Gloabalisation gets a bad press these days. Starbucks too. The joke goes that they’ll put one anywhere they can buy land…even in a car park. Even in a Starbucks car park. But I like Starbucks. In fact, even though more fashionable coffee shop chains are now about and doing business in Mexico City, the Italian Coffee Company for example, I still prefer Starbucks. They changed the way I drink my coffee when I’m out, and for the better.
When I go into a Starbucks, I know exactly what I’m going to get. A Cafe Latte that will taste the same as the last time I drank one. And taste good too. A nice brownie or cake. And most importantly of all, a comfy armchair to sit in, with a table that is just the right height in front of me. Free Wi Fi. A copy of the days paper. The decor is dark, but warm and cosy. It’s also reasonably muted. You can recognize it instantly, but it doesn’t have the lights and glare of a McDonalds that overpowers the neighbourhood. It just fits in. They have music too, but it’s soft and pleasant. Loud enough to give a little atmosphere, quiet enough for conversation without raising your voice.
And whilst it’s true that when you’re in a Starbucks you could be anywhere in the world, I like that. Maybe I want to pretend I’m in the Strabucks round the corner from the British Museum in London today. Or in Milwaukee. Or New York. Today I had a Big Apple Pie (oooh, another bonus – English words!) with my latte, in a Starbucks on Reforma. I drank my coffee in comfort, and watched the world go by. Why so many people hate Starbucks is beyond me.