samedi 27 septembre 2008

Taylor Clark: Starbucked - A double tall tale of caffeine, commerce and culture

Coffee-wild hippies, business sharks, slackers, Hollywood trendsetters and a panda who loves their blueberry muffins...

In Starbucked, Taylor Clark tells the story of how a modest Seattle coffeehouse spawned a chain serving cappuccinos in Guantanamo Bay, Beirut and in Beijing's Forbidden City.

Love it or loathe it - the advent of the skinny-mocha-decaf-latte with extra cream changed the way we shop, socialise and self-medicate. More than 40 million customers visit a Starbucks every week, while others firebomb their stores in protest.

So, is the Corporation evil, responsible for swindling the coffee-growers and homogenising our high streets or are they simply purveyors of a daily treat? And just how did they persuade us to pay so much for flavourings and froth?