev Siegel, and writer Gordon Bowker. The three were inspired by Alfred Peet, whom they knew personally, to open their first store in Pike Place Market to sell high-quality coffee beans and equipment. The original Starbucks location was at 2000 Western Avenue from 1971-1976. That store then moved to 1912 Pike Place. During their first year of operation, they purchased green coffee beans from Peet's, then began buying directly from growers.
Entrepreneur Howard Schultz joined the company in 1982, and, after a trip to Milan, suggested that the company sell coffee and espresso drinks as well as beans. The owners rejected this idea, believing that getting into the beverage business would distract the company from its focus. To them, coffee was something to be prepared in the home. Certain that there was much money to be made selling drinks to on-the-go Americans, Schultz started the Il Giornale coffee bar chain in 1985.
In 1984, the original owners of Starbucks, led by Baldwin, took the opportunity to purchase Peet's. (Baldwin still works there today.) In 1987, they sold the Starbucks chain to Schultz's Il Giornale, which rebranded the Il Giornale outlets as Starbucks and quickly began to expand. Starbucks opened its first locations outside Seattle in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (at Waterfront Station) and Chicago, Illinois, United States that same year. At the time of its initial public offering on the stock market in 1992, Starbucks had grown to 165 outlets.
The first Starbucks location outside of North America opened in Tokyo in 1996. Starbucks entered the U.K. market in 1998 with the acquisition of the then 60-outlet Seattle Coffee Company, re-branding all its stores as Starbucks. By November 2005, London had more outlets than Manhattan, a sign of Starbucks becoming an international brand.
In April 2003, Starbucks completed the purchase of Seattle's Best Coffee and Torrefazione Italia from AFC Enterprises, bringing the total number of Starbucks-operated locations worldwide to more than 6,400. On September 14, 2006, it was announced by rival Diedrich Coffee that it would sell most of its company-owned retail stores to Starbucks. This sale includes the company owned locations of the Oregon-based Coffee People chain. Starbucks representatives have been quoted as saying they will convert the Diedrich Coffee and Coffee People locations to Starbucks stores.
Starbucks' chairman, Howard Schultz, has talked about the tension that exists in the company between their rapid expansion (they aim to eventually operate 40,000 retail stores worldwide) and their desire to act like a small company.
According to the company fact sheet, as of February 2007, Starbucks had 7,521 company-operated outlets worldwide: 6,010 of them in the United States and 1,511 in other countries and U.S. territories. In addition, the company has 5,647 joint-venture and licensed outlets, 3,391 of them in the United States and 2,256 in other countries and U.S. territories. This brings the total locations (as of February 2007) to 13,168 worldwide. Starbucks are even beginning to pop up in popular grocery chains in the US, and in some cities (e.g. Seattle, Vancouver) there are actually Starbucks stores located across the street from each other.
Stores are now found in Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China (including Hong Kong and Macau), Cyprus, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.
Currently there is one Starbucks store in The Netherlands. It is located in Hilversum inside the Dutch headquarters of Nike, Inc.. Though officially only available for Nike employees, some Starbucks fanatics manage to slip through security every once in a while. The first publicly available Starbucks store will open its doors in Schiphol international airport behind the passport check (airside), in the summer of 2007.
On April 17, 2007, Starbucks opened its first location in Romania, in Bucharest's Plaza Romania commercial center. The second location, also in Bucharest, is to be opened in Bucuresti Mall at the beginning of May, with a surface twice that of the first outlet. The expansion is set to continue throughout Romania until a total of 150 Starbucks locations will be available in Romania's most important cities.
In 1999, Starbucks opened its first store in mainland China, in Beijing's China World Trade Center. In 2000, it opened a store inside the Forbidden City (where Chinese emperors lived) in Beijing. In the same year, it also opened stores in Shanghai. In 2004, new Chinese regulations made it easier for Starbucks and other retailers to expand without local employees. In 2006, Starbucks opened more stores in China's major cities after buying a large local partner. In early 2007, there were reports indicating that Starbucks might be forced to withdraw from the Forbidden City. There are no Starbucks branches in the two provinces of China where coffee is grown, Yunnan and Hainan, though this may be simply because Starbucks' Chinese presence is heavily concentrated in the east of the country, stores in Chongqing and Chengdu being the only exceptions.
Starbucks stores serve a variety of brewed coffees, which change on a weekly basis in order to provide customers with an easy way to sample a variety of coffees and blends. Also served are an array of other hot drinks, both espresso-based (like lattes and cappuccinos) and non-espresso based (like hot chocolate, hot white chocolate, steamed cider, and "cremes", Starbucks' term for steamed milk with various flavored syrups added). During winter months the hot drinks are the main staple for Starbucks. However, during the warmer months most of its revenue does not come from coffee, but from Frappuccino blended coffees and blended cremes. These drinks are made from a base plus syrup and ice.
Most coffee drinks can be customized in some way (e.g. using skim milk instead of whole milk for a "nonfat" option, or mixing regular and decaffeinated coffee to make a "half-caf"). Flavored syrups and whipped cream can be added; cappuccinos can be made with more foam ("dry") or less foam ("wet"). Other options include "extra hot" and "soy."
Customers can choose from four cup sizes for hot drinks, or three cup sizes for cold drinks (including Frappuccinos):
Starbucks cup sizesSize name Volume
Short 8 fl oz. (236 ml)
Tall1 2 fl oz. (354 ml)
Iced Tall 12 fl oz. (354 ml)
Grande 16 fl oz. (473 ml)
Iced Grande 16 fl oz. (473 ml)
Venti 20 fl oz. (591 ml)
Iced Venti 24 fl oz. (710 ml)
Iced Venti cups have been upgraded to 26 fl oz. as of 4/07, at least at the Cafes that serve the Starbucks brand.
This is not true of the corporate stores, which still offer 24 oz. iced venti cups.
In China, only Short, Tall, and Grande sizes are available. There is no Venti size. In Japan, Venti size availability for hot drinks is limited to few stores. Customers may also simply order a "small, medium, or large" coffee. In certain Francophone markets, slightly different terminology is used for the drink sizes: in Quebec, Canada, Italian terms are used for all sizes (piccolo, mezzo, grande, venti), whereas French is used in France for all sizes except venti (petit, moyen, grande).
The lingo used at Starbucks is designed for efficient communication between employees and with customers while ordering drinks or "marking the cups." This is known as calling the drinks. There is a prescribed order in which to say each modifier, ending with the name of the drink itself. Ordering a drink may begin with whether or not the drink is iced, whether it is decaffeinated, the number of shots of espresso (if different from the standard recipe for that drink), the size of the cup, any flavoring added, the kind of milk requested, (e.g., non-fat milk, organic milk, breve, or soy milk), any additional customizations (e.g., no foam, extra hot) and finally the name of the beverage.
For example, the order of an iced latte, grande, with vanilla syrup, decaf, with whipped cream, nonfat milk, and an extra shot, would be called as an "Iced Decaf Triple Grande Vanilla Non-fat with whip Latte." In other words, one simply says "iced" if it is a cold beverage, or nothing if it is hot (the default), and then reads down the list of modifiers listed on the side of the cup.
When placing an order, one will often hear the cashier call the drink to the barista making the drinks, who will then call the drink back to the cashier to ensure accuracy.
If not otherwise specified, drinks are made hot, with espresso and whole milk (2% in some cities). The basis for all "bar" or espresso-based drinks is the latte, which consists of espresso, steamed milk, and a dollop of foamed milk. From there variations exist such as the cappuccino (with espresso, and a heavy cap of foam) and the caramel macchiato (with vanilla syrup, steamed milk, a 1/2 inch layer of foamed milk which is added so that it can "hold" the shots of espresso poured over top, and the caramel sauce in a cross-hatch pattern).
Starbucks is known for its signature Frappuccino, a flavored drink of coffee, milk and sugar blended with ice. The name is a portmanteau of “frappé” and “cappuccino,” and was introduced in 1995. There are two main types, blended crèmes and blended coffees, both of which contain milk. The coffee Frappuccino base comes in decaf and light (sweetened with Splenda and containing fewer calories). As of summer 2007, Crème Light Frappuccino base will be offered (fat free and with Splenda). The popularity of the Frappuccino is often credited to the many available variations including but not limited to:
Coffee Base: Mocha, Caramel, White Mocha, Java Chip, Cafe Vanilla, or any of the other syrups. Coffee Base Frappucinos are also available in decaf or Light, which uses nonfat milk and sucralose.
Crème Base (CBB or Crème Beverage Base): Vanilla Bean, Marble Chocolate, Double Chocolate Chip, Strawberry, White Mocha, Green Tea (usually blended with blackberry, or melon syrup), or any of the other syrups.
Non-Dairy Fruit Juice Blends: Tangerine/Passion Tea, Pomegranate/Green Tea, Blended Strawberry Lemonade.
Pomegranate Fruit Juice Blend is now discontinued. It will be sold until current amounts are depleted.
Seasonal Frappuccino variants are also available at certain times of year.
Starbucks has many flavor syrups that can be added to drinks. These include Almond, Caramel, Cinnamon, Coconut, Melon, Mocha, Peppermint, Raspberry, Sugar-Free Hazelnut, Sugar-Free Vanilla, Toffee Nut, Vanilla, and White Mocha in the United States. Most of these are available year-round. Some, however, can only be found on a seasonal basis. A short list can be found below:
Fall - Maple, Pumpkin Spice
Early Winter/Holiday - Gingerbread
Late Winter/Valentine's Day - Cinnamon Dolce, Sugar-Free Cinnamon Dolce
As of March 2007, Starbucks has decided to extend Cinnamon Dolce syrup (which is normally a seasonal flavor) to September 2007.
Spring - Dulce de Leche
Summer - Banana, Blackberry, Orange
Banana will not be offered in 2007.
Blackberry will also not be available in 2007
In summer 2007, Starbucks will be introducing a few new flavors:
replaces current Raspberry in some regions
replaces previously discontinued Valencia
Valencia is still available in some locations in the United States, though there are few left.
At stores in Seattle, Chicago, Maryland, Southern California, and many other areas, Starbucks is experimenting with hot breakfast options such as ham, egg, and cheese on a muffin and eggs Florentine sandwiches. Starting at the end of January 2007, many stores in New England will also carry what's called "warming." In May 2007, the Philadelphia market (the city of Philadelphia and surrounding suburbs) will also offer warming. Launch date for Philadelphia warming is Tuesday, May 22. With this addition of ovens in stores, Starbucks is also able to heat pastries and lunch sandwiches.
The breakfast sandwiches available in New England include:
Black Forest Ham, Egg and Cheddar
Sausage, Egg, and Cheese
Peppered Bacon, Egg, and Cheese
Reduced-fat Turkey Bacon, Eggs, and Cheese
Starbucks' whole-bean coffee is roasted in one of four roasting plants, located in Kent, Washington; York, Pennsylvania; Carson Valley, Nevada; and Amsterdam, Netherlands. These whole beans are packaged shortly after roasting and are shipped in air-tight bags which incorporate a pressure valve allowing the beans to continue to emit gases after packaging. The bags are also marked with an expiration date. Whole beans, and some varieties of packaged pre-ground beans, are available for purchase at all Starbucks store locations and in many grocery stores.
A Starbucks-licensed location in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
In general, Starbucks stores do not franchise within the United States with two exceptions. Starbucks store locations in airports, most of which are operated by HMSHost (formerly Host Marriott Services). HMSHost does not accept the Starbucks card, Starbucks coupons, or employee discounts. Starbucks Coffee locations in grocery stores are not Starbucks locations. They are owned by the grocery stores themselves and are considered licensed stores and thus are monitored by district managers. Starbucks cards and coupons are still accepted at theses stores but employee discounts are not. Internationally, however, Starbucks stores are generally operated by companies in which Starbucks holds a controlling interest. Starbucks owns 50% or less of the companies operating under licensing agreements in parts of Canada (Quebec and the Maritime provinces), Austria, the Bahamas, Bahrain, China (Beijing, Hong Kong/Macau, Taiwan, Shanghai ONLY. Other locations have Starbucks as the controlling owner), Cyprus, France, Greece, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Oman, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.
There are usually two to four baristas (or "partners," as Starbucks employees are called) in each store at any one time with at least one being a Shift Supervisor, Assistant Manager or Store manager, depending on the business volumes. Black aprons labeled "Coffee Master" are worn by employees who have completed the Coffee Master course and achieved a high standing during their certification, which educates employees in not only the tasting, but also growing, roasting and purchasing (including fair trade practices) aspects of the coffee industry. The exception lies in Massachusetts, where due to health codes partners are not allowed to don their own aprons, but most use ones laundered by an outside company at the beginning of every shift. Therefore, even though a partner may be a coffee master, they are only allowed to wear the standard green apron.
Starbucks offers full benefits such as health and vision insurance as well as stock-option grants and 401k with matching to employees who put in as few as 20 hours a week. As of 2007, Starbucks was voted as the 16th best company to work for in the United States, up from 29th in 2006. In 2005 it was voted the 11th best.
Starbucks' envisions local outlets as a "third place" (besides home and work) to spend time, and the stores are designed to make this easy and comfortable. The café section of the store is often outfitted with comfortable stuffed chairs and tables with hard-backed chairs. Most stores have ample electrical outlets providing free electricity for patrons using or charging their portable music devices or laptop computers. Most stores in the U.S. and in some other markets also have wireless Internet access. The connection is unsecured, and the charge for access varies by location.
The company is noted for its non-smoking policy at almost all of its outlets, despite predictions that this would never succeed in markets such as Germany, where there are otherwise few restrictions on smoking. Outlets in Vienna and Mexico City, which have smoking rooms separated by double doors from the coffee shop itself, and a smoking room upstairs in the Largo do Senado, Macau branch are the closest the company has come to making an exception. According to the company, the smoking ban is to ensure that the coffee aroma is not adulterated. The company also asks its employees to refrain from wearing strong perfumes for similar reasons. Starbucks generally does not prohibit smoking in outside seating areas, though most local health codes call for no smoking within 10-15 feet of the entrance.
Starbucks' corporate headquarters are in Seattle, Washington, United States. Currently the members of the company's board of directors are Jim Donald, Barbara Bass, Collin Mullahy, Bill Bradley, Mellody Hobson, Olden Lee, Greg Maffei, Howard Schultz, James Shennan, Javier Teruel, Robert Marsee, Myron Ullman, and Craig Weatherup.
Starbucks U.S. Brands, LLC, is a Starbucks owned company that currently holds and owns the property rights to approximately 120 Starbucks Coffee Company patents and trademarks. It is located at 2525 Starbucks Way in Minden, Nevada. Like most companies, Starbucks defends its trademarks.
Starbucks entered the music industry in 1999 with the aqcuisition of Hear Music, and the film industry in 2006 with the creation of Starbucks Entertainment. Starbucks Entertainment was one of the producers of the 2006 film Akeelah and the Bee. Retail stores heavily advertised the film before its release.
The company was in part named after Starbuck, the Chief Mate character in the book Moby-Dick, as well as a turn-of-the-century mining camp (Starbo or Storbo) on Mount Rainier. According to Howard Schultz's book Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time, the name of the company was derived from Moby-Dick, although not in as direct a fashion as many assume. Gordon Bowker liked the name "Pequod" (the ship in the novel), but his creative partner Terry Heckler heckled: "No one's going to drink a cup of Pee-quod!" Heckler suggested "Starbo." Brainstorming with these two ideas resulted in the company being named for the Pequod's first mate, Starbuck.
International names include:
Arabic-speaking countries: ستاربكس
China, Taiwan, Hong Kong: 星巴克 Pinyin: xīng bā kè
"星 xīng" means star, while "巴bā 克kè" is a transliteration of "-bucks"
South Korea: 스타벅스 transliteration (ss ta buk ss), often used in conjunction with the English name
Japan: スターバックス transliteration (sutaabakkusu)
Thailand: สตาร์บัคส์ transliteration (sa taa bak)
Modeled after a 15th century Norse woodcut, is a mixoparthenos, or "twin-tailed mermaid, or siren as she's known in Greek mythology". The logo has been streamlined over the years. In the first version, the Starbucks siren was topless and had a fully-visible double fish tail. In the second version, her chest was covered by her flowing hair, but her navel was still visible, and the fish tail was cropped slightly. In the current version, her navel and chest are not visible at all, and only vestiges remain of the fish tails. The original logo can still be seen on the Starbucks store in Seattle's Pike Place Market and on Starbucks Anniversary Blend 1 lb coffee bags.
At the beginning of September 2006, Starbucks temporarily reintroduced their original brown logo on paper hot beverage cups. Starbucks has stated that this was done to show the company's heritage from the Pacific Northwest and to celebrate 35 years of business, however the vintage logo has sparked some controversy due to the siren's bare chest. Recently, an elementary school principal in Kent, Washington, was reported as asking teachers to "cover up" the mermaid of the retro cups with a cup sleeve of some kind.
In 2000, San Francisco cartoonist Kieron Dwyer was sued by Starbucks for copyright and trademark infringement after creating a parody of its siren logo and putting it on coffee mugs, t-shirts and stickers that he sold on his website and at comic book conventions. Dwyer felt that since his work was a parody it was protected by his right to free speech under U.S. law. The judge agreed that Dwyer's work was a parody and thus enjoyed constitutional protection, however he was forbidden from financially profiting from using a "confusingly similar" image of the Starbucks siren logo. Dwyer is currently allowed to display the image as an expression of free speech, but he can no longer sell it.
In 2003, Starbucks successfully sued a Shanghai competitor in China for trademark infringement, because that chain stores used a green-and-white logo with a similar sounding Chinese name.
Main article: Hear Music
Hear Music is the brand name of Starbucks' retail music concept. Hear Music began as a catalog company in 1990 and was purchased by Starbucks in 1999. The Hear Music brand currently has five components:
the music that each location plays and the accompanying XM radio channel (XM 75)
in-store CD sales, including Starbucks exclusives
specially branded retail stores
sales through the iTunes Store
a record label co-owned by Starbucks and Concord Music Group
The first Starbucks Hear Music Coffeehouse is in Santa Monica, California, on the Third Street Promenade. Three more locations are at the River Walk in San Antonio (opened December 2005), South Beach in Miami, Florida (opened February 2006), and Bellevue Square in Bellevue, Washington (opened November 2006). The original Hear Music Store is located in Berkeley, California. Ten Starbucks locations in Seattle and Austin, Texas, also have Hear Music "media bars," kiosks that let customers create their own mix CDs. The music section in Chapters, a Canadian bookstore chain, was at one time a licensed version of the Hear Music concept, but Chapters no longer uses the brand name.
In March 2007 it was reported that Starbucks Corp. launched a record label based on the existing Hear Music brand. It will partner with Concord Music Group. They will sign their own artists and sell records through Starbucks stores and other retailers. On March 21, 2007 they announced that former Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney, will be the first musician to release an album with Hear Music.
Criticism and controversy
Since 2004, several Starbucks store employees in New York City have joined the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) as the Starbucks Workers Union. According to a Starbucks Union press release, since then, the union membership has begun expanding to Chicago and Maryland. On March 7, 2006, the IWW and Starbucks agreed to a National Labor Relations Board settlement in which three Starbucks workers were granted almost $2,000 in back wages, two fired employees were offered reinstatement. According to the Starbucks Union, on November 24, 2006, IWW members picketed Starbucks locations in more than 50 cities around the world in countries including Australia, Canada, Germany, Great Britain and New Zealand, as well as US cities including New York, Chicago, Minneapolis and San Francisco, to protest the firing of five Starbucks Workers Union organizers by Starbucks and to demand their reinstatement.
Some Starbucks baristas in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and the United States belong to a variety of unions.
In 2005, Starbucks paid out $165,000 to eight employees at its Kent, WA roasting plant to settle charges that they had been retaliated against for being pro-union. At the time, the plant workers were represented by the IUOE. Starbucks admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement.
A Starbucks strike happened in Auckland, New Zealand on November 23, 2005. Organised by Unite Union, workers sought secure hours, a minimum wage of NZ$12 an hour, and the abolition of youth rates. The company settled with the Union in 2006, resulting in pay increases, increased security of hours, and an improvement in youth rates.
According to Starbucks Chairman Howard Schulz, "If they had faith in me and my motives, they wouldn't need a union." According to the Seattle Times, "The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 286 had trouble with Starbucks at its Kent roasting plant, where the union no longer represents workers". In August 2006, a store in Vancouver de-unionized as the employees unanimously voted on the subject.
Starbucks has come to be regarded by some, particularly in the anti-globalization movement, as symbolic of the problems posed by globalization. Several activist groups maintain websites criticizing the company's fair-trade policies, labor relations, and environmental impact, and hold it as a prime example of U.S. cultural and economic imperialism. Several Starbucks locations were vandalized during the WTO meeting held in Seattle in late 1999. Although no organization claimed responsibility for the vandalism, the anarchist circle-A symbol was spraypainted on several stores. (see also WTO Ministerial Conference of 1999 protest activity).
Coffee bean market
Although it has endured much criticism for its purported monopoly on the global coffee-bean market, Starbucks only accounts for roughly two percent of global coffee production. In 2000, the company introduced a line of fair trade products and now offers three options for the socially conscious coffee drinker. According to Starbucks, they purchased 4.8 million pounds of Certified Fair Trade coffee in fiscal year 2004 and 11.5 million pounds in 2005. They have become the largest buyer of Certified Fair Trade coffee in North America (10% of the global market) and the only company licensed to sell Certified Fair Trade coffee in 23 countries. Transfair USA, the only third-party certifier of Fair Trade Certified coffee in the United States, has noted the impact Starbucks has made in the area of Fair Trade and coffee farmer's lives by saying:
“Since launching FTC coffee in 2000, Starbucks has undeniably made a significant contribution to family farmers through their rapidly growing FTC volumes. By offering FTC coffee in thousands of stores, Starbucks has also given the FTC label greater visibility, helping to raise consumer awareness in the process.
FTC coffee now represents 3.7% of all Starbucks coffee, up from less than 1% when the company began to offer FTC. Starbucks unlike many companies with whom we partner, makes FTC volume information public. ”
Groups such as Global Exchange are calling for Starbucks to further increase its sales of fair trade coffees. However, fair trade certification can cost $20,000 to $30,000, and many growers are unwilling or unable to pay for certification. As a result, the supply of fair trade coffee is increasing slowly, and Starbucks claims difficulty in finding fair trade growers that can meet its quality standards.
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