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Starbucked: A Double Tall Tale Of Caffeine, Commerce & Culture

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  1,093 Ratings  ·  179 Reviews
Part "Fast Food Nation," part "Bobos in Paradise," STARBUCKED combines investigative heft with witty cultural observation in telling the story of how the coffeehouse movement changed our everyday lives, from our evolving neighborhoods and workplaces to the ways we shop, socialize, and self-medicate.
In STARBUCKED, Taylor Clark provides an objective, meticulously reported l
Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 21st 2008 by Sceptre (first published November 5th 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,229)
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May 15, 2008 Josh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Easily the most fascinating American food-culture book I've read sicne Fast-Food Nation ... More than just a history of Starbucks as a company (though it is that) the book traces the place coffee has held in American culture, both pre and post the "coffee house boom" of the 1990s that Starbucks (nearly single-handedly) created ...

The book makes you think twice regarding a variety of issues ... For example, is your local "mom and pop" coffee house really struggling against Starbucks to keep its
Bill Hall
Mar 29, 2009 Bill Hall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In "Starbucked," Taylor Clark serves up an entertainingly-written, well-researched overview of the Starbucks phenomenon. Clark was working as a reporter at an alternative weekly in Portland, Oregon, when he became intrigued by the pervasive presence of the coffee chain. After a neighborhood dispute over a new Starbucks in Portland escalated into an attempted firebombing, he wrote an article about the controversy. He soon decided there was a book-length story to be told.

The result is divided into
May 12, 2008 Bill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
I love coffee. I love drip coffee, french press coffee, and espresso. I love it with sugar and without. I suppose it shouldn't have come as such a surprise then, that I found this book compelling, but it did and I did.

I'm a bit of a Starbucks backlash person. I was a big fan in the early 90's but over time fell out of love as I perceived that the Evil Empire was putting smaller shops out of business. After reading the book I have adjusted my perspective a bit. Starbucked makes a pretty good case
Dec 18, 2015 Quill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Smart, funny, and utterly fascinating, but I couldn't help but feel my hackles rise at certain parts. Clark doesn't seem to quite get what it's like to be a barista at Starbucks.
Dec 23, 2007 Ree rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
setengah dari tulisannya mengagumi strategi bisnis Howard Schultz, di sisi lain Taylor membuka segala kegilaan Howard Schultz sebagai pemimpin perusahaan yang tak pernah kenyang memberangus kedai-kedai kopi lokal dan taktik gorok lehernya. Banyak kisah hebat sekaligus kisah menyebalkan dari seorang Howard Schultz yang sering menebar kontroversi setiap kali gerai korporatnya ini memasuki lahan baru.

Bayangkan saja, Jika ia menginginkan lahan gerai yang ia tuju, ia akan dengan sungguh-sungguh menc
Eric Bjerke
Jun 06, 2008 Eric Bjerke rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who are interested in business and marketing
For the most part a very interesting book on the history of Starbucks. One thing I learned is something I intuitively knew all along: All the mom and pops who curse Starbucks for being a giant gorilla that seeks their destruction actually owe their success to Starbucks. Starbuck created the market for what they sell and because of Starbucks, specialty coffee has grown incredibly and helped create many mom and pops. One competitor said the best thing you could do is have a coffee shop right next ...more
Sophi Link
As a shameless coffee addict (I'm drinking a cup right now), I knew I had to read this book when it came up on my library search (I was actually looking for information on mermaids for a poem I'm writing, but oh well, coffee's a worthy distraction).

I've never had a strong opinion on Starbucks, and this book only reinforced that for me. Are they everywhere? Yes. I've been to one in Barcelona (where I accidentally stole someone's latte because I thought the barista said "hot choco-latte," and the
Vinay Sridhar
Tl;dr Decent-ish. Read if you like big business and/or coffee.

With this book, I've now read biographies of the Holy Trinity of Seattle's corporate overlords - Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Howard Schultz. I've always enjoyed reading about founders of business empires, which is what the first half of this book focuses on. The second half, which delves into the history and science of coffee, felt unnecessarily long to someone ambivalent towards coffee (barring Saravana Bhavan's filter coffee, of cour
Scott Goddard
I was expecting a more scholastic exposition, rather than a historical and chronological timeline of the genesis of Starbucks to when the book was written. Although this is indeed interesting, it quickly became mundane and, notwithstanding Clark's ability to write with a journalistic flair, was gradually more difficult to read as the book progressed.

It does, to its merit, examine the social, cultural, and general societal impacts of Starbuckization, however, in my opinion, to an insubstantial d
Not the best book of its type I've read, but worth a read if you're reasonably interested in the subject matter. I liked that the author didn't focus exclusively on Starbucks, but took some time to locate the chain in the context of other coffee company, and even the more historic roots of the beverage. There's also some nice discussion of whether coffee (well, really caffeine) itself is healthy/harmful, physiologically, psychologically, and on a more macro level, economically.

How did a country where people were generally satisfied with instant coffee become a nation of people who order things like 185 degree, non-fat, no whip, double caramel venti macchiato with an extra shot of vanilla?

How did a specialty coffee roaster in Seattle transform into one of the most common shops on Earth?

Starbucked is the story of how a few people who really cared about decent coffee started to spread the word, became super successful, and then lost part of what made them successful in
Julie Brock
Nov 01, 2009 Julie Brock rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
How could you go wrong with an expose of Starbucks? Taylor Clark managed to do it. His smug, self-satisfied tone is off-putting enough, and for some reason he organized the book into two halves that sound like they were not written by the same person or part of the same book. Combine poor writing with poor editing and this is what you get.
Jan 05, 2016 Marian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting history of not only Starbucks, the company, but of coffee itself.
Jul 01, 2009 Michelle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meh. The story of Starbucks' origin and how they have become ubiquitous could have been interesting, but the author was too much of a hater -- his snarky writing got too irritating for me about half-way through.
Feb 08, 2016 Christy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Most members enjoyed the book but interest ranged from "couldn't put it down" to "put me to sleep." But we learned new things about the hometown company Starbucks, and many more things about Howard Schulz. The author was reasonably objective, but arrived mostly at negative conclusions. The topic was well-researched, and he kept his sense of humor throughout. The result was a lively discussion, a renewed interest in coffee and it's cultural and political implications, and a strong desire to try e ...more
Kristine Morris
Mar 10, 2015 Kristine Morris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up in an airport in Frankfurt. Because I am a selfclaimed Starbucks devotee (I wouldn't say addict, but I go out of my way to get a Starbucks over any of it's competitors) and I figured I should probably know a little something about this company/brand. I drink orange pekoe as well, and have no idea what pekoe even means, but then it's not the commercial goliath like Starbucks.

If you are anti-Starbucks, you'll have most of your reasons for hating Starbucks debunked. Having sa
Oct 17, 2012 Jana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow this was a great book! I wasn't sure if I would like it but I could barely put it down. It was very well written and researched, but written in such a way, with a good dose of humor thrown in, to take you along on a ride through the world of Starbucks in such a way that it made you feel like you were on a ride at Disneyland, without the vomiting!
(Now that is one long weird sentence!)

Taylor Clark takes you behind the scenes in your local Starbucks, starting with how they started and got thei
William Graney
This is an interesting read and you don’t have to be a coffee fiend to enjoy it. I was surprised to learn that Starbucks really isn’t responsible for crushing the mom and pops coffee shops; in fact they’ve been beneficial to them. I was also surprised to learn that in the land of coffee geekdom Starbucks (or Charbucks) is considered substandard coffee. This surprised me because I really like it and I don’t ever get the milky/sugary drinks, just straight black coffee.
Despite assurances to the co
This book was okay. It was divided into two parts and the first part I really enjoyed. This was the section filled with the history of Starbucks and all the trivial bits; which I love. The second section talked about Starbucks' global impact and legacy, which I did not enjoy as much.

I had a hard time in this book separating Howard Schultz from Starbucks, which may very well be fair. But, Starbucks is a big player in Seattle and for all the bad (or good) we love them. They are a local icon. And
Jun 07, 2012 Lo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this microhistory on the omnipresent company and products that are Starbucks. Clark is incredibly thorough and does a fantastic job of covering both the good side and the dark side of Starbucks. Even better, though, is that Clark infuses humor into his account of Starbucks, making this book both lighthearted and informative.

Before reading this book, I was ferociously anti-Starbucks due to a very poor (well, leaving me very poor) experience at Starbucks. I would rage and rag
Apr 18, 2008 Douglas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Douglas by: Pat Coyle
Shelves: business
I recently became friends with an independent coffee shop owner, - The Bean Cup, and the owner worked at Starbucks for many of the early years out in California. I noticed immediately that the expresso was much richer and smoother and was amazed at the difference in flavor and even the smell of the brew.

Chris started teaching me how to pour shots properly and the science behind the beans, the grind, the packing of the shot, the temperature of the water (and the steamed
Sep 04, 2010 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, non-fiction
Admittedly, I am a bit of a coffee freak, so a whole book about coffee sounded right up my alley. Even so, I was still worried that this would be some dry narration of the history of coffee that either touted the grandness of Starbucks or blamed it for all the evils of the world. I was pleased to find that not only is it a pretty fair look into the world of Starbucks, but the author is graced with a sarcastic sense of humor that keeps the book lively. Clark does a great job of pulling together a ...more
I really enjoyed this book which is saying a lot because I am not a fan of coffee nor am I a coffee drinker. But I found the entire history of Starbucks and the way it has changed the entire culture of America fascinating. I think the book was well written, very interesting and the pace moved well. There were very few sections that were slow for me and I feel like I ultimately learned a great deal about coffee, business strategy and the history of coffee. I definitely recommend this one, particu ...more
This was a fascinating inside look at Starbucks, the history of coffee, the Starbucks backlash and the homogenization of our culture.

Taylor Clark starts by telling the history of coffee in America and how the dream of Howard Shultz has changed the way Americans drink coffee, for better or worse. The company was started by a trio of coffee lovers in Seattle who were trying to emulate Peet's coffee. They started by purchasing coffee beans from him and when they really started being successful, th
Dec 05, 2007 Schnaucl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people interested in coffee, business, the coffee industry, or Starbucks
This was a truly fascinating book and surprisingly funny, too. The first half of the book covers the history of coffee followed by the history of Starbucks. Clark has enough funny asides that it feels more like talking to a friend than it does reading a history book. It's pretty clear that he admires Howard Schultz, which is understandable, but he doesn't sound like a guy I'd want to work for. (He could give Al Gore a run for his money in terms of micromanaging).

The second half of the book focu
Feb 22, 2008 Sundry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sundry by: NPR
Shelves: nonfiction
I enjoyed this quite a bit. I've been hanging around coffee houses since I found my first one in 1979! I even worked in an indy coffee house for four years.

Interesting history of Starbucks from a guy who also loves coffee houses. Nice tone, often humorous, always informative.
He discusses a lot of misconceptions about Starbucks and how they have impacted independent coffee houses. Like, there were fewer than 600 coffee houses in the U.S. before Starbucks. Now the number of total coffee houses in
Sep 15, 2008 Marie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: coffee drinkers and non-coffee drinkers
I picked this up not because I despise or love Starbucks but because like most people I have noticed the deluge of Starbucks stores over the last 10 or so years. I also don't frequently go to Starbucks as I am not much of a coffee-drinker. I thought it was an especially interesting time to read this book given the end of the company's reign of expansion in July with the closing of 600 stores.
Anyway, it is an interesting read. Clark includes a lot of history on coffee, coffee growers and the pre
Nov 22, 2011 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, economics
I don't shop much at Starbucks. Rarely, rarely. For one I think the coffee tastes like crap. Call me weird, call me Philistine, whatever. For as they are the McDonalds of caffeine, their banal ubiquity is suspect to begin with. after hearing wonderful things about CEO Howard Schultz's book and "motivation" from various associates, reading this book warned me off ever giving it another thought. While I do not share some of the idiosyncracies that led one ex-employee to take up with the IWW (talk ...more
Alan Mizell
Jul 04, 2016 Alan Mizell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written, objective, and often fun look at Starbucks. Much better than the books written by Howard Schultz, the leader of the company. This one is much less of a dreamy-eyed cheerleading history, and a realistic look at the company and its growth. Especially nice that he shows the warts, the good things, and neither idolizes the company nor seeks to simply savage it. Worth reading if you are interested in how this small coffee chain grew into one of the world's largest companies.
Sep 01, 2009 Isis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of microhistories and coffee
Shelves: history, food
A delightful microhistory of not just Starbucks but the practice, culture, and ethics of coffee drinking in the US and elsewhere, and how the rise of Starbucks changed these. Readable and engaging, delivering the bitter jolt of caffeinated facts in a smooth and milky narrative with the occasional frothy diversion, and how's that for a metaphor?

Clark has interviewed a lot of people and done a lot of research. He takes pains to neither lionize nor deride Starbucks and its people, pointing out tha
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“In one Starbucks, I spotted a young Frenchman wearing blue Converse sneakers, baggy Levi's jeans, and a red T-shirt with a giant Abercrombie & Fitch logo splashed across the front. As I watched him wash down his cheesecake with gulps of venti hot chocolate, I had to wonder: can't they revoke your French citizenship for this sort of thing?” 3 likes
“Indeed, thinking of the coffeehouse as a haven for intellectual discourse is difficult when the one in question operates thousands of clones, wants to sell you the latest Coldplay album, and serves five-dollar milkshakes for adults.” 3 likes
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