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Starbucked: A Double Tall Tale of Caffeine, Commerce, and Culture

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  1,351 ratings  ·  211 reviews
Starbucked will be the first book to explore the incredible rise of the Starbucks Corporation and the caffeine-crazy culture that fueled its success. 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 neighbor ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published November 5th 2007 by Little, Brown and Company
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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  1,351 ratings  ·  211 reviews

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Jul 01, 2009 rated it it was ok
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. ...more
Apr 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My interest in reading this stemmed from my observation of how Starbucks has been able to dominate its market segment. I tried to think who their closest competition would be and I couldn't honestly think of another national/international coffee chain that even comes close to competing with the hegemonic nature of Starbucks. In case you were wondering, Clark divulges this information as well. My curiosity piqued as I wondered how they came to be such a dominant force. After reading this book, ma ...more
May 12, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Nov 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
A fun breezy read. And I learned a lot - about coffee, about Starbucks. The book did eventually fall over of its own weight. It's later chapters basically ran out of steam. I'm actually not a big fan of Starbucks nor of coffee. My biggest complaint about Starbucks has always been their hours - I kind of like the idea of going out for coffee and desert in the evening and Starbucks always closed too early. But Starbucks cold bottled drinks are some of my favorites. And I guess I want to reconsider ...more
Julie Brock
Oct 11, 2009 rated it did not like it
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.
Lydia Auch
Feb 04, 2019 rated it liked it
At this point it's outdated but regardless I didn't appreciate how extra the writing was ...more
Nov 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
David Sabala
Jun 15, 2009 rated it liked it
very entertaining read. I'm still a little anti-starbucks, but at least I am doing so for the right reasons now. I enjoyed learning more about this particular passion of mine: Coffee. ...more
Dec 09, 2015 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To Clark, I would fall under the category of "hip young urbanite" (page 95 of 363). And just like he wrote "After they were hooked, these converts started exploring other coffee-houses, and it just so happened that there was another one right across the street" (page 197 of 363). Yes, the sweet, seductive call of the Siren. In fact, I buy Starbucks souvenir mugs from around the world and I have a gold card! I'm so glad Clark published this wake-up call in the form of a book (shout out to Odysseu ...more
Apr 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
“We changed the way people live their lives, what they do when they get up in the morning, how they reward themselves, and where they meet”
- Orin Smith, former Starbucks CEO

This is the book for (a) anyone who entertains thoughts of opening a coffee shop; (b) loves Starbucks; (c) hates Starbucks; (d) captivated with the romance of coffee; (e) inordinately spends more time in cafes than his/her actual place of residence; (f) fascinated with statistics concerning the coffee industry; (g) steeped in
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: coffee fanatics
This is really not all about Starbucks and the empire Howard Schultz built. It gives a history of coffee and the coffeehouse focusing on America. It talks about how Fair Trade coffee works and doesn't work. It talks about caffeine and the addiction today's world has not only from coffee but also tea, soda and energy drinks. There is talk about what is actually in that cup: the chemistry of aroma and taste.

But it is predominately about Starbucks: how it started and how it became the mega corporat
Claire Hall
Mar 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Eric Bjerke
Jun 06, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Mar 16, 2010 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
A fascinating, balanced read. My full reflection/review on the book can be found on my blog Seriously Planning here: ...more
Dec 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
An interesting history of not only Starbucks, the company, but of coffee itself.
Patrick  (Paddy) Moore
I enjoyed this account of the coffee peddler we love to hate, although it is now a bit dated (published 2007). I agree with Kirkus review of this book which describes it as "An absorbing account bolstered by solid reporting. He (Taylor Clark) could profitably have played the brash op-ed provocateur a bit more." That would have sold more copies of the book, but as it is, the research and presentation are solid and entertaining. This may have been the first book to cover the story of Starbucks fro ...more
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Starbucked by Taylor Clark is about the history and effects of the Starbucks company. It is divided into two parts. The first part is The Rise of the Mermaid. This follows the birth of the coffee giant and it’s master: Howard Shultz. Who’s ruthlessness would have found good company with the conquerers of old. The second part is Getting Steamed. This follows the economic and social effects of starbucks. It’s sort of american coffeehouse anthropology. I read this book fairly quickly. The first par ...more
Nov 20, 2018 rated it liked it
A more accurate rating would be 2.5, but that’s not an option. I learned a handful of interesting tidbits about coffee and Starbucks from this book but not enough that I’d ever recommend anyone buy it. There is probably more interesting info on google than in this book. Perhaps I should of read it years ago when it was originally recommended to me and it would have been more fascinating, but in 2018 and beyond, I recommend skipping it.
Die Upussy
Nov 30, 2020 rated it liked it
This book does its job of relating how a company appropriated the coffee culture of other countries and applied it to the States’ consumer culture some years ago. It reminds one of the Portland radio host that took on an Irish persona that the public also consumed. The author scratches the surface here, while a literal manslaughter was committed in regards to the radio host. He will wonder when, but the inevitable retribution doled out by flesh enema is near, perhaps even nearby.
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. It was more than a bio of Starbucks, but gave a lot of information about coffee itself, as well as the industry. I've read Schultz's "Onward" and enjoyed that as well. I thought this would just be an under researched outside view, but it was very informative and enjoyable. A little leaning at times, but good. ...more
Josh Fogelson
Apr 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I read in 2019... outdated, and the writing style tried to be too pop and broad appealed where it was hard to actually get the facts about Starbucks. After plodding through the book I did get a great overview of Starbuck's history up until 2006. It would be interesting for a sequel that explores Starbucks in 2020 and how 3rd Wave Coffee has affected it / viceversa. ...more
Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was a gift from my daughter for Mother's Day. It is dated as it was written in 2008. As a fan of Starbucks, I loved reading about this history and about Howard Schultz. The author's humor and sarcasm make the story of coffee and Starbucks interesting and caffeinating. I'm glad I read this as I learned a lot, and it gave me pause to think about what Starbucks has done to the world. ...more
May 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: lady-business
Interesting read. You can tell the author doesn't like Starbucks. Doesn't matter, still interesting to read how the company exploded and some of the people behind it. Kind of annoying the book is already 10 years old I want to know where the company is now. ...more
Yaakov Bressler
Fantastic read. Extremely relevant for anyone in the startup space.

Shows the power a visionary can hav, but also their ability to be destructive.

Really enjoyed the narrative. Taylor Clark has a strong and passionate voice.
Saravana Sastha Kumar
Jul 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
More than the book the authors style is impressive. Roaring account of coffee and the occident. Good brew of coffee history and corporate history in the backdrop of the phenomenal growth of Starbucks. Loved it.
Dec 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Entertaining, informative and easy to read. Some interesting history of the company but nothing truly revelatory or scandalous.
Jason Hunt
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
An interesting, easy-to-read account of Starbucks history. The author is pretty funny too. it's fascinating to see how much further the company has changed just since the book was published as well! ...more
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