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Can you name 3 things you like about Starbucks?

I know Starbucks gets bashed alot on these boards, but if we can put aside the collective animosity towards this place for a moment, anyone care to list their Top 3 favorite attributes of Starbucks?

I'll start:

1. Great service, incl. grinding my non-Starbucks coffee beans.

2. Good selection of tchotchkes for those last minute gifts.

3. Free air-conditionining (if you were like me stuck in SoCal where it was a "cool" 95 F on Saturday night at 10 pm, you'll know what I mean ...)

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  1. 1. They're everywhere and the coffee is consistent.
    2. They have wi-fi, at least the ones I've been into.
    3. They have good employee benefits.

    As you can probably tell I'm not a great fan of their coffee.

    1. I'll offer one:

      1. Clean bathrooms.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Melanie Wong

        Well, the last one I went into (at the Prunedale Shopping Center) wasn't that clean...but yes, at least there are bathrooms!

      2. 1. Clean bathrooms that usually work
        2. Generally nice service
        3. Good A/C

        1. 1. Iced lattes, preferably skim milk - I'm sorry to the nay sayers but while I dislike their regular iced coffee, I think the iced lattes come out really yummy, good espresso/milk ratios, or good espresso for icing, I don't know what it is - just my taste I guess.

          2. I do enjoy the shaken iced tea lemonade - the passion one, but without sugar.

          3. Unusually good service nearly all of the time.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sivyaleah

            I agree! The iced lattes are better- but I prefer them made with 2%. They do usually have excellent employees. Is it from all the caffeine? Or what? They are soooo friendly and happy. Sometimes my barista sings to me! I also love the music they play and have available.

          2. 1. the chai lattes, made with soy milk. i'm addicted. i've tried the versions at all of my local non-chain coffee places, but they're just not the same. they all seem to be made with a mix that's either too sweet or too bland.

            2. the service. the employees at the one near my office do an amazing job during the morning rush of moving people through in an efficient yet friendly manner.

            3. they sell records. a lot of records. i'm in the music business and we need all the help we can get.

            2 Replies
            1. re: cookie monster

              i agree about the chai lattes with soy milk-every other coffee place just doesnt get the combination right! maybe it's the kind of soy milk they use, or maybe it's the chai base...whatever it is, starbucks is the only place that's got the right formula!

              1. re: Jess321

                I also think they have the best soy chai lattes. They use Tazo chai mix and Silk vanilla soy and it's the best. I've sampled chai lattes at many others and they just don't compare. Seattle's Best uses the same ingredients, but they just don't taste as good. It must be the milk to chai ratio. The green tea soy lattes at Starbucks are also very good, especially the iced version.

            2. 1. Good frozen fraps. Yes, yes, I know they're horrible for you, but in the summertime, they really hit the spot.

              2. A decent, quick makeshift chill spot. Since they're all over the place, you know what you're getting when you walk inside one. And if I'm walking around Manhattan and need to cool place where I can just sit for a minute, seeing a Starbucks can actually be a pleasant sight.

              Only got 2 :-)

              1. 1) They don't balk or overcharge for a venti drip double cup that my boyfriend and I split and make cafe au lait out of.

                2)Love the reduced fat blueberry cake (amazing).

                3)Friendly service and fast generally.

                1. I'm not a coffee drinker but I like the green tea lemonaide thingies too. They give me their used coffee grounds for my compost pile and, generally, try to be as green as customers allow. Their customer satisfaction responses are pretty damned good — especially if they're not slammed by a huge early morning crowd. They've redone lattes for me several times until they were right. They've replaced broken parts of merchandise. And (so sue me for #4) their community support efforts are also fine and very welcome.

                  1. 1 - understanding that a 50-year old will NEVER call it anything other than a "large coffee" and enjoying it
                    2 - seeing the faces on the college kids when i explain to them that they will have to borrow an additional $20,000 over college and graduate school by ordering $4.50 latte, grande, poopay drinks
                    3 - the service behind the counter is normally fantastic

                    1. 1) They don't hassle you if you need to kill some time and don't order anything. (My ex used to work across from a Starbucks and I'd periodically be in there reading w/out ordering a thing.)
                      2) They let you use their bathroom, no problem.

                      Both of these are very convenient attributes for a chain all over Manhattan. I don't like their coffee, but they do make life easier.

                      1. 1: Honestly, people complain about the prices, but I never order anything but regular coffee or red-eyes (coffee with shot of expresso) in there so, to be truthful, in a pinch I would much rather pay twice as much as one would at a diner or gas station to get a decent cup of coffee. I really have no idea about the other prices because I never order anything else.
                        2: As other mentioned, the employees are generally friendly and polite, and let you sit there for long periods of time without ordering, etc. And even if you do not order, they will let you use the bathroom.
                        3: I don't know if anyone here has ever bought any of the special coffees they have whole-bean there and drank them at home, but some of them are often quite good.

                        1. 1) Tazo tea

                          2) little bottles of Pellegrino

                          3) filtered tap water!

                          1. I personally think Starbucks is overrated, and I am NOT a big fan of most of their products (notably their frappucinos and lattes, which I think are positively disgusting). Nevertheless, the chain does have its strong points.

                            1) Starbucks is socially conscious and socially responsible.

                            2) Starbucks is (or was, rather) really innovative. They serve as a model for the now many other Starbucks clones/wannabes.

                            3) The ubiquitousness of the chain (this can be both a good and bad thing).

                            1. 1. The amazing air conditioning.
                              2. The bathrooms. Clean and free.
                              3. They make a single cup reuseable coffee filter/strainer thingy that I bought in a Starbucks in Japan.

                              1. 1) You can use their bathrooms without the usual "did you buy anything" this trip hassle that you get everyplace else.

                                2) You can give a five minute long order to the server and they can repeat it without fail.

                                3) Unlike most people in the service industry, the people are friendly and have a great attitude.

                                1. This is funny!!!!! Looks like the general consensus is "clean, free, hassle free bathrooms"! Poor Howard Schultz would die to read this...........

                                  As for me:

                                  Dig the French Roast beans

                                  Lemon cake with icing on one side

                                  CD comilations of Jimi Hendrix and Hear Music discs

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: MalibuAly

                                    I'm not sure he would die; I bet it's no accident. Decades ago, when US highways were more common than interstates, the typical family roadtrip vacation pit stops were at diners or gas stations where the degree of cleanliness varied greatly! MacDonald's and Howard Johnson's realized that predictably clean restrooms would lure customers, and capitalized on the information. Maybe Starbucks read the old playbook on that one!

                                  2. 1. Starbucks understands iced beverages, and they are not an afterhought. In particular, cold drinks are served cold, and iced coffees are made at extra strength to compensate for the inevitable melting of ice.

                                    2. 50 cent refills on non-labor-intensive coffees.

                                    3. Excellent service, partly produced by treating them with some respect. I particularly admire Schulz's insistence on comprehensive health benefits for workers. "My" Starbucks employs many young, single mothers. Starbucks's policies allow them to work full- or part-time jobs AND go to school, and provides them a safety net in case of an emergency.

                                    1. 1) I like their coffee.
                                      2) They're usually easy to find.
                                      3) They usually move their lines quickly, even when there are long lines. (All 3, for me, are pluses versus Coffee Bean here in LA)

                                      1. 1. They have the best chain coffee that is open outside of normal business hours. It's 6 am they are open. It is late, they are open. The local coffee shops often are not.

                                        2. If they still have them, the cupcakes

                                        3. Until last year, the gingerbread lattes. Here's hoping this year they return to the old recipe.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: rworange

                                          I liked those gingerbread lattes too :-)

                                          1. asiago & sundried tomato focaccia. mmm.
                                            consistently good service with a smile at the one i frequent
                                            the ground cinnamon available at the milk/sweetener station

                                            1. 1) Decaf Chai (since I don't drink coffee).
                                              2) Very good caramels - large enough to make two bites.
                                              3) Cheerful service - especially welcome in the morning when you didn't get great sleep and it was hard to haul yourself up to go to work.

                                              1. 1) The Double Shot cans, and now the Light Double Shot cans. I frequently drive across country -- these are a perfect alternative in places where the only other coffee is the free, weak crap that's been sitting on the heating element all day at the truckstop. You can get them pretty much anywhere now.

                                                2) See #1.

                                                3) See #2.

                                                1. 1) fresh double chocolate croissant that doesn't leave a buttery film around your mouth
                                                  2) good music selection - I hate coffee shops that play the radio because in the morning, it's ALL commercials
                                                  3) The coffee is always hot - sucks to be Mickey Dee's

                                                  1. 1) They treat their employees relatively well.

                                                    2) Better customer service than anyplace I can think of for a purchase under 10 dollars.

                                                    Could there be a cause/effect thing between 1 & 2 ? !

                                                    3) They *try* to offer fair trade coffee... though the nature of the beast (giant Starbucks demand, tiny farms) makes it nearly impossible to do so consistently.

                                                    4) ##Bonus## Green Tea Lemonade, great on a hot day.

                                                    Can I say what I don't like? The sickly sweet smell of strong coffee and all those syrups. I'll never linger at Starbucks.

                                                    1. 1 - They understand design and take it seriously. Starbucks succeeded initially, I think, because they were comfortable places to hang out. The so-called 3rd space (a place to be that was not home and was not work). That consistently comfortable lighting and chairs means that, while I tend to try local coffee places when I travel, if I need to sit and work on the road somewhere, I am likely to pop in at Starbucks.

                                                      2 - Burnt coffee. If that is a slur, I embrace it. I like it. Maybe Starbucks is the reason I developed that taste, but I don't think so - I love burnt vegetables off of a grill too.

                                                      3 - Yeah, I am a sucker for the cold weather drinks - Egg Nog and Gingerbread lattes. I suck up enough sugar syrup during the few months when Starbucks carries these drinks to last me throughout the year.

                                                      Bonus #4 - I LOVE my huge Starbucks mug that I bought in Bangkok before I moved back to the US. The overall great design and the Thai warrior guardians on the mug remind me of my wonderful time in Bangkok (now, if only the Los Angeles mugs were as nice)...

                                                      1. 1) free straws in abundance: the green ones are longer and sturdier than most and can withstand chewing (kinda weird, I know)
                                                        2) free wi-fi at most
                                                        3) AC/bathrooms at most

                                                        but I still avoid them unless it's to duck in for straws :/

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: PseudoNerd

                                                          I had a friend who went through a lot of straws (limited hand deftness) and her favorite straws were always the ones from Starbuck's. She would take a few when she went in for morning coffee, but one day she asked where they got theirs from and the clerk just gave her a whole bunch. So yes, friendly service )and clean bathrooms!)

                                                        2. 1. They draw the crowds away from the better coffee joints.
                                                          2. They provide employment to people who need a job.
                                                          3. They keep the crowding down at their own shops, by having one on every corner.

                                                          1. 1)located at all rest stops on I-95 through Maryland and Delaware.
                                                            2) Customer service. At one of the rest stops I was waiting in line and observed a busload of school kids being told that they were not allowed to have the drinks that they had ordered from Starbucks. Without complaint Starbuck refunded their money and dispose of the drinks. And the customers in line did not have any extra wait.
                                                            3) Dependable and uniform.

                                                            1. 1. Consistently fresh drip coffee, cross country. If it is 1 hour old, it is tossed and a new pot is made.
                                                              2. Great marketing. Here in Southern California, with the highest fuel prices in the US, there is always a line in the ones with a drive through...yesterday I counted 7 SUVs waiting...for a beverage...nobody should complain about supply and demand...for beverages or for fuel...
                                                              3. Consistent music (XM radio in every one) along with clean bathrooms and air conditioning...

                                                              1. clean

                                                                pleasant help

                                                                free coffee grounds to use on my hydrangeas and camellias

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: toodie jane

                                                                  Ditto on the free coffee grounds ... not sure why more places don't offer this ...

                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                    Peet's will also save coffee grounds for gardeners, but they tend to close earlier, so it might be more difficult to pick them up.

                                                                2. 1) My local one has the most awesome/perky barista guy! (though I imagine grumpier morning folks would be tempted to punch him in the nose.)

                                                                  2) The Peppermint syrup there is perfect (The mint americanos I order elsewhere is no comparison...)

                                                                  3) Their Black Apron line of coffees, the only beans I'll actually buy from them since it seems to be more socially responsible (otherwise I'd do it through Peet's, Green Mountain or Peace Coffee).

                                                                  1. 1. madeleine cookies in a bag
                                                                    2. almond non-fat latte-just syrup that they add to non-fat latte, extra charge
                                                                    3. gift cards (good gift for many people)

                                                                    1. I'm not a coffee drinker, but here are my three:

                                                                      1) You can always find one (which makes my husband happy if we can't find another place for his morning fix)
                                                                      2) While he's ordering his coffee I can use the bathroom (which are generally clean).
                                                                      3) Someone is always leaving newspapers at the tables, so if we're actually going to sit down, there's free reading material.

                                                                      1. 1) Customer Service -- Never had a rude/ indifferent/ mean server.

                                                                        2) Consistency of Product -- it tastes the same anywhere in the world!

                                                                        3) Availablity -- they're everywhere!

                                                                        1. The coffee. And the coffee. And, oh yeah, the coffee.

                                                                          1. Frozen Drinks rock in the summer

                                                                            Always good

                                                                            Good music and easy to find

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: thaifoodie

                                                                              Yes, that caramel frappacino thing. Yum!

                                                                              And in the winter, the pumpkin latte!


                                                                            2. 1. If I go work out early on my day off, then afterwards I can go do my grocery shopping nearby, get a Starbucks coffee from the kiosk in the grocery store, and not have to take time to make coffee when I get home. There is something to be said for a place that is ubiquitous and convenient.

                                                                              2. Mocha frappacino. (sp?)

                                                                              3. Most people are happy to receive Starbucks gift cards, which makes little gifts for coworkers, etc. easy.

                                                                              1. 1. Can easily find a Starbucks anywhere you go, it seems, even overseas.
                                                                                2. Their coffee has more caffeine than the other chains (such as Dunkin Donuts) - a BIG deal for me
                                                                                3. They sometimes have free tastings/giveaways, like the free tall iced coffee promotion they had last week in New York City.

                                                                                1. 1. Two locations on I-5 between L.A. and the Bay Area: just past the Grapevine and in Buttonwillow. Perfect for the northbound traveler about an hour or so out of L.A. What a great thing to have Starbucks on I-5! Until they came along, we were stuck with gas station / truck stop coffee. And they have clean restrooms - sometimes hard to find along I-5.
                                                                                  2. The store near Oakland Airport (OAK) on Hegenberger Road. Great for a pick-me-up before a flight. And to use the restroom.
                                                                                  3. The store on Pass Ave. in Burbank just north of the Ventura Fwy. (134) on the way to Burbank Airport (BUR). Another coffee stop before a flight.
                                                                                  3. Blue Note Blend CD's for sale at the counter - straight-ahead jazz compilations from Blue Note Records only sold at Starbucks. Sold as an advertising gimmick along with a coffee called Blue Note Blend about 10 years ago. I just bought the CDs. Some of my favorite CDs.

                                                                                  My one complaint: Most Starbucks seem to have an overbearing smell of burnt coffee when you enter the store. Other coffee chains don't have that.

                                                                                  In L.A., I prefer Coffee Bean or Peet's but Starbucks works in a pinch. I prefer Coffee Bean's ice-blended drinks.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: MarshRat

                                                                                    FYI, there's one in the Albertsons at Verdugo and Hollywood, closer to the airport and with better parking -- and there's a Western Bagel in the same plaza, so you don't have to eat their pastries (which they do NOT do well).

                                                                                  2. Starbucks is my consistent favorite. I have my 'special' places I like to treat myself for creamier lattes and savory mocha's. But here is my top 3 or 4.

                                                                                    1. Double Tall, Non-Fat, Caramel Macchiato's

                                                                                    2. They know me and my drink order in at least 3 of the Starbucks I frequent.

                                                                                    3. I can correct them if they mistakenly use whole milk instead of Non-Fat (shut up because you swear you hate non-fat milk cause it tastes like water) and they make my drink over again with an apology instead of a sigh and a question mark over their heads.

                                                                                    4. 24-hour drive thru window - yeah I know I cheated, but it helped a lot when I worked grave yard.

                                                                                    As far as the bathrooms are concerned, they're so clean. I would totally plan a road trip with Starbuck/Bathroom stops.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. 1) Consistent drinks.
                                                                                      2) Iced lattes with caramel sauce (not syrup) added at the end so that it sits at the bottom and gets sucked up with the drink. So tasty to have the sweet caramel and bitter coffee mix in your mouth. And the caramel gets thick from the cold, which gives it an interesting texture as well.
                                                                                      3) Their iced mochas are the best I've found for adding orange peel to. Probably because they're on the sweet side. Anytime I know I am going to be stuck with only Starbucks available for coffee, I pack an orange and my peeler so I can make myself an orange iced mocha. I think this is my favorite coffee drink ever. I know they have some sort of orange syrup there, but it's not the same at all.

                                                                                      I hate their drip coffee, but I do love the green straws.

                                                                                      1. Starbucks isn't the devil. It's all over, which makes it wasy to hate, I'll give you that.

                                                                                        1. They're nice to their employees and give you health insurance even if you work even ten hours a week.

                                                                                        2. The bathroom is always at least usable.

                                                                                        3. I really like the light vanilla frappucinos.

                                                                                        1. 1. You can buy a cup of coffee and hang out for as long as you want to w/o the staff giving you the evil eye or feeling pressured to order more things.

                                                                                          2. It's comfortable.

                                                                                          3. 3 words: Java Chip Frappucino!

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: gloriousfood

                                                                                            >> 3. 3 words: Java Chip Frappucino!

                                                                                            Put a shot of mint syrup in it, and you're really onto something great!

                                                                                            Try a cappucino brownie with your next one, and you'll hear angels singing.

                                                                                          2. 1. I love the coffee. I don't care what anyone else thinks.

                                                                                            2. They take old banks, etc. and turn them into nice CLEAN places to get coffee.

                                                                                            3. Friendly, no "I'm so cool" attitude.

                                                                                            1. The #1 thing you get from Starbucks is also the key to McDonald's success and that is a known commodity. Wherever you go around the world, you know what you are getting. It might not be the best you have ever had, but you do know what you are going to get. Sometimes you are in the mood for something different and sometimes you just want something you can count on. That is what Startbucks sells.

                                                                                              1. 3 words: pumpkin spice latte. so good for some reason. i was addicted to it last year.

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: jon

                                                                                                  Mmm, I'd forgotten about that! Can't wait til Fall when they put that back on the menu!


                                                                                                  1. re: TexasToast

                                                                                                    There's a pumpkin spice latte addict waiting for me at home, and I get to tell him that they're available starting TODAY!

                                                                                                2. I have auto reload on my card and they just added $15 for 'being loyal'.

                                                                                                  My friend merely registered her card and they added $10 to hers.

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Cathy

                                                                                                    Like a crack dealer, they keep giving you just a little bit more until you're addicted and can't stop!


                                                                                                    1. re: TexasToast

                                                                                                      Yeah, TT...but all I ever get there is a tall coffee of the day...in a "for here" cup, so they have to wash it...they aren't making money on me, per se...except that i go there for a fresh cup o' waaaay too often....

                                                                                                  2. 1. Double tall Soy Latte
                                                                                                    2. Starbucks coffee cards
                                                                                                    3. As a stockholder,they send me a free Starbucks card every year!

                                                                                                    1. At least they have some tea.


                                                                                                      They help keep the unemployment figures down.

                                                                                                      1. health insurance for employee and life partner while only working 20hrs a week

                                                                                                        consistently good coffee

                                                                                                        quick register skills

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: schofiek

                                                                                                          According to today's Times, they also have a 'Lactation' room at their Seattle HQs for breastfeeding mothers. Sadly, not for the store clerks.

                                                                                                          I love their gingerbread with yogurt topping that comes out around Xmas.

                                                                                                        2. I never go to Starbucks, but...I like their Tarragon Chicken sandwiches. And I am not a sandwich fan either.

                                                                                                          The little bear finger puppets they used to sell.

                                                                                                          They always tell you what kind of neighborhood you're in.

                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: mrsry

                                                                                                            "They always tell you what kind of neighborhood you're in."

                                                                                                            I'm intrigued by this statement, mrsry... what did you mean?

                                                                                                            The reason I ask is that there is actually something a little bit comforting about seeing a Starbucks in an area, that it's either OK or well on the way.

                                                                                                            The only freestanding Starbucks for five miles in any direction from my house is about three blocks away... and oddly enough, it's in the middle of the "nice" area of western North Hollywood.

                                                                                                            1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                              I totally know what you mean...here in NYC, it's the sign that your neighborhood has "gentrified".

                                                                                                              1. re: haleyjen

                                                                                                                Not true. There has been a Starbucks on 125th street in Harlem for the longest time, long before it started to gentrify. But there are areas in Queens that still don't have any SB within 5 miles. It's all about traffic, foot and motor, IMO.

                                                                                                                A good sign of a relative 'safety' in NYC is a bank branch, especially of Chase. Chase doesn't go to areas where there is not much small business (restaurants, shops etc.)

                                                                                                          2. 1. its my mark of civilization. We finally got one 20 minutes from me; it just opened a few days ago. Now I don't live in nowheresville anymore.
                                                                                                            2. I like the coffee just fine. I tell them to give me their not-so-strong and I like the way they ask me whether I need room for cream (oh, yes, please).
                                                                                                            3. They sell the daily papers there so there's something to read while you're hanging out, waiting for whatever you're going to do next.

                                                                                                            1. One new reason to like Starbucks. The pumpkin donuts that they are selling right now. They are as good as any I can find in Manhattan right now. (I'm not sure if they are a regional item or not).

                                                                                                              1. The service is uniformly excellent.

                                                                                                                The employees are well-treated by the company.

                                                                                                                And ... truly I'm in awe of Starbucks as a concept. Starbucks sells an addictive beverage at an incredible mark-up. Caffeine is a totally addicted drug and Starbucks has found a way to sell millions and millions of cups of coffee at what must be an incredible profit. I cup of coffee that goes for a buck and a half must cost them a dime, plus some overhead.

                                                                                                                And they do what they do consistently, so those who go into any Starbucks find a comforting experience.

                                                                                                                I also think that, as major corporations go, they are decent citizens. I think they recycle. As above, they treat their employees fairly. They keep their stores clean. I'm not sure abuot this, but I believe (and correct me if I'm wrong) that they are fair with their coffee suppliers in other countries.

                                                                                                                They have good taste in music, by and large and the company gives to charity.

                                                                                                                I sometimes have an almost knee-jerk distrust of anything as big and as ubiquitous as Starbucks, but I've come to admire that company.

                                                                                                                As for the coffee itself ... it's fine. It's not the best, but a tall drip with a little vanilla soy is fine. I actually prefer CB&TL and Tanner's and a few others just based on coffee flavor, but I'll drink Starbucks if it is the only thing around.

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: PaulF

                                                                                                                  Actually, it costs them next to nothing as SB invests very heavily in coffee futures.


                                                                                                                2. The one that is nearest to me is 12-15 miles away!

                                                                                                                  However, I must disclose that I don't drink coffee.

                                                                                                                  1. •They employ my roommate which allows him to pay rent.
                                                                                                                    •They don't hassle you if you don't buy anything, sometimes even if you are in a state that other customers may find offensive. And free ice water.
                                                                                                                    •They helped start the better coffee craze in America which has led to the creation of a lot of great coffee places in places which may have never imagined having espresso drinks readily available.

                                                                                                                    1. 1. Before Starbucks opened in Japan, there weren't any non-smoking coffee shops (and very few restaurants - mostly of the health-food variety). Everyone thought it was commercial suicide to open a non-smoking establishment. Starbucks went ahead and did it anyway, and they were hugely successful, proving that there was demand, and other places followed suit (at least to the point of having no-smoking sections). Thank you, Starbucks.

                                                                                                                      2. You can buy a banana at the counter for less than the price of a cookie and have a healthy snack with your drink.

                                                                                                                      3. Health insurance for employees.

                                                                                                                      1. 1. Hot chocolate

                                                                                                                        2. Treatment of the employees

                                                                                                                        3. "Our" Starbucks has the most neighborhood vibe of any of our local coffee places. My SO and I try to avoid chains in general, but none of the local independent coffee houses offer the same level of service, quality of product, and warm friendly vibe as our nearby Starbucks.

                                                                                                                        1. They are always willing to break open a bag of beans and give me the amount I want, if I want to try a new type. Treat myself to a double expresso latte, sometimes. But, honestly, I make better cafe cubano at home, and I prefer my own coffee maker--coffee doesn't taste the same five minutes after it is brewed!
                                                                                                                          Starbucks also has gone down in quality in the last few years. The Sumatra, when it first came out, was great! Now, it tastes too harsh and even "burned". I switched over to the Verona.
                                                                                                                          Actually, Newman's Own, whole bean, French Roast is less expensive, can be found in my Publix grocery store, and is very, very good. (my taste, of course)

                                                                                                                          1. Music def
                                                                                                                            If you time it just right you can get the end of the bakery run for free
                                                                                                                            Iced Chai just the way I like it

                                                                                                                            1. I can think of alot more than 3:

                                                                                                                              consistent coffee
                                                                                                                              good (but not great) pastries when in need of something sweet
                                                                                                                              friendly employees
                                                                                                                              named after a character in a classic american novel
                                                                                                                              great 'stuff' to buy whether it's coffee paraphanelia or otherwise
                                                                                                                              great selection of cd's
                                                                                                                              the "doubleshot" in the can
                                                                                                                              inventive and clever gift cards that are always changing with the seasons
                                                                                                                              a question of the day where if you get it right, you are rewarded with a free tall coffee; if nothing else, i learned something new that day

                                                                                                                              so there you have it. starbucks is my go-to, workday stop as it's on my way into the office. when i have a bit more time on the weekends, it's Peets all the way.

                                                                                                                              1. White Chocolate Mocha!

                                                                                                                                That's three things, right?


                                                                                                                                1. It all depends on what you want.
                                                                                                                                  If you want consistency and convenience, Starbucks.
                                                                                                                                  If you want higher quality, better taste, try a local place like (in my area) Keans or Laguna Coffee.