Starbucks has lost it’s romance. Aw.

Found this over at PSFK, a trend watching site. Apparently while Starbucks has been taking over the world, it’s finally realized it lost it’s romance. Living in LA, I much prefer The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (Black Forest’s are the best), but it’s always nice to see a mega-brand realize they’ve lost something while dominating the world.

An article in the Wall Street Journal suggests that Starbucks growth has damaged the brand as they tried to replace the theater of coffee making with machines that make the process fast and efficient. In an email sent by Starbucks’ CEO, Howard Schultz entitled “The Commoditization of the Starbucks Experience” he says:

“When we went to automatic espresso machines, we solved a major problem in terms of speed of service and efficiency. At the same time, we overlooked the fact that we would remove much of the romance and theatre that was in play with the use of the La Marzocco machines. This specific decision became even more damaging when the height of the machines, which are now in thousands of stores, blocked the visual sight line the customer previously had to watch the drink being made, and for the intimate experience with the barista.”

Meanwhile, MediaBistro looks at the stats in the book publishing market and suggests that Starbucks is more influential and shifting paperbacks than Barnes & Noble.

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