I’ve mentioned before that I’m moving this coming weekend, from the Valley to Silver Lake in Los Angeles. I’ve also mentioned that every morning, I head out and feed feral cats that live in the neighborhood.

On my way back, I stop at Starbucks. Though (perhaps because?) I grew up in South America, I don’t drink coffee. My girlfriend, though, is addicted. She orders (or when I go, I order) something called an iced opio. If you put in the milk yourself at the little self-service island, its basically the same drink as an iced latte, but half the price.

Now, there are four Starbucks stores within two blocks of my apartment, if you count the mini-Starbucks (Joe’s or whatever its called) in the Barnes and Noble, and the other mini-Starbucks in the Marriott on Topanga Boulevard. Sadly (?), where I will be in Silver Lake, there are none within a few miles. This is important because my girlfriend is addicted not to coffee, but to Starbucks coffee. Now, I’m not a coffee drinker, but I’ve heard sniping from some quarters at the quality of Starbucks coffee. Perhaps its sour grapes. I can’t hazard a guess. I’ve also heard sniping at the price of Starbucks coffee, and yet there is often quite a line coming out of their stores.

So here’s my question… can anyone explain to a non-coffee drinker what makes Starbucks so popular?