I visited the epicenter of Starbucks this weekend. It’s a nice little store that adheres to the Pike Place Market historic district guidelines. The logo on the exterior is the original brown, nippled mermaid. Inside, it’s not that large and theres a converted tackle supply shop feel to the place. The ceilings are made of painted white wood slats with lots of low white lights hanging. Otherwise, the coffee tasted exactly the same. Yes, no matter which corner in America you visit, whether the first store or the last, you can be assured of enjoying a consistent, smooth, burnt flavor.
It’s funny because on one level you value the origination factor, and think that there’s something special, or better by going “straight to the source.” But when the product is now internationally distributed and subject to strict quality controls, and the “source” is just a symbol, that’s not the case.