Starbucks Corporation is considered the main representative of “second wave coffee”, initially distinguishing itself from other coffee-serving venues in the US by taste, quality, and customer experience while popularizing darkly roasted coffee.[5] Since the 2000s, third wave coffee makers have targeted quality-minded coffee drinkers with hand-made coffee based on lighter roasts, while Starbucks nowadays uses automated espresso machines for efficiency and safety reasons.

Starbucks locations serve hot and cold drinks, whole-bean coffee, microground instant coffee known as VIA, espresso, caffe latte, full- and loose-leaf teas including Teavana tea products,[7] Evolution Fresh juices, Frappuccino beverages, La Boulange pastries, and snacks including items such as chips and crackers; some offerings (including their annual fall launch of the Pumpkin Spice Latte) are seasonal or specific to the locality of the store. Many stores sell pre-packaged food items, hot and cold sandwiches, and drinkware including mugs and tumblers; select “Starbucks Evenings” locations offer beer, wine, and appetizers.[8] Starbucks-brand coffee, ice cream, and bottled cold coffee drinks are also sold at grocery stores.

Starbucks first became profitable in Seattle in the early 1980s.[9] Despite an initial economic downturn with its expansion into the Midwest and British Columbia in the late 1980s,[10] the company experienced revitalized prosperity with its entry into California in the early 1990s.[11] The first Starbucks location outside North America opened in Tokyo in 1996; overseas properties now constitute almost one-third of its stores.[12] The company opened an average of two new locations daily between 1987 and 2007.[13]

On December 1, 2016, Howard Schultz announced he would resign as CEO effective in April 2017 and will be replaced by Kevin Johnson.

 

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