If you walk around the streets of any city in Japan, you are sure to come across a Starbucks coffee shop. Starbucks, based in Seattle, Washington, is the largest coffeehouse company in the world. It has approximately 17,000 coffee shops in 50 countries. In August, 1996, Starbucks opened its first shop in Japan in the Ginza district of Tokyo. Since then, the coffee shop chain has expanded throughout the country. As of March 2010, there were 877 Starbucks shops in Japan.
Starbucks serves drip brewed coffee, espresso-based hot drinks such as café latte, and cold coffee drinks such as the “Frappuccino.” “Frappuccino” is a Starbucks trademarked beverage. It is a cold blended drink comprised of coffee, ice and various ingredients and usually topped with whipped cream. In addition to beverages, Starbucks offers snacks such as sandwiches, cakes and pastries. Starbucks also sells coffee beans, mugs, tumblers, “Bearista”* teddy bears, CDs and a variety of gift items.
So where did this huge international coffee shop chain get started? You can go and check out the first Starbucks store located within the grounds of Pike Place Market, in Seattle, Washington. Incidentally, Pike Place Market is one of the oldest farmer’s markets still in operation in the United States. This Starbucks, dating back to 1971, maintains its original rustic façade and logo. The earlier version of the Starbucks logo featuring a bare-breasted mermaid was thought to be too controversial to represent a growing company. It was changed over the years to become the one that we are all familiar with today.
*”Bearista” is a play on the word “barista”, a person who prepares and serves espresso-based drinks in a coffeehouse.
Another unique characteristic of the first Starbucks is the daily presence of street musicians at the entrance, providing lively entertainment for passersby. If you ever have a chance to go to Seattle, a visit to the original Starbucks is definitely worthwhile! How about getting a “Mocha Frappuccino” for yourself and a “Bearista” for a friend from the very first Starbucks?
教授 古屋 則子
文化女子大学 現代文化学部 国際文化学科のHPはこちら