Everything but the Coffee: Learning about America from by Bryant Simon

By Bryant Simon

Every thing however the espresso casts a clean eye at the world's most renowned espresso corporation, having a look past baristas, motion picture cameos, and Paul McCartney CDs to appreciate what Starbucks can let us know approximately the US. Bryant Simon visited hundreds and hundreds of Starbucks worldwide to invite, Why did Starbucks take carry so quick with shoppers? What did it appear to supply over and above an honest cup of espresso? Why in the meanwhile of Starbucks' profit-generating height did the corporate lose its method, leaving observers baffled approximately the way it may regain its buyers and its cultural value? every thing however the espresso probes the company's mental, emotional, political, and sociological strength to find how Starbucks' explosive good fortune and fast deflation exemplify American tradition at this ancient second. most significantly, it exhibits that Starbucks speaks to a deeply felt American want for predictability and sophistication status, group and authenticity, revealing that Starbucks' attraction lies no longer within the product it sells yet within the simply fed on id it bargains.

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Additional info for Everything but the Coffee: Learning about America from Starbucks

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4 That included food. Alice Waters, the founder of Chez Panisse, the legendary Bay Area bistro showcasing foods made from fresh, locally produced ingredients, immersed herself in Berkeley politics—the free speech movement, the antiwar movement, and the counterculture. ”5 Jerry Baldwin never saw his food adventures as expressly political acts or as a radical critique of society, except maybe of the supermarket. 6 Not satisfied with the tastes America offered, these well-informed and educated consumers went in search of a more natural product, yet they didn’t question the larger economic structure that delivered the goods.

Each chapter traces the arc of the Starbucks moment. I begin by looking at where a desire came from and how Starbucks capitalized on it. Toward the end of each chapter, I explore how by 2007 or so, the company’s customer base shrank as it had trouble filling, even in an illusionary way, the social, psychological, and political holes it promised to fix. The book’s larger organization reflects the larger culture of buying, which is the grounding for the whole study. The chapters fit together like parts on that sliding scale consumers use to gauge value in the postneed economy.

By 1970, Baldwin had moved to Seattle and started teaching English in a trade school. He met two other posthippie foodies there, history teacher Zev Siegl and communications design company partner Gordon Bowker. Each was restless and wanted to do something different, and they were all dissatisfied with what they saw as the plastic, inauthentic nature of American culture. They talked about making films, starting a classical radio station, and putting out folk records. But they kept coming back to food and the idea of opening a wine store or a shop filled with chef-quality baking equipment.

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