America’s latest addiction

I admit I am one who has fallen victim to a drug that has taken over our country. Whether we need a pick-me-up, need to stay up to study hard or just have a craving we can’t ignore, many of our lives would not be complete without this drug: caffeine.

There it is.  We’ve all seen it: the famous Starbucks cup.  Not only has coffee taken over everyone’s life it seems, but Starbucks has also transformed the idea of a coffeehouse into what it is today.  Because Seattle’s Best Coffee is sold on the college campus where I live, that’s probably the brand of coffee I see around the most.  But back at home in Oklahoma City, Starbucks cups are pretty much all I see.  I occasionally see a coffee from 7-11 or McDonald’s, but Starbucks is by far the most popular.  It seems like there’s one on every corner.  It’s crazy to think that it was once a single neighborhood coffee shop in Seattle, and now I can think of four shops off the top of my head within 10 minutes of my parents’ house.

The original Starbucks store in Seattle

Even back when I didn’t like coffee, I was a sucker for Starbucks’ cream-based frappacinos, hot chocolate and caramel apple cider.  Coffee drinks aren’t just for the businessmen and women and cramming college students anymore, and I think Starbucks has had a great deal to do with that.  Throughout middle school and high school, it was “cool” to have a Starbucks cup in class.  It was “cool” to go to Starbucks after the football games.  In fact, it was more about the status of the logo on the cup than the drink inside of it.  Starbucks has always longed to bring a feeling of connection and community with its products, and it has done just that.  A coffee shop is now not only thought of as a place to stop in quickly for a cup of coffee, but also as a hangout to study and socialize.

While many complain about Starbucks’ prices (ahem, my dad), not many complain about the coffee itself (that I know of).  Despite those high prices, Starbucks has stayed a very popular and successful company now complete with its own instant coffee, mobile apps and even e-gift cards.  It’s quite apparent that Starbucks isn’t going anywhere and has changed our idea of coffee and coffeehouses for years to come.

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