Starbucks: The one that started it all
102 Pike Street, Pike Place Market, Seattle, WA
Ever since I saw the 60 Minutes segment on the birth of the famous Starbucks chain, I’ve wanted to visit the little store that started it all. Starbucks, just like Apple and the Gap has built an almost invincible brand that appeals to hipsters and baby boomers. Their original store has become a tourist attraction and we received a few eye rolls at Pike Place Market when we asked for directions to the Starbucks. The fish mongers responded with, ‘Do you want Starbucks or THE ORIGINAL Starbucks?”
We actually had to stand in line for almost 20 minutes to get in. The service was excellent though. Not at every Starbucks is there a greeter at the front of the door inquiring about your day and making pleasant small talk to pass the time in line.
It’s hard to pinpoint the one reason of why Starbucks is the most popular coffeehouse brand, I’m positive it’s not the literary reference in its name (footnote Moby Dick), customizing drinks is also commonplace in all coffee houses now and Starbucks pastries (except for the cake balls and oat fudge bars are practically inedible). It might be because Starbucks got there first, promoting coffee as an experience and not a drug to jump start your dreaded Monday morning. It’s hard not to buy into it.
To no surprise, one of the walls inside this Starbucks was covered with branded mugs and t-shirts and anything and everything else you can think of with a Starbucks logo stamped on. I’m surprised they don’t offer fake tattoos.
Even with the new press button espresso machines, we were still hit in the face with rich and aromatic smells of roasted coffee beans. I’ve always found this smell comforting and soothing.
We ordered an iced coffee and hibiscus herbal tea on ice. And no, of course our drinks didn’t taste differently from any other Starbucks but I do count it as a foodie bucket list destination to visit the Original Starbucks that transformed coffee from a dull $2 beverage into a $6 glamour accessory, a status symbol and instagram photoshoot subject.