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Apr 13, 2018

Coffee is very important to people in the U.S. Washington State is the birthplace of Starbucks, and the city where the first one of them opened is Seattle. You could say that the subject of coffee there is as natural as breathing. If you are lucky enough to visit that splendid, green, innovative(1) city, you will easily find your way to Pike Place Market where the famous coffee shop is located. There is always a long line of people waiting to buy a drink, and that line fills the standing space in the cafe, and continues out of the door and down the street. But why is Starbucks such an important place in the U.S? The answer, in part, is that it is indeed a place, not just a company. The founders, Baldwin, Siegl, and Bowker, had a vision of providing high quality coffee in comfortable places where people could linger. And 'linger' is the significant word here. The U.S culture, as far as I can see, has very little to do with lingering, spending time being in the moment(2), enjoying a meal, talking with a friend. These are, of course, activities that people love and crave; however, work and the drive to be rich have created a fast-paced society that counts the minutes by the dollars either made or lost. There is a counterculture to that materialistic drive(3), though which can be found across the generations. Some people seem more aware of activities like yoga, meditation, utilizing the parks, and art. Starbucks fits in with this desire to slow down, and provides a place where many can do so, no matter the weather. Ironically, by providing an environment for thought and relaxation, it has become a billion dollar company. So, while it has encouraged people to 'stop and smell the roses', it has also encouraged them to hand over their dollars. And its the very nature of the product they sell that enables that to happen, - caffeine: a natural but very potent psychoactive drug. We all love it, so we're happy to hand over those dollars. Great ideas and revolutions come from its consumption, plus its fashionable every season in one way or another. As Starbucks has carved its way into the U.S culture, I suppose it will be around for quite a while.

1. 'Innovative'- creative, inventing, new ideas/projects.

a. The phrase 'you think outside the box' means that you are innovative.

b. Their innovative company recycles waste plastic and uses it to make roads.

2. 'To linger' and 'to be in the moment' are similar. The first means to stay because you want to savor the experience. The second means to be fully aware and alive now.

a. After the party, Thomas lingered. He was enjoying our conversation so much that he didn't want to leave.

b. When we do yoga, our instructor encourages us to not think of anything, but just to breathe and to be in the moment.

3. A 'drive' means a push, tendency, instinct, a strong desire. 

a. I think he will be successful; he has a strong drive.

 (You can also say 'he is driven')

b. She can't escape her drive to change the world.