Seattle Coffee, Tea Leaf and Coffee Bean, Barrista and even Carriboo are better alternatives to Starbucks (I can't seem to like Nero). But I spend more time and money at Starbucks then any other outlet.
There is no doubt that I have picked the heavily marketed Green Mermaid insignia because of nostalgia. I am a successful marketer's prized customer: the loyal one. I will always remember Starbucks first location in Harvard Square. How it bought up Coffee Connection, the local Boston brand, and gradually expanded to Newberry Street locations. All those hours spent at Starbucks studying, cramming, but also playing the stock market (crazy 90s! I even invested in soaring Starbucks stocks), meeting friends and flirting with my future husband.
The standardization of Starbucks is the other reason I order a coffee with confidence. I have had Starbucks in as far flung places as Bangkok and Beyrouth! You get the same product, no matter which location, country, barrista.
In total, most of my blog posts have been typed at Starbucks!