I don’t think Starbucks has really great coffee. They over-roast their beans. And many of their baristas wouldn’t recognize good foam if it was splashing in their face at 200°F. Oh, and they can’t read a thermometer, either, which is why asking for a “triple venti non-fat 140 degree latte” gets you anything from barely lukewarm to piping crazy hot.
So why do I keep going to Starbucks? You tend to get at least decent lattes there (with the occasional disappointment), they are everywhere (needless to say, I am writing this from the Starbucks in the lobby of Taipei 101), and almost always you can even get a reasonably priced breakfast there. So while I am sure there’s a great local coffee store around here somewhere, I doubt I’d find it. But finding a Starbucks? Rather easy. There are more than 100 Starbucks in Taipei alone.
And then of course there are the Starbucks collector’s mugs. Yes, there are actually serious collectors out there. Me, I just have a few, maybe 20? I try to grab one when I’m traveling. And just added the one from Taipei to my collection. And we actually use them every day – so they are not sitting somewhere collecting dust, either.