Why Is Starbucks So Popular? History, Menu, and Reasons Behind Its Popularity

Starbucks Coffee


Starbucks. It is arguably the most recognized and successful coffee company in the world. This coffee chain has given rise to the current coffee culture across the globe, and changed how people think about coffee. But, did you ever wonder how and why Starbucks is so popular? In this article, we’re going to delve into the history of Starbucks, its menu, and why people love this coffee chain so much.

Starbucks: A History

Starbucks is an American multinational chain of roastery reserves and coffeehouses based in Seattle, Washington. Based in the Starbucks Center, the company was founded in 1972 by Gordon Bowker, Jerry Baldwin, and Zev Siegl, at Seattle’s Pike Place Market. During the early 1980s, they sold the company to Howard Schultz who – after a business trip to Milan – decided to make the coffee bean store a coffeeshop that serves espresso-based drinks. Schultz’s tenure as the chief executive from 1986 – 2000 led to the aggressive expansion of the franchise – first in Seattle, then across the West Coast. Further, despite the initial economic downturn with its expansion into the Midwest and British Columbia, the company experienced revitalized success upon its entry into California in the early 1990s through a series of publicized coffee wars.  

Orin Smith – Schultz’s successor – ran the company for five years and positioned Starbucks as a major player in fair trade coffee and increasing sales to $5 billion. From 2005-2008, Jim Donald served as chief executive and orchestrated a large-scale earnings expansion. In the middle of the 2008 financial crisis, Schultz returned as CEO and spent the succeeding decade increasing its market share, expanding its offering, and reorienting itself around corporate social responsibility. In 2017, Kevin Johnson took over from Schultz and continues to serve as the company’s chief executive. 

The Name.

Ever wondered where the name ‘Starbucks’ came from? Originally, the chain was going to be called ‘Cargo House’. The owners had also considered using the name ‘Pequod’ after Captain Ahab’s ship in Moby Dick. Terry Heckler, the brand consultant who designed the company’s logo, had mentioned that words starting with ‘st’ sounded powerful. Taking this into consideration, the founders brainstormed a list of words starting with ‘st’ and eventually landed on ‘Starbo’ – a mining town in the Cascade Range. From there, the founders remembered the name of the chief mate in Moby Dick: Starbuck. The group decided to add the S at the bottom because it sounded more ‘conversational’. Thus, the name Starbucks was born. Regarding its name, Bowker said that Moby Dick doesn’t have anything to do with Starbucks directly; it was pure coincidence that the sound seemed to make sense. 

Starbucks Menu

Starbucks offers an extensive menu that includes hot and cold coffee drinks, teas, breakfast items, desserts, and more! They even offer whole beans, instant coffees, as well as Starbucks merchandise. 

Starbucks Coffee Sizes.

Before we delve into Starbucks’ menu, you should know that they offer different coffee sizes. 




8 US fl oz (240 ml)


12 US fl oz (350 ml)


16 US fl oz (470 ml)


20 US fl oz (590 ml) – Hot
26 US fl oz (770 mL) – Iced


30 US fl oz (890 ml)


Drinks Menu

Hot Coffees

  • Caffe Americano
  • Starbucks® Blonde Caffe Americano
  • Caffe Misto
  • Starbucks® Dark Roast Coffee
  • Pike Place Roast
  • Cappucino
  • Starbucks® Blonde Cappucino
  • Espresso
  • Espresso Con Panna
  • Flat White
  • Starbucks® Blonde Flat White
  • Caffe Latte
  • Starbucks® Reserve Latte
  • Starbucks® Blonde Vanilla Latte
  • Oatmilk Honey Latte
  • Caramel Macchiato
  • Espresso Macchiato
  • Caffe Mocha
  • White Chocolate Mocha

Cold Coffees 

  • Starbucks® Cold Brew Coffee with Milk
  • Iced Caffe Americano
  • Iced Starbucks® Blonde Caffe Americano
  • Iced Coffee
  • Iced Coffee with Milk
  • Starbucks® Doubleshot on Ice
  • Iced Espresso
  • Iced Flat White
  • Nitro Flat White
  • Iced Caffe Latte
  • Iced Caramel Macchiato
  • Iced Caffe Mocha
  • Iced White Chocolate Mocha
  • Cold Brew with Cinnamon Almondmilk Foam
  • Cold Brew with Cinnamon Oatmilk Foam
  • Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew
  • Starbucks® Reserve Cold Brew

Frappuccino® Blended Beverages

  • Caffe Vanilla Frappuccino® Blended Beverage
  • Espresso Frappuccino® Blended Beverage
  • Coffee Frappuccino® Blended Beverage
  • Caramel Frappuccino® Blended Beverage
  • Mocha Frappuccino® Blended Beverage
  • Java Chip Frappuccino® Blended Beverage
  • White Cholate Mocha Frappuccino® Blended Beverage
  • S’mores Frappuccino® Blended Beverage
  • Strawberry Frappuccino® Blended Beverage
  • Chai Crème Frappuccino® Blended Beverage
  • Double Chocolaty Chip Crème Frappuccino® Blended Beverage
  • Matcha Green Tea Crème Frappuccino® Blended Beverage
  • White Chocolate Crème Frappuccino® Blended Beverage

Hot Teas

  • Chai Latte
  • Chai Tea
  • Earl Grey Tea
  • Royal English Breakfast Tea
  • Matcha Green Tea Latte
  • Honey Citrus Mint Tea
  • Comfort Brewed Wellness Tea

Iced Teas

  • Iced Black Tea
  • Iced Royal English Breakfast Tea
  • Iced Chai Tea Latte
  • Matcha Lemonade
  • Iced Green Tea
  • Iced Green Tea Lemonade
  • Iced White Tea
  • Iced White Tea Lemonade

Food Menu

Breakfast Sandwiches and Wraps

  • Bacon, Sausage, & Egg Wrap
  • Bacon, Gouda, & Egg Sandwich
  • Sausage, Cheddar, & Egg Sandwich
  • Southwest Veggie Wrap
  • Roasted Ham, Swiss, & Egg Sandwich
  • Chicken Sausage & Bacon Biscuit
  • Avocado Spread
  • Spinach, Feta, & Cage-Free Egg White Wrap

Snacks and Sweets

  • Madeleines
  • Dipped Madeleines
  • Vanilla Biscotti with Almonds
  • Shortbread Cookies
  • Dark Chocolate Grahams (2-pack)
  • Rip van Wafels – Honey & Oats
  • Salted Almond Chocolate Bites
  • Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans


  • Plain Bagel
  • Blueberry Bagel
  • Cinnamon Raisin Bagel
  • Blueberry Oat Cake
  • Iced Lemon Loaf Cake
  • Classic Coffee Cake
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie
  • Double Chocolate Chunk Brownie
  • Almond Croissant
  • Butter Croissant
  • Cheese Danish
  • Chocolate Croissant
  • Ham & Cheese Croissant
  • Blueberry Muffin
  • Banana Nut Bread
  • Blueberry Scone
  • Vanilla Bean Scone

Whole Beans

  • Sun-Dried Brazil Isidro Pereira Estate Starbucks® Reserve
  • Rwanda Hingakawa Starbucks® Reserve
  • Veranda Blend® 
  • Starbucks® Blonde Espresso Roast
  • Passport Series: West Java
  • Siren’s Blend®
  • Guatemala Antigua
  • Organic Yukon Blend®
  • Decaf Sumatra
  • Passport Series: Anniversary Blend
  • Caffe Verona®
  • Espresso Roast
  • Italian Roast
  • Sumatra
  • Komodo Dragon Blend®

VIA® Instant

  • VIA® Sweetened Iced Coffee
  • Starbucks VIA Instant Refreshers™ Cool Lime
  • Starbucks VIA Instant Refreshers™ Very Berry Hibiscus
  • VIA® Veranda Blend™
  • Starbucks VIA® Instant Colombia Coffee
  • Starbucks VIA® Instant Pike Place Roast
  • VIA® French Roast
  • VIA® Italian Roast
  • VIA® Decaf Italian Roast


  • Silver Vacuum Stainless Steel Tumbler – 12oz. 
  • Black Glitter Gradient Stainless Steel Cold Cup – 24oz.
  • Iridescent Geometric Scales Plastic Cold Cup – 24oz. 
  • Blue Coral Ombre Glass Water Bottle – 18oz.
  • Tropical Leaves Plastic Hot Cup & Lid – 16oz.
  • Small Shopping Bag

Note: Note that this list is not extensive. Starbucks menu may differ from one branch to another, and they also offer seasonal menus, as well as ‘secret’ menus. To learn more about the Starbucks menu, visit https://www.starbucks.com/

Why Is Starbucks so Popular? 

Ever wondered why Starbucks is so popular? Here are _ reasons why.

  1. The Coffee Itself
    More than anything else, Starbucks is about coffee. The company began as a premium coffee roaster, and they stayed true to their roots by serving nothing but amazing coffee. Starbucks opened its first branch in 1971 and started to expand beyond Seattle in 1987. At the time, coffee connoisseurs were rare in the U.S. and espresso was rarely found outside Italian restaurants. Very few people even knew the difference between drip coffee and espresso. But, a new generation of Americans grew up with Starbucks as the best alternative to the coffee of their grandparents’ generation.

  2. The Brand
    Starbucks has effectively positioned itself as a luxury brand that almost everyone can afford. With attract décor, Italian names, and reasonably high prices, Starbucks ensures that its products are perceived as some type of reward. Studies show that our enjoyment of foods and drinks – and even our perception of their taste – is enhanced by thoughtful packaging and branding.

  3. Over 87,000 Beverage Combinations
    Did you know? Starbucks offers over 87,000 beverage combinations! In 2008, the company included this fact in full-page advertising campaigns. How did they come up with this figure? Starbucks spokeswoman Lisa Pass told the Wall Street Journal, “If you take all of our main drinks, multiply them by modifiers and settings, you will get more than 87,000 combinations.”

  4. The ‘Third Place’ Concept
    Since its establishment, Starbucks has endeavored to be more than just a place where you buy coffee. Schultz defined the atmosphere that Starbucks attempts to create when he said, “We’re in the business of human connection and humanity, creating communities in a third place between home and work.”

    The Third Place concept informs the design and décor of Starbucks shops. While coffee takes center stage, the design and décor is meant to make customers comfortable. To further improve customer comfort and social interaction, most Starbucks branches mix sofas and upholstered chairs with hard-backed chairs around tables. Further, many Starbucks branches offer free electricity to their customers so they can plug in their laptops. They also offer free Wi-Fi access. In addition, some Starbucks branches feature a reading and game shelf to encourage customers to settle in and hang out with family and friends for a while. 

The Bottom Line

Overall, the Starbucks coffee experience can be summed up in a few words: excellent coffee in comfortable surroundings, served by an attentive staff and produced by a company that cares. With a commitment to creating a comfortable atmosphere and great tasting drinks, it’s no wonder why Starbucks has become so popular around the world.

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One Response

  1. Green tea is very healthy & it helps the body fat to melt down easily. It might sound boring & tasteless to your taste buds but trust me there are amazing options & flavors available when it comes to green tea.

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