Are Students Addicted To Starbucks?
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With so many students arriving to school every day with Starbucks drinks, it’s no surprise a new Starbucks is opening on South Main Street on Tuesday September 23, making it Blacksburg’s fourth. Starbucks started out in 1971 as a store in Seattle, Washington, at Pike Place Market. They started to distribute their coffee to restaurants and espresso bars thanks to the help of Howard Schultz joining the Starbucks company as director of retail operations and marketing in 1982. After Schultz took a trip to Italy, he realized he wanted to create more than just coffee and wanted to create items more suited for an espresso bar; and so in 1984 Starbucks created its first Caffé Latte. From there on, Starbucks continued to grow into the global franchise it is today. There are more than 22,000 stores worldwide and 11,000 stores currently in the United States. The farthest a person can be away from a Starbucks in the United States is in Circle, Montana, which is a little more than 192 miles away from one.
With so many coffee options from the seasonal Pumpkin Spice Latte to the new Chile Mocha, it’s easy to understand why Starbucks has such a large customer base. “Around Christmas time I love the Peppermint Mocha, and my long term favorite has always been the Java Chip Frappuccino. I love them all, though I have a serious issue; I was there this morning… I spend about 100 dollars a month” said Sylvia Conner, senior.
Caffeine in itself is addicting. According to John Hopkins medicine, caffeine withdrawal can include depression, fatigue, headache, and irritability. A healthy amount of caffeine a day is around 400 milligrams. A venti iced coffee at Starbucks has about 235 mg, and a grande pumpkin spice latte has about 75 mg. People can get addicted to caffeine and therefore can get addicted to Starbucks drinks. However, the addiction appears to go beyond this. Just like people have brand loyalty to Apple and Samsung, the same can go towards Starbucks. “Yes it’s definitely addictive, I also think it tastes better and it’s kind of the experience like going in and getting a hot cup of coffee,” said Cameron Fligger, senior. Online there is a plethora of websites dedicated to curing Starbucks addiction and supporting others through their rehab. There are even blogs that have custom made programs to overcome the Starbucks addiction. One blog called “The Life of a Starbucks Addiction” offers its own diagnostic test and rehab. The diagnostic test asks yes or no questions such as whether you bring your laptop to Starbucks and pretend you actually have work to do and if know every Starbucks location within 20 miles radius of your home. There are also sites that have tips and tricks to overcome those Starbucks urges by suggesting to talk to a doctor about vitamins such as B-vitamins to help with side-effects of lowering caffeine intake. They also suggest drinking more water and juice, sleeping more, and talking to friends and family about support. There is even a site that acts like a support group called Starbucks Anonymous. On this site users can connect with each other and make posts about their struggles with their addiction. “I think the company is very good at keeping ahead of trends and expanding it enterprise. I think it certainly is addicting for some people, but not me,” said Victoria Barr, Senior.
There are some people who don’t believe Starbucks is addictive. However, students will continue to go to Starbucks in the morning, whether they want their Starbucks fix for the day or they just want an indulgence.