Society stuck on Starbucks

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By Camille Sweeney-Carter

Illustration by Camille Sweeney-Carter

It’s brown, has caffeine, and is accessible in almost every nook and cranny of this highly urbanized world: coffee.

The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, The Madhouse Coffee, Peet’s Coffee and Tea, Bad Owl Coffee, and countless other establishments are often visited by people who desire to purchase their dose of caffeine when a long day is ahead. But, the most visited of them all is the one and only, Starbucks Coffee.

Starbucks opened in 1971 in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Starbucks eventually expanded into an international chain franchise. They began to open a vast amount of stores in places throughout the U.S. and expanded to places such as Austria, Germany, Greece, Chile, Turkey, Egypt, and France. By 2015, they had a total of 22,519 stores scattered around the planet.

Starbucks Coffee is a go-to spot for anyone who wants a cup of coffee, whether they prefer it hot or cold. However, it has become especially popular among teenagers.

Every single person at this school has bought from, been to, or heard of Starbucks Coffee. Kids holding cups with the franchise’s iconic logo can be seen walking around campus before, during, and after school. The coffee shop is in practically every shopping mall in the Henderson area and visited by those eager to get their hands on an ice-cold frappuccino, a simple espresso, or an iconic pumpkin spice latte.

Even though Starbucks may be expansive, abundant, and popular, it doesn’t have the best tasting coffee in the world or any health benefits to drinking its products. In fact, when the phrase “best coffee place in the world” is searched, Starbucks isn’t anywhere near the top. Most of its drinks aren’t below 120 calories, which poses some serious health concerns for most people. They are overpriced: a little cake pop costs $1.95, for goodness sake. So, if it isn’t the best tasting, it’s not healthy, and it isn’t exactly the most affordable, then why do so many people, especially teenagers, seem to flock to it?

In this day and age, going to Starbucks has turned into a trend rather than a time to enjoy a good brew. Some might say that if a student comes to school with a grande frappuccino in-hand, they’re cool. Some kids even go so far as to post pictures of their drinks every day on social media. A few teens go even further than that, and after putting their drink through a celebrity photoshoot, they don’t even bother to consume it. As long as they have shared the picture with the entire world, they are satisfied. Drinks can be used to tie together outfits, similar to how a nice pair of converse or a jean jacket would. Essentially, Starbucks is a fashion statement.

Additionally, the fact that caffeine is a drug should also be noted. Just like other more harmful drugs such as cocaine and nicotine, this substance, one of the main ingredients in coffee, is addictive. It’s not unusual for a full-time coffee drinker to return time and time again, soon becoming a java junky. Caffeine fills the body with energy, and most people like the ecstasy of feeling like they can get through their day. So, what is a person to do when they want their delicious daily dose of decadent drugs in a cup, but don’t want to make it at home? They go to a place that’s easily accessible. Since that famous mermaid on the green logo is staring at them every time they turn around, Starbucks is the place people go for their daily cup of joe.

This enormous coffee chain has dug its roots into areas all across the globe. There is no doubt that it has become one of the most well-known coffee franchises in the world. Whether people’s motives for visiting are to purchase a drink or other item, such as a cake pop or scone, to study, do homework, or to simply hang out with friends, Starbucks has no problem with business. It may have it’s flaws, but people will still be visiting the go-to establishment in the foreseeable future.