On September 7, 1982, Howard Schultz began working at the first Starbucks store in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. At the time, he was the company’s marketing officer. A business trip to Milan and Verona convinced him that a coffee shop had to sell more than whole bean and ground coffee to really be successful. Since his bosses wouldn’t do it, he launched his own company, Il Giornale. In 1987, he bought his former bosses out, and became the CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company.Today, there are 16,000 stores around the world.
Every business starts small. For those coffee shops trying to compete with Starbucks, we’ve compiled a list of things you can imitate.
(Note: The authors of this article both worked briefly for Starbucks. They are aware of the many valid reasons to hate on this company.)
*At Brooklyn's busiest Starbucks location, which is near a subway hub
Starbucks has these and other drinks down to a science, while many coffee shops fake it.
At Starbucks a cappuccino is a shot of espresso plus half steamed milk and half foam. A latte is a shot of espresso plus steamed milk with a thin layer of foam.
When making a cappuccino, baristas steam milk for 6-8 seconds. Latte milk is steamed for only 3-5 seconds. Baristas also monitor temperature when steaming milk, serving drinks at an average of 165 degrees Fahrenheit and never above a scalding 180.
To become a certified barista, candidates must pour a perfect cappuccino, which is evaluated either with an electronic scale or using a measuring cup.
Baristas manage four batches of coffee at one time, rotating each at least every 15 minutes and never allowing one to sit longer than 30 minutes. They do this even during off hours, throwing away coffee rather than serve anything old.
They also follow a timed regime for iced coffee, iced tea and pastries to ensure that everything tastes fresh.
The store claims to serve 87,000 different drink combinations, all of which a barista can make without hesitation
Baristas manage complex orders with the innovative Starbucks shorthand, or Beverage ID Code, which is written in marker on every cup.
For example, a Double Chocolate Chip Light Frappuccino is DCCFL.
How do they do it? Starbucks baristas undergo over 30 hours of training on everything from Frappuccino technique to the origins of coffee beans
(Sessions include: First Impressions & Customer Service, Starbucks Experience, Coffee: Brewing & Tasting, Espresso Bar Basics, Food & Warming, Beverage Essentials, Cold Beverage, Coffee: Growing & Processing, Point of Sale (POS), Beverage Preparation, Customer Service Essentials, Coffee: Roasting & Packaging)
The Mastrena makes it easy to pull a precise espresso shot. It's also shorter, allowing baristas to interact with customers.
Better espresso machines exist, but they are rare and won't be found at any major chains.
Source: Houston Chronicle
Select stores have the top-of-the-line single-brew Clover, which makes probably the best coffee you've ever tasted
When Schultz tasted the Clover at a small cafe in New York he immediately declared it 'the best cup of brewed coffee I have ever tasted.'
Starbucks bought the company that makes Clover in 2008 and started introducing the dream machine at select stores around the country.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.