One of the best books I’ve read on the global coffee behemoth, Starbucked: A Double Tall Tale of Caffeine, Commerce, and Culture by Taylor Clark, a former newspaper reporter, gives a fairly objective view on the issues facing Starbucks today.
I love Starbucks. Not a coffee drinker for the first 34 years of my life, the coffee chain seduced me into appreciating the brew that powers economies and minds.
Taylor Clark does not love Starbucks. He prefers to patronize independent coffee shops, the “mom and pop” stores of specialty coffee.
Yet he succeeds in delivering an even-handed report on the history of coffee and Starbucks itself. He touches on the reasons people love and hate the company. Facts abound, but this is not a boring book filled with figures and charts. The text is peppered with quotes from past and present Starbucks executives and industry personalities. His research, based on primary sources, gives credibility to his story.
What Clark reveals about the company and its impact on the world is stunning. Not only does Starbucks have a significant impact on the economy, it has also re-defined and popularized the coffee culture.
Love it or hate it, Starbucks’ influence is genuine. Taylor Clark tells us how and why. It’s a must-read.