I wonder why my coffee tastes so good?

Starbucks prompts varying responses from coffee drinkers in Seattle.

The Seattle “down with the system man!” crowd often avoid Starbucks like the plague, opting instead for Cherry Street, Pegasus or some other small coffee shop when in need of a cup of Joe.

I get coffee at those shops, but I also go to Starbucks because of its convenient location near my office downtown and the incredibly cheerful staff at the Columbia Center shop.

But it has always bugged me that most of the cups on offer at Starbucks are made in China and I have repeatedly asked the staff whether Starbucks could domestically source some of its coffee cups.  Well it seems my requests finally made their way to Howard Schultz.  The New York Times reported today that Starbucks shops will soon be featuring coffee mugs made by members of our extended American family working at the American Mug and Stein Company of East Liverpool, Ohio.  East Liverpool is just across the Ohio River from Newell, West Virginia where the Homer Laughlin China Company makes the iconic Fiesta dinnerware.  American Mug was on the verge of closing last fall, but the Starbucks contract has turned out to really be a lifeline.

This story shows what a huge difference an American retailer can make when it decides to source its products domestically.  We should challenge the retailers we frequent to offer more products made by small domestic manufacturers like American Mug.  Retailers listen to their customers.  If we give them a good reason to stock products made by members of our extended American family, it is likely they will make the effort to seek out firms like American Mug.  We have more power than we know to create jobs for people living in this great nation.  All we have to do is exercise it.  And that is what I plan to do as soon as I get my coffee.  My double-tall, non-fat, 180 degree, no foam latte in my Starbucks branded, American Mug.  Wow, that’s a mouthful!

About Simply American LLC

I live in Seattle and love telling stories about Americans, the places where they work and the things that they make. I have just published a book, Simply American, encouraging Americans to purchase American made products; the book can be ordered at www.simply-american.com.
This entry was posted in american made, cooking, Made in America, made in usa, Seattle and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to I wonder why my coffee tastes so good?

  1. Greg Gordon says:

    This is great news. As a Sonics basketball fan, I also avoid buying at Starbucks, when I can. But their millions of locations assure me of a decent cup of coffee wherever I am. My wife travels with her job and therefore we have a cupboard stocked with Starbucks mugs from around the US as well as from around the world. It’s going to be great buying that new mug in Florence Italy and seeing that it was imported from Ohio. Awesome!

    • tapirking says:

      Greg: Thanks for the comment. Please check out some other posts I have on American made kitchen goods. Just put kitchen in the search space on the right hand side of my blog and you will discover lots of other firms making great kitchen products in the U.S.

      All the best,


  2. Great job! As more and more people join the Made in USA movement, we should see more and more things like this happen, but it will only happen if enough people write to the company and complain. -Jack A

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