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Starbucks Coffee Company

The global coffee chain started was founded in 1971 in Seattle.

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Local News

Oprah to brew new tea flavor for Starbucks

SEATTLE – Oprah Winfrey was in Seattle Wednesday announcing her own blend of chai tea to be sold at Starbucks and Tevana stores beginning April 29th.

CEO Howard Schultz surprised Starbucks shareholders at the annual meeting at Key Arena as he introduced Winfrey on stage.

“I looove tea!” posted Winfrey moments later on her Instagram account.  “It’s a daily ritual and vital part of my morning. Chai is a favorite of mine.”

Winfrey said she personally developed the tea with Teavana’s leading teaologist Naoko Tsunoda. The distinctive blend of tea reportedly features a bold infusion of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves, blended with loose-leaf black tea and rooibos.  It will be made available to customers in time for Mother’s Day in the U.S. and Canada in handcrafted latte and loose-leaf tea formats.

Winfrey said she jumped at the offer from Schultz to create her own blend and help support youth education at the same time.

“We are building a performance driven company through the lens of humanity,” said Schultz.  “With the introduction of Teavana Oprah Chai, we are going to elevate the tea experience in the same way we did for coffee.”


Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and Oprah Winfrey appear together to announce Winfrey’s tea blend to be sold at Starbucks. (KCPQ-TV)

Contributions from sales of Oprah Chai products will go to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation, the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, Girls Inc., National CARES Mentoring Movement, Pathways to College and the U.S. Dream Academy.

One of the groups featured in a collage of photos posted by Oprah on her Facebook page is the U.S. Dream Academy.  The national afterschool mentoring and mentoring program helps thousands of at risk kids each year with a focus on children with parents who are incarcerated.

Local News

‘Dumb Starbucks’ opened by comedian forced to shut down

By Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — The origins of Dumb Starbucks, the seemingly rogue coffee shop that opened in the Los Feliz neighborhood in Los Angeles over the weekend, have been revealed: Nathan Fielder of the Comedy Central show “Nathan For You” said Monday that he’s the owner of the faux cafe.

dumbIt was clearly a smart way to get people wondering what it’s all about.

Curiosity, reaching a boiling point on Monday, was satisfied at a news conference at the location, 1802 Hillhurst Ave.

But a short time later, the store was forced to stop serving coffee, after the Los Angeles County Health Department determined Dumb Starbucks was operating without a proper health permit.

The store’s FAQ explains its rationale for why it’s not in violation of trademark law despite using the well-known beverage giant’s name, logo and decor, citing the “fair use” doctrine that protects works of parody:

“We are simply using their name and logo for marketing purposes,” the store says. “By adding the word ‘dumb’ we are technically ‘making fun’ of Starbucks, which allows us to use their trademarks under a law known as ‘fair use.’”

Starbucks and legal experts have questioned that logic.

But the biggest question among those who have seen the shop, whether in person or on social media, was who was behind the faux Starbucks and why they were doing it.

Starbucks is looking into a parody store that mocks the Seattle coffee giant with fake green and white cups and a full menu.

“Dumb Starbucks,” which the company said is not affiliated with actual the Starbucks, quietly opened Friday in Los Feliz and drew lines of people looking to grab a free cup of coffee or a selfie in front of the store.

“We are evaluating next steps and while we appreciate the humor, they cannot use our name, which is a protected trademark,” said Zack Hutson, a spokesman for the company.

A list of frequently asked questions pegs the legality of the mock store to “parody art” — an art gallery where the coffee is considered the art.

Some believed the whole thing was a TV prank, and some correctly singled out “Nathan For You,” which was renewed for a second season last year.

The brainchild of Nathan Fielder, “Nathan For You” is best known for its gags that use small businesses. In one of his best-known bits, the show got a gas station owner to offer extremely low prices, as long as customers delivered a rebate form to the top of a mountain.

High-profile publicity stunts are a well-documented tradition in Los Angeles.

Last year, comedian Kurt Braunohler used money raised from a crowdfunding site to send a plane over Los Angeles to write “How do I land?” in the sky. Brendon Walsh, in 2011, put up a phony sign on a former Circuit City building in Silver Lake announcing a new Whole Foods grocery store.

Braunohler said in an interview that he liked the idea as a parody of copyright law itself.

“I think it’s great, it’s an awesome idea,” he said. “It can almost be interpreted as pro-corporate protection, which is fascinating.”

Dumb Starbucks customers have waited through the long lines hoping to get a Dumb Starbucks cup to sell at online auctions. One Ebay user has listed a “venti” cup, asking for $100. There aren’t any bids, as of this writing.

Starbucks has said that the fair use argument does not work in this case, but that the company is taking the parody with a sense of humor.

“We are aware of the store,” said Starbucks in a statement before Monday’s big reveal. “It is not affiliated with Starbucks. We are evaluating next steps and while we appreciate the humor, they cannot use our name, which is a protected trademark.”

The owner of a small Missouri brewery was shocked to receive a letter from the coffee giant.

starbucks trainSEATTLE — Starbucks continues to expand its global brand.

On Thursday, the coffee-giant unveiled the first store on a train in Zurich. It’s a fully-branded Starbucks motif on the inside and out.

Officials says its one of the smallest espresso bars and stores that Starbucks has ever designed. On the entry level, the baristas will serve passengers from behind a curved wooden bar that also features a small pastry case. There’s a lounge are upstairs with movable chairs and shared wooden tables. The menu is on the train windows and inside there’s seating for 50 customers.

To add Swiss-inspired details, special dials resembling watch faces were crafted and built into all of the upstairs tables. Each has a number on it which is also used to support table service, so customers can order from their seats and have drinks delivered.

“It was an incredible and rewarding challenge to design our first ever Starbucks store on a train. We had to combine functionality and beautiful design, whilst taking into account a variety of factors such as constant movement of the train, space limitation and stringent safety regulations”, said Liz Muller, director of concept design for Starbucks.

The first official voyage for the Starbucks train will take place on the train line running from Geneva Airport to St. Gallen in Switzerland on November 21.

Don’t expect this in the U.S. anytime soon. Starbucks says this is a test and they’ll see how well it does.

Local News

Muggles with secret code get first taste of Butterbeer

SEATTLE — It’s about time us Muggles garnered some respect from the wizard community.

Starbucks is allowing customers to order drinks named “Butterbeer” and “Hogsmeade,” modeled beverages available to Harry Potter and his friends in the iconic Harry Potter series.



The drinks are not advertised and will only be available to those who can provide the barista these recipe, reported:

The recipe for the hot drink is:

  • Whole milk steamer
  • Add Caramel syrup (2 for tall, 3 for grande, 4 for venti)
  • Add Toffee nut syrup (2 for tall, 3 for grande, 4 for venti)
  • Add Cinnamon Dolce syrup (2 for tall, 3 for grande, 4 for venti)
  • Whipped cream and salted caramel bits on top
  • Optional if you prefer to add a coffee taste: Add a shot of espresso (2 for a grande or venti)

For the cold:

  • A Creme Frappuccino base. Don’t skimp on the fat by asking for skim or 2% milk as whole milk is required for the right consistency.
  • Add 3 pumps of caramel syrup.
  • Add 3 pumps of toffee nut syrup.
  • Top with caramel drizzle, wave your wand 3x

Many baristas don’t even know the Butterbeer concoction exists, reported. The drink is only available for the holiday season.

Local News

Starbucks to hire 10,000 vets and military spouses

SEATTLE (CNN)– Starbucks is the latest big company to announce an aggressive push to hire veterans returning to the civilian work force.

The Seattle-based coffee chain said on Wednesday that it will hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years.

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates was appointed to Starbucks board of directors last year. He told CNN’s Poppy Harlow, “We know that many men and women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan have had a difficult time finding career-fulfilling kinds of positions. Over the next five years another million men and women will come out of the military and enter civilian life.”

Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz said his company also plans to open five stores on or near military bases that will share their profits with the local communities. And, he added, “as a small gesture,” all vets and their spouses will get a free tall brewed coffee on Veteran’s Day.

Howard-Schultz-Starbucks1Other companies have launched ambitious plans to hire veterans, including UPS, JPMorgan and Walmart. Walmart, the world’s biggest retailer, has said that it expects to hire 100,000 veterans by 2018.

Veterans of the wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan have a higher rate of unemployment than the general population. The unemployment rate for the general population was 7.2% in September, according to the most recent government figures available, compared to 10.1% for veterans who have served since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Veterans are often lauded for their courage under fire and valuable combat experience. But many find it hard to translate their combat infantry experience into the civilian job market.

“Being the best mortar man in the best battalion in the world doesn’t mean a whole lot when you come out,” said Sean Parnell, veteran of the Afghan war and author of “Outlaw Platoon,” in an interview with CNNMoney last year.

Nonetheless, the unemployment rate for veterans has been declining in the last couple years.

Gates said veterans “bring with them extraordinary skills” including logistics, supply chain management and electronics, as well as leadership experience.

He said that matching these military skills to equivalent jobs in the civilian work place “does require a little bit of effort” but that “it can be done.”

The federal government provides a $9,600 tax credit to companies that hire veterans, but that program is slated to expire at the end of the year.

For more on Starbucks’ jobs, click here. 

From CNN 


Starbucks debuts Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bar in Manhattan.

SEATTLE — You can get a cup of tea at any Starbucks, but you can’t get a cup of coffee at Teavana, the chain’s first tea bar.

According to USA Today, the first Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bar debuts in Manhattan on Thursday.

A Seattle location is expected around Thanksgiving.

CEO Howard Schultz says Starbucks and Teavana will be as different as ‘night and day,’ and that it’ll be much more ‘zen’ than anything you’ll find in a typical store.

The Manhattan location features gray walls, light wood floors and an entire wall dedicated to tea.

With museum-esque lighting and comfy chairs, Teavana encourages guests to stay a while, rather than ordering their tea to go.

It also will push them to spend more money. According to USA Today, the most expensive salad is priced at $14.95 and a specialty, 16-ounce tea will go for $5.95.

Howard-Schultz-Starbucks1NEW YORK (CNN MONEY) — The shutdown may be over, but Howard Schultz isn’t finished with Washington. Next up: A grande push to solve the nation’s long-term debut problems.

The CEO of Starbucks already mobilized his customer base, gathering signatures to reopen the government and hike the debt ceiling in order to stave off a U.S. default.

The 1.7 million petition signatures that his baristas collected may or may not have had anything to do with the end of the stand off. But Schultz is convinced it helped.

On Friday Starbucks published ads in USA Today and the Washington Post taking a victory lap of sorts for the shutdown petition, saying “We are all reminded and inspired how a spirit of civility and common purpose can help move America forward.”

Now he plans to call on his customers to push Washington to solve its budget woes. When Congress voted Wednesday night to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling, it set new deadlines that will likely result in another budget showdown.

Related: Would you like some bipartisanship with your latte?

So in a second letter to the 300 other business leaders, Schultz has vowed to do more.

“I continue to believe we cannot be bystanders about our collective future,” he wrote. ” We are going to have to become more engaged so that Washington doesn’t fall back into this kind of unnecessary crisis every few months.”

Schultz didn’t offer any details about his plans for the future. But he did say that the response to the petition drive “has inspired me to think more about what we can do at Starbucks to continue to use our scale for good.”

Related: Starbucks CEO holds his ground on gay marriage

In December 2011, as Congress debated the so-called “fiscal cliff,” he asked employees at its approximately 120 D.C.-area stores to write “Come Together” on coffee cups when serving customers. Earlier that year Schultz lead a group of more than 100 CEOs who pledged to halt all political campaign contributions until lawmakers, as Schultz put it, “stop the partisan gridlock in Washington, D.C.”

Related: Starbucks to customers – please don’t bring your guns

Schultz has also taken high-profile positions on several other controversial issues that have little to do with Starbucks’ business.

Last month he issued a public plea asking customers not to bring their guns into Starbucks. He has also been an outspoken advocate of same-sex marriage, telling shareholders who don’t agree “you can sell your shares of Starbucks.”

Local News

Starbucks’ ‘Come Together’ promotion a political push?

SEATTLE — Some are calling it a great gesture. Others are saying Starbucks should stay out of politics.

On Wednesday, Starbucks announced its”Come Together,” free coffee campaign.

An offshoot of the “pay-it-forward” charitable giving idea where many coffee customers buy those behind them in line a drink, Starbucks is offering anyone who buys someone else their favorite beverage a free tall brewed coffee. The promotion is good from Oct. 9-11.

While not exactly an outright response to the government shutdown, the announcement comes a day after Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz admonished the U.S. Congress for furloughing thousands of government workers possibly hurting businesses across the country. And the text within the announcement also makes reference to tough political times.

Starbucks“In times like these, small acts of civility like these make a big difference,” the press announcement said.

One wonders if Starbucks isn’t pushing for lawmakers to quickly come together and agree on a budget; perhaps over a cup of Starbucks black coffee.

Here is the full text of the “Come Together” release:

Our customers do amazing things everyday. A customer buys the next person in line their favorite beverage—not as an act of charity or thanks—but an acknowledgement of commonality and humanity. The gesture is small, but the act is endlessly inspiring.

In times like these, small acts of civility like these make a big difference. With that, we are extending a gesture. If you come into Starbucks and buy someone else their favorite beverage, we’ll give you a free tall brewed coffee.

We’re hoping this small motivation will encourage you to be the spark of connection that helps bring us all a little closer at a time when showing our unity is so important.

#payitforward—and lets see what can happen.

Offer good October 9–11, 2013 at participating stores.