Posted by: snaed | August 10, 2009

Coffee Culture


  1. How often do you drink coffee? Where and when do you drink it?
  2. Is coffee popular in your country? If not, what other drinks are popular?
  3. Are there any Starbucks coffee shops in your area? What do you know about this company?


  1. atmosphere – the feeling created by furniture, lights, music, etc.
  2. location – place; where something is
  3. roast – cook using dry heat, or in an oven
  4. casual – relaxed; not formal
  5. run (something) – manage (e.g., a company)
  6. create – make something for the first time
  7. downtown – the center of a city
  8. hire – give someone a job


The first Starbucks coffee shop opened in 1971 in downtown Seattle, Washington, in the United States. It was a small coffee shop that roasted its own coffee beans. The coffee shop’s business did well, and by 1981 there were three more Starbucks stores in Seattle.

coffee dykThings really began to change for the company in 1981. That year, Howard Schultz met the three men who ran Starbucks. Schultz worked in New York for a company that made kitchen equipment. He noticed that Starbucks ordered a large number of special coffee makers, and he was curious about the company. Schultz went to Seattle to see what Starbucks did, and he liked what he saw. He wanted to become part of the company. In 1982, the original Starbucks owners hired Schultz as the company’s head of marketing[1].

In 1983, Schultz traveled to Italy. The unique atmosphere of the espresso[2] bars there caught his eye. To Schultz it seemed that Italians spent their daily lives in three places: home, work, and coffee bars. His experience in Italy gave Schultz a new idea for Starbucks back in Seattle.

Schultz created an atmosphere for Starbucks coffee shops that was comfortable and casual, and customers everywhere seemed to like it. Between 1987 and 1992, Starbucks opened 150 new stores—and that was only the beginning. As a matter of fact, by the year 2000, three new Starbucks stores opened somewhere around the world every day!

Today, Starbucks has thousands of stores, including stores in twenty-six countries. One thing that helps make Starbucks succeed in cities outside the United States is the way Starbucks works with local stores and restaurants. By working together with a store already in the city, Starbucks gains an understanding of customers in the city. This understanding helps Starbucks open stores in the right locations for their customers.


  1. What is the main topic of the reading?
    • how Starbucks has grown
    • what Starbucks makes
    • Starbucks’ customers
    • how Starbucks makes its coffee
  2. Which is true about Starbucks’ first ten years of business?
    • It grew very quickly.
    • It was run by Howard Schultz.
    • It was a small company.
    • It made special coffee makers
  3. Who is Howard Schultz?
    • a coffee seller from New York
    • an Italian coffee maker
    • the man who changed the company
    • one of the original owners of the company
  4. About how many new Starbucks opened in 1999?
    • 3
    • 150
    • 300
    • more than 1,00
  5. What helps Starbucks succeed in places outside the United States?
    • opening restaurants in just a few locations each year
    • only selling  locally produced coffee beans
    • working with other major coffee-making companies
    • learning about local customers


  1. catch one’s eye – attract one’s attention; make one see or notice
    • While we were window shopping, this dress caught my eye.
    • They wanted the ad to catch the eye of readers.
  2. gain an understanding – learn about; get to know something about
    • This class will help you gain an understanding of how computers work.
    • They both gained an understanding of each other form the experience.
  3. as a matter of fact – in fact; actually
    • I read your homework. I have it here on my desk, as a matter of fact.
    • She’s leaving the country. As a matter of fact, she’s flying to Paris tomorrow.


  1. Starbucks coffee shops are popular places for young people to meet and “hang out” with friends. Where do you and your friends like to meet? Why do you choose those places?
  2. Is there a company from your country that has been successful internationally? What do you think are the reasons for its success?


[1] marketing – the job of selling a product, planning advertising, deciding prices, and so on

[2] espresso – a small cup of strong, black coffee


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