Coffee – Starbucks & Culture

With Starbucks in the UK news recently in regards to leaching off society by not paying its fair share of tax I thought I would write an entry about one of my passions; coffee.

Some time ago I bought a book called ‘The connoisseur’s guide to coffee’ by Jon Thorn and Michael Segal. It’s an interesting book with information about coffee from around the world, from the history, growing, production to various consumption methods.

One thing I noticed about the book was how many times Starbucks was mentioned, it seems that in the US at least Starbucks is seen as top-end coffee (is this true?!?)

I like Starbucks coffee, I’d describe it as good coffee but that’s all, not great, not fantastic, just good.

It’s not that I want to go down the anti-capitalist route of corporate chains are awful and independent cafés are by far the best (at least in Turkey this is certainly not true). I care about what tastes good and what I am willing to pay for.

Since I now live in Turkey getting hold of coffee that isn’t in a sachet (like nescafe 2-in-1) or Turkish style (Turkish coffee is like a double espresso shot filled with sand) is extremely difficult, the choices are very limited. This originally had me in Starbucks at pretty much every opportunity however since I now have filter, grinder and espresso machines at home, honing my barista skills I find myself rarely going to Starbucks, quite frankly I can make better myself, pop it into a flask and I’m away.

Turkey just doesn’t have a coffee culture, probably like the US and to a lesser extent the UK.

If anyone from the US reads this I would really appreciate any feedback in regards to Starbucks’ coffee (in terms of coffee quality) and US coffee culture in general.

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