Starbucks Coffee is a very successful company purveying a dizzying variety of coffees and coffee specialties. Because it is so pervasive and has become such a commercial icon here in the States, it has also been the butt of many jokes, some good-natured, some not so much.
But I have been to a number of their stores here in Houston, Texas, and, not only am I thrilled with the product they sell, but I note that the shops serve as a venue and a means for people to get together socially. At one shop, a group of older men, of mixed race and backgrounds, meet regularly (daily, it seems) to chat over coffee.
Other shops I have been to are crowded with students studying together or simply taking a break from their work. Whatever the case, the shops are crowded with people in animated conversation, enjoying the social benefits of the caffeine drug.
And, I think that is a wonderful thing. Seriously.
Image Courtesy of Financial Report