30 July 2008

Starbucks is melting, melting... ahahahahah haha!

Actually, I don't mind Starbucks when I'm in the U.S. It's a good place for a toilet stop, it's got comparatively cheap good filter-brew and, on a cold cold day, it's a good place for a sit down and warm up.

However, the demise of Starbucks in Australia was just so inevitable!!!

This article makes the obvious point: The US chain has been the victim of an ill-fated expansion in Australia, a market it only entered in 2000. But Starbucks was also snubbed by many Australians who have grown up on a diet of quality European-style coffee introduced into the country by immigrants, particularly from Italy, last century.

Starbucks performed a miracle convincing Americans to pay $4 for a latte. However, before Starbucks Americans lived on a diet of 99cent filter coffee, so the $4 'Vanilla Bean Frappuccino® Blended Crème' was a whole new market.

On the other hand, Australians already had good espresso (complete with drink jargon) when Starbucks entered the scene. So it was ridiculous to think Australians would want to pay $4 for a weak wimpy latte at Starbucks, when a local cafe sells a beautiful strong latte in a delicate glass for $3.

I remember when Starbucks first opened in Melbourne around 2001. It was during my early undergraduate days; a time of Naomi Klein, S11 Crown casino protests and ambiguous 'globalisation-hating'. Starbucks just seemed to spell doom.

So it's wonderful to see the demise of Starbucks in Australia. What was S11 really about? I can't really remember and don't really care... but I think the point is, Australian culture (the bit about how we go out to cafes, how we sit around with friends, how we drink lovely coffee) was strong enough to withstand a large corporation that tried to change it.

I miss a good latte...


Mex said...

ahhh dot - i am SO with you on this one. i actually may have smirked when i read this news online (of course). hoorah and ding dong the witch is dead! the only people that go to starbucks here are tourists anyway! and like you i only EVER frequented the chain when in the US and it was 31 degrees and i was hot and tired and they do a mean ice coffee. even if you have to ask for it "con leche" WTF!!???!!

Columbo said...

Loving the Wizard of Oz reference... and of course I agree, I just wish that it would go the same way in the UK, what with us being closer to Italy and decent coffee than American and their skinny soya latte crap. Here's hoping eh?

kiki said...

i was at a kenyan restaurant the other day with a big group of people, one being south american.
we had quite the heated discussion about where coffee first came from, the kenyans say africa, the coke addicts say south america.

slightly off the topic, sorry, but i'm heaps glad

dot said...

Thanks for helping Kiki!