More Than Just Espresso At Starbucks 438 Summary: In recent years the coffee culture in America has exploded, no doubt encouraged by TV programs such as Friends, where the coffee house is the central location for the characters to meet up. Whoever had the initial concept for coffee shop franchises such as Starbucks were onto an immediate winner. The coffee makers in these places are constantly in use and the queues that build up during the lunch break donít seem to put anybody off. Coffee houses have become the new places ... coffee makers, espresso In recent years the coffee culture in America has exploded, no doubt encouraged by TV programs such as Friends, where the coffee house is the central location for the characters to meet up. Whoever had the initial concept for coffee shop franchises such as Starbucks were onto an immediate winner. The coffee makers in these places are constantly in use and the queues that build up during the lunch break donít seem to put anybody off. Coffee houses have become the new places to be seen, oh and to have a cup of coffee while you are there. Starbucks, you either love it or you hate it, and if you love it you canít possibly imagine any other reaction. Where else can you get such a selection of coffee and general hot drink varieties, along with a delectable range of sandwiches and sticky desserts at such reasonable prices? All in ultimate comfort too as Starbucks outlets are filled with comfy sofas and armchairs. Almost every town centre, shopping mall, highway service area or train station now has a handy Starbucks outlet, not just in the US, but all over Europe and a number of other parts of the world. Perhaps herein lays the problem. The widespread success of Starbucks, and similar coffee shop franchises, has all but obliterated the small independent coffee shops that used to be the main venues for caffeine consumption. In many European cities, Starbucks have bought up smaller independent cafes, traded in them for a while until they have gained a monopoly in that area, and then closed some down, leaving open just the larger outlets, with a higher turnover. Your options for coffee drinking in many towns are now Starbucks or, well, Starbucks! Some people find it frustrating that wherever you go in the world, you are confronted with the same coffee shop as you have in your local shopping mall or high street. When you visit another country, you want to spend some time soaking up the local culture, rather than the identikit dťcor of a Starbucks coffee shop which you can see every day at home. Odd then, that so many who are openly hostile to the Starbucks concept can be caught sneaking a quick gingerbread latte at Christmastime or a double strength espresso to give them the necessary lift on the way to the office. Perhaps, like most of us they are unable to resist the decadent cheesecakes on offer, or maybe they really do value the convenience of being able to buy their favourite cup of coffee no matter where in the world they end up.

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