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Howard D. Schultz
Coffee, tea, or a frank discussion on race?
Coffee, tea, or a frank discussion on race?

Starbucks is easy to make fun of on its best days, what with the pretentious names for everyday items, never mind the ridiculously high prices for those same everyday items. Even the cashiers have fancy monikers -- "barista." The snootiness is by design, of course. And you can make fun of it all you want; it's worked. Using many of the same techniques realtors have employed to hawk borderline tenements as unique gateways to the urban experience,Starbucks has managed to educate the consumer that it's OK to pay through the nose for what used to be a "cuppa joe." Even that slightly burnt taste is spun as a feature, not a bug. We're subtly informed,...