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Last year we saw Starbucks and their coffee empire spread into some new spots like India, Disneyland, and even aboard Alaska Airlines. Obviously things are still moving full speed ahead—thanks to all that caffeine—as 2013 looks for more expansion. The year is just beginning, but it’s already time to celebrate Starbucks entry into another country, as the espresso machines just cleared customs and are on the move once again.
Up next for the Frappuccinos and lattes is Vietnam, as Starbucks is getting ready to open their very first store over in Ho Chi Minh City as soon as next month. Just like over in India, it’s a partnership deal as the coffee giant throws it's weight in with Maxim Group. Maxim already runs a whole chain of coffee shop locations in Hong Kong and Macau, so they kind of know what they’re doing when it comes to getting you going in the morning.
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Not too long ago we heard about one of those special new Starbucks heading over to LAX—the kind of Sbux with the wine. While it will be a little bit more time before that sucker opens to the traveling public, in the interim we can take a flight over to Washington-Dulles International Airport because they just cut the ribbon on the very first airport location of Starbucks Evenings.
HMSHost—they’re the ones behind many of your favorite and not-so-favorite airport restaurants—partnered up with Starbucks for this spot at the airport. It’s kind of just like any other airport Starbucks in that they’ll still serve up lattes and frappuccinos, but there's a twist.
There are so many things to see and do in India, but now there’s one more tourist destination to add to your itinerary. The first Starbucks has opened up in the country, and now they’re ready to pump out overpriced lattes and coffee milkshakes to the masses—of course we mean that it the nicest possible way.
The caffeine invasion begins in Mumbai, as that’s coffee shop number one. There’s an ambitious expansion plan already in place, as Starbucks along with their local partner look to open a couple more places before the end of the year. Initially the plan was to eventually have more than 3,000 locations around the country, and we’re thinking that it’s doable once the locals get a taste of their very first pumpkin spice latte or peppermint mocha. Since those first projections back in January the company has kind of stepped back a little bit, but the New Delhi location is still set to do its thing early next year.
Normally we don't endorse spending time in a foreign city within the familiar, American environs of a Starbucks, but sometimes a traveler just needs reliable WiFi and an easy meeting place. Yesterday, we found this to be the case for us on our very first day in Cusco, Peru. Seeing as how we kinda "collect" exotic Starbucks locations (remember the Bali temple location?), this one we had to see.
Located right on Cusco's main Plaza de Armas, it occupies the second floor of a historic palacio. The walls to divide it into seperate rooms are still there, so it's a second floor location with a ton of work nooks, comfy seating, exposed wood beam ceilings and wood floors, and even a balcony open to views of the Plaza and Catedral.
UPDATE: So apparently this ad is an elaborate fake. See the background on it here, though it's all in Italian. To summarize, the ad was created by a young student, who is likely about to get his pants sued off.
Italy has plenty of fine cafes and places to grab a quick—or long—espresso, but there’s soon to be a new option that most of the world already recognizes. We knew that Starbucks had their eyes on everywhere from Finland to the Disney World, but it looks like this month will bring the scheduled arrival of overpriced lattes and coffee milkshakes to the citizens of Italy.
We were flipping through some Italian magazine—just looking at the pictures due to our minimum of Italian language skills—when we noticed a pretty familiar lady in her signature shade of green. The ad announced the planned arrival of the coffee giant to spots like Milan, Venice, Naples, and Rome as soon as June of 2012. During our recent adventures to and through the country, we didn’t see any "coming soon" signs to specifically pinpoint locations, but that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t a frappuccino assembly line hiding behind some vacant storefront.
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The countdown clock is approaching zero as Disneyland workers and engineers finalize the reboot of Disney’s California Adventure theme park. We’ve mentioned the new rides, attractions, and other excitement a couple times before; however, there’s one more addition that we’ve failed to discuss in the past. It might be time for us to update our picks for favorite and unusual Starbucks, as it now looks like overpriced lattes and coffee milkshakes are heading toward Main Street USA.
It’s not just the parks in California either, as the plan it to bring the caffeine to both the greater Disneyland Resort as well as Walt Disney World Resort down in Florida. Apparently there’s already discussion about sending some Frappuccinos and their passports overseas, but nothing has been worked out as of yet.
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BALI. For some, the word conjures up images of infinity pools, surfing beaches and tropical temples. For others, it's a nightmare of topless tourists and sweaty sightseeing. Well, we just got back ourselves and we, with the help of tips from friends and locals, did something in between...something that turned out to be awesome. Put on the SPF, hire a car* and join us this week as we reveal an An Awesome Day on Bali (Jaunted-style).
Our awesome day on Bali continues with a wander around Jalan Raya Ubud (Ubud's main street) and a visit to the Pura Taman Saraswati temple behind Starbucks (yes, Starbucks)..
Alright, so now that you've breakfasted at Biku, it's time to hop in that private car* and hightail it almost two hours north into the cultural heart of Bali, in the town of Ubud. We recommend going there in the morning, because the afternoon brings the tour buses and floods the sidewalks (already barely wide enough for one) and many, many temples with vacationers who stop, stare, photograph, bargain for tchotchkes and sweat down the backs of their T-shirts.
A couple years ago United decided to ditch Starbucks as the preferred supplier of their in-flight java, but now Starbucks is coming back with another airline buddy. Alaska Airlines just announced that they’re bringing some improved in-flight coffee to the skies above the nifty fifty.
Starbucks might not be brewed in Alaska, but both Alaska and Starbucks sure enjoy spending time in and around Seattle. The coffee machines were flowing with the new brew as of last week, so if you’re flying anytime soon aboard an Alaska Airlines flight you might just want to wait until 35,000 feet before getting your caffeine fix. Alaska Airlines’ airline partner Horizon Air has been serving Starbucks since like 1990, so it was only a matter of time before both carriers shared the same coffee supplier. So what if it took 20 years.
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We may have just spotted what could be the most exotic Starbucks food item ever. It's a traditional Thai mooncake, but Mon Thong durian-flavored and with an egg baked inside. And you thought "cake pops" were weird!
This treasure was found at a regular Starbucks in Bangkok, so regular that it was in the ground floor of a new mall. The basket of mooncakeseach imprinted with the Starbucks siren logois a limited-time deal, however; mooncakes are eaten this week to celebrate the Chinese Moon Festival which took place on Monday.
The Moon Festival is a "time for giving thanks for the Earth’s bounty and to remember the ancestors," so it's a quiet event where families come together to go pray at a temple or at home, but the mooncakes must be on the table. Since 7-Elevens even sell them, far be it for Starbucks to miss the train. The fact that they're durian-flavored and extremely limited make it all the more special.
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Those Nordic countries better watch out, as Starbucks is about to invade. Residents of Sweden have already started to add Mocha Frappuccinos to the cup holders of their Volvos, and now it looks like Norway and Finland are next on the list. Awesome local coffeeshops need not be too threatened; for now the expansion seems to be limited to just the airports.
It all goes down in 2012, so if you have a plan to visit next summer to take advantage of the warmer temperatures and long, long days you’ll be able to do so with an overpriced latte. Starbucks officials have already announced their plan to add a location at the Gardermoen Airport in Oslo, Norway. Their most recent announcement reveals that they have plans for two locations at the airport in Helsinki, as there will be one place to grab a coffee after security and one welcoming passengers in the arrivals hall.
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Today marks the 25th Anniversary of Virgin Atlantic flights to Miami, and to celebrate it, Virgin CEO Richard Branson will walk out along the wing of one of his planes and party it up. It's just a typical day for Branson, jetting around as he does to check on his multitude of Virgin brands and still somehow chipping in to lend a hand in the world.
So where does he get all the energy to do this? Well, it probably helps that Branson has the money and personal assistants needed to pull off a packed schedule without a hitch, but let's not forget good old coffee.
Recently when we had a chance to sit down with Branson, following the very first Virgin America flight to ORD, we noticed he was toting quite the sizeable Starbucks cup. So what does a billionaire jetsetter order?
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There may be a Starbucks around every corner, but that’s not always the case when you’re stuck flying around the globe. Don’t worry—airlines know that you need your caffeine fix, so there’s plenty of airplanes where you can grab a cup of caffeine from the comfort of 12B. Here’s just five airlines where you can get a little bit of Starbucks up in the air:
· United Airlines:
They might be merging into the world’s biggest and baddest airline, but that doesn’t mean that they are forgetting about the small stuff. United has been offering up Starbucks coffee aboard pretty much every one of their flights for a few years now, and we hear that Continental will also be getting the new brew once the whole merger and transition is complete. Unfortunately there’s no lattes or fancy stuff, but when you’re stuck at 35,000-feet above the ground you take what you can get—especially since it’s one of the free beverage options.
· Porter Airlines:
Clearly we haven’t hid our love for Porter Airlines, and their coffee selection is just another reason why we are ready to join their fan club as soon as it includes an official membership card. Both in their free-for-all lounges—at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and Ottawa International Airport—and in the air Starbucks is an option. They just began brewing Starbucks Pike Place Roast up in the skies a few weeks ago, and apparently they’re the only one in the world to do so—no generic Starbucks flavors for these guys.