What did the world look like before Starbucks and other mass coffee shops?

What did the world look like before Starbucks and other mass coffee shops?

You can check the answer of the people under the question at Quora “biggest coffee chains in the us

0 thoughts on “What did the world look like before Starbucks and other mass coffee shops?”

  1. Not as jittery?
    Depends on how far back you want to go and where in world you look. In the US, instant coffee and perk or vacuum coffee makers were pretty much what the bulk of the folks used. There were variations depending on where in the US one was.
    Wasn’t until the 1960s that coffee became “something”…an off-shoot of Flower Power, I suppose. Coffee shops/espresso bars …

    Reply
  2. People went to delicatessens, doughnut shops, food trucks, gas stations, 7-11s, bars, restaurants and diners to get their coffee. Or they brewed and drank it at home or in the workplace.
    They drank it black, regular or light and sweet in 8 ounce cardboard cups.
    No one had their own to-go tumbler that held 20 Oz of coffee.

    Reply
  3. When I was a kid in Berkeley in thr late 70s, I remember my mom would stand in a long line at Pete’s coffee store to get beans. My parents drank pots of black coffee back then. Nobody had fancy lattes or syrups. They would definitely remark on wether a restaurant had good coffee or not, but even if it was day old battery acid, they still drank it.

    Reply
  4. People could brew their own coffee, often stored in thermos containers after the mid-century. Basically a screw top, durable, leak free version of today’s outsized coffee travel mugs.

    What did the world look like before Starbucks and other mass coffee shops?

    McDonalds, Dunkin and any breakfast spot had coffee. There were other donut shops as well, which essentially churned out coffee by the bucket.

    Diners and smaller breakfast/coffee shops had coffee. The coffee in stores was generally canned but whole beans were available.

    Of course, there was a smoking section still so coffee and nicotine could be consumed simaltaneously indoors. And usually were, as nearly a quarter or more of adults smoked depending on the year.

    What did the world look like before Starbucks and other mass coffee shops?

    Larger towns and cities even had the traditional artsy fartsy coffee shoppe.
    To cover how the whole world looked before Starbucks is a different proposition entirely, but I will suggest bigger changes occurred than commuters pulling through drive throughs to get $4 a cup coffee from Starbucks versus a 1.25 cup at McDonalds, or sitting at a diner table with a paper rather than a lap top with a…smart phone. The smart phone is the big change. And fast internet. Remove those and the distinction is academic. No greater than national food chains squeezing out more mediocre local establishments in the fast casual market.

    The bigger change is actually the wide availability of flavored and gourmet coffees outside of Starbucks. Folgers, Sanka and other stodgy companies dominated the market. Instant coffee was still a large share of the market then because it was competing with lower end ground coffee options.

    How the World Looked?
    Remember, that pre-Starbucks America is one where shockjocks and wags laughed and laughed at woman who burned off her hoo-ha with nearly boiling McDonalds coffee and were the. mad she received compensation. The lady was severely injured and McDonalds had a known issue with churning out too hot of coffee in leak prone stryofoam cups. But instead we were treated to a cacophony of “Hey stupid lady! Coffee is hot! I want 10 million dollars too!”
    So I would not say the 90s were a better or compassionate time. In fact, the cultural fixation on crotches and homophobic chants at sporting events- not to mention crime rates, murder rates, domestic abuse, homophobia, rape, drug use, drunk driving, teenage sex, smoking and every single risky behavior save opiate deaths was MUCH higher from the 70s to the late 90s.
    So in those ways the world looked much worse but the bandwidth to cover these problems was more limited- again no smartphones.
    Not that we haven’t lost a great deal going digital, but there is no need to toss on rose colored glasses.

    Reply
  5. It was a lawless time when alcoholics were rampant.
    This is only a slight joke. The popular choices for drinks prior to coffee in the US was tea or alcohol during the latter 1700’s.
    Starbucks and mass coffee shops in the United States in relation to stores who’s specialty was coffee is a relatively new thing. Dunkin’ Donuts was found in 1950 and Starbucks was found in 1971. Starbucks’ biggest competitor, McDonalds was found in 1955 (very shortly after Dunkin Donuts). This is most likely do to the fact that most of what we know about coffee excellence wasn’t really realized until the 1900’s.
    In comparison, bulk sale of coffee as a home commodity (one that the working class could afford) didn’t become popular until the mid 1800’s (at it’s earliest). Perhaps the most recognized and long lasting coffee brand that still exists today is Folgers which was found in 1860. Maxwell House was found only a few decades after in 1892.
    Local coffee shops have always persisted well since the latter half of the 16th century. Their nature and therefore culture isn’t like Starbucks. However they were and are the deliverer of coffee for many workers (especially state workers-or maybe this is just an Albany, NY thing). But the growth of coffee as a popular drink didn’t really start in the US until it was sold and prepared in grocery stores and as other people have mentioned, diners and other places where people go to eat. This partially explains the success of coffee sales in McDonalds (it’s a place where one can buy a cheap meal and a cheap coffee to go along).
    But back to Starbucks. By the company’s own description of it’s history, it didn’t really start to expand until the 1990’s. In 1990 it had 84 stores. By 2000 it only had 3,501. That’s not a lot compared to today’s over 7,049 in the US.
    Essentially, if you
    a) are over 30 years old
    b) live in a region that is not a city
    c) not in the West or North East
    you probably know what it’s like before Starbucks.
    The biggest change I would say is growth and development of brand loyalty. Both Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts expanded about the same time and in the US at about the same rate. As a barista at Starbucks, I’ve had many people say they only drink Starbucks or Dunkin is the best and they’re only here because their manager sent them here to get a drink (I work at a mall). However, I have never witnessed and probably never will people fighting over Folgers vs Maxwell.

    Reply
  6. Where I live in the Midwest USA, before there was Starbucks, there were a very few actual “coffee houses” where one could get a good espresso, but dozens of small delicatessens and diners that were known for their excellent drip-brewed coffees. One might be able to get an after-dinner demitasse of espresso at a fine restaurant, but even that was rare.
    While I do not like Starbucks’ coffee (I find it over-roasted and rather generic), I do have to admit they turned the switch that prompted others to open specialty coffee shops–and for that I am grateful.

    Reply

Leave a Comment