My Personal Starbucks Challenge…

Every once in a while I make rash decisions. And even though I’m usual a rather considerate person, I learned to trust my instincts on that, because these rash decisions never were bad ones. Most of the times they turned out to be right or at least ok. Today’s rash decision is to spend the next Saturday ( 8th November) with visiting every Starbucks Coffee House in the Ruhr metropolitan area. Why? Well, just because…

Seriously… this morning a mail informed me that GrandeMacchiato was following me on twitter. Of course I checked that out and found the according website GrandeMacchiatoMe. It’s about the project of visiting all of Edinburghs 15 Starbucks coffee houses in one day, while reporting about it via liveblogging and twitter, including GPS tracking of the route and everything. And I just thought: “What a crazy and cool idea!” It’s such an utterly absurd endeavour, that I just have to love it. And it means Starbucks coffee and cookies all day, so what’s not to like about that? Except for the sugar high at the end of the day.

I immediately thought about doing something similar on a smaller scale, because there are only 2-3 Starbucks in the big cities around here. And then I thought: Well, these big cities make up the whole Ruhr metroplitan area, so why not do it on a larger scale after all? I did some research (Starbucks website and the yellowpages) and found 15 locations in 6 cities. I knew before that the Starbucks Site isn’t really up to date, but I didn’t know that there obviously is a Starbucks in Essen south of where I work. I have to check that on Monday.
When I checked my calendar for a suitable Saturday to do this in the next few weeks I realized that there aren’t too many free Saturdays available. I either have plans or such busy weeks that I need the Saturday for recuperation (and doing the household chores and all). So I decided – and that’s probably the really rash part of the decision – to go ahead with this whole idea already on the next weekend, 8th November. And maybe I’m doing this so rather spontaneously because I haven’t done something crazy like that in a long time. And I miss it. So this Starbucks expedition will hopeful fill my share of crazy for this year :-)

Anyway, of course even such an absurd project needs some rules and I’ll adopt the original ones with some alteration. (rule #1 and #5) There is no way to cover all 16 locations in one day using public transport if I have to consume every drink or snack in the coffee house itself and won’t be allowed to take something “to-go”. There are about 60 km between the Starbucks far east and the one far west. And as it will takes me a while to get to the starting point and I don’t feel like getting up too early on a Saturday my time limit will be 09.30 AM and 7.30 PM.

My rules for the Starbucks Ruhr Challenge

1 In every  Starbucks something must be purchased. In every one of the six towns at least one drink or snack must be consumed in a Starbucks coffee house.

2 A sales receipt indicating time and date of sale will be obtained.

3 A photograph will be taken in/at Starbucks as proof of visit.

4 Only public transport may be used to travel between the Starbucks store locations.

5 All visits must take place between 09.30 AM and 07.30 PM.

I won’t be able to blog while I’m on my way, but I’ve got a cellphone and cellity so I will twitter about it constantly. And there will be no GPS tracking either, but there is a Google map (which I can’t embed here unfortunately) and I will definitely add some more information (photos and such) later.

I will start in the west in Duisburg and will travel east via Oberhausen, Mülheim, Essen and Bochum till I’ll end the trip in Dortmund. Maybe some of the folks reading this want to join me for a cup of coffee somewhere along the way? Just let me know and I’ll give you an estimated time of arrival in any town or coffee house. I still have to work out the details of the trip, I have checked the estimated travel time between the various locations, but of course it still needs some finetuning. But that’s something I’ll do tomorrow or on any evening during the next week…


  1. ähm, everything okay with you?
    This will cost a) a lot of money b) you will have either a coffein overdose or too much sugar in your blood :) and c) why Starbucks?
    (I love Balzac, sorry…Hanover just got it’s first Starbucks and in Hamburg there is Balzac all over the place).
    mhh okay, I get it that you want to do something crazy again :). I’m still a TV show enthusiast and happy enough that my fave show still runs. And I do crazy set visits every now and then – this is crazy and spontaneous enough for me (It always needs a lot of time to plan those visits because our “maulwurf” isn’t that reliable *g*).

  2. @graefin: everthing’s fine, thanks for asking :) I’m glad that you’ll understand my need to do something crazy every once in a while. And it’s Starbucks, because I just like it. I’ll try to not overdo it with the sugar and I won’t buy a coffee in everyone (sometimes just a cookie or something) so it won’t be THAT expensive. It will cost some money, that’s for sure but I’ll allow myself to spend that, as I haven’t spent much money on anything crazy recently.

    I miss being on a TV set though :-(

  3. I already suffer from withdrawals because we haven’t managed to get our monthly”TV-set dose” in October. Sounds totally crazy, I know, but I think by now we somehow “belong” to the team. But we (it’s always me and a friend, and we don’t go there alone) will try to catch the team next week ;). Wish me luck!

  4. You’re still alive … :-) It sounds like an intersting challenge, just go ahead and do it. You can always make up your own rules :-)

  5. Alive again, I suppose. Well, wouldn’t be that much of a challenge, really. Waiting to see when they’re going to open the first Starbucks whithin one of the existing stores…

  6. In fact, there’s eight, but six within a triangle between Jungfernstieg, Europa Passage and Roedingsmarkt.The other two are in the outskirts.

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