coffee

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Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz says his company is facing a "tidal wave of change" as people buy more online and less in brick and mortar stores, so he’s outlined a plan to attract even more people to his cafes even in the age of e-commerce. 

chichacha / Flickr

A love for coffee may run deep in the Northwest, but now a Seattle scientist says the craving for coffee seems to be written into some people’s DNA.

Researchers from Harvard University, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and elsewhere sifted through the genes of more than 100,000 people, looking for common variants that correlate with heavy coffee consumption. They zeroed in on eight genetic variations associated with that deep compulsion to hoist a mug of joe.

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Seattle thinks it knows its coffee. After all, it's the birthplace of Starbucks, and neighborhoods with two or three coffeehouses per block are not uncommon.

So you’d think the new director of Seattle Opera, Aidan Lang, would be happy. He’s a self-described coffee lover. But Lang says what we’re missing is a drink that’s taking the world by storm called a "flat white."

So we set out to find out what a flat white is, and where we can find it in Seattle. Click play below to hear what we found.

Ronald Tan

If all goes according to plan, Tully’s will have a new celebrity owner come Monday. That’s when actor Patrick Dempsey’s investment group is set to complete its purchase of the struggling coffee chain out of bankruptcy. 

The bidding hasn't closed yet, but a charity auction of a cup of coffee shared with Apple CEO Tim Cook has already attracted offers of more than $600,000 — more than 10 times its estimated value of $50,000. Cook is one of several celebrities taking part in the auction, which benefits the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.

The coffee klatch, currently valued at $605,000, will take place at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. And the price may rise even higher — the auction closes on Tues., May 14.

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If you have a daily Starbucks fix, you’re not alone. The company took in $3.6 billion in revenue in the most recent quarter. 

Starbucks added 590 stores around the world— including Ho Chi Minh City—in the first three months of this year. And they weren’t just coffee shops; more than 300 were tea shops that Starbucks acquired through its purchase of Teavana.

How Coffee Influenced The Course Of History

Apr 24, 2013
Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Coffee is a powerful beverage. On a personal level, it helps keep us awake and active. On a much broader level, it has helped shape our history and continues to shape our culture.

Coffee plants grow wild in Ethiopia and were probably used by nomadic tribes for thousands of years, but it wasn't until the 1400s that people figured out they could roast its seeds. "Then it really took off," historian Mark Pendergrast — author of Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World —told Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep.

It happens to the best of us. You drink one too many cups of coffee and, for the next few hours, you end up acting like a hyper preschooler who just can't sit still.

Which can be pretty inconvenient if it's, say, noon and you're at the office, or if it's midnight and you can't fall asleep.

Wouldn't it be nice if there were something quick and easy that you could take to combat the effects of over-caffeination? Something like ... a banana?

mediafury / flickr.com

2011 was a terrific year for the Seattle-based Starbucks coffee chain. The stock shot up 43% last year and recently hit record highs.

Financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer look at the successful company on this week's Money Matters.

Flickr photo courtesy dontthink.feel

Tully's Coffee has lost yet another CEO. Seattle's second biggest coffee enterprise has announced that Carl Pennington will retire at the end of this month. 

According to the Seattle Times, he is the seventh CEO to cycle through the company since founder Tom O'Keefe stepped down from the post a decade ago. 

Bellamy Pailthorp photo / KPLU

Starbucks stocks have surged. That's thanks in part to the German financial company Deutsche Bank, which has resumed its coverage of the Seattle coffee giant and is saying investors should buy the stock. 

It's just one sign of confidence in the rebound of the company, as its executives outlined its latest growth strategies.

An annual love affair with coffee and other addictive treats

Single-serve coffee is in vogue.  Seattle-based Starbucks says that's the motivation behind a long-awaited deal with Vermont's Green Mountain Coffee, which the companies signed today.  It's part of Starbuck's strategy for continued growth in the US and Canada. 

Starbucks

In 40 years it went from a tiny store near Pike Place Market to a global brand, recognized around the world.  Starbucks is celebrating its  anniversary with a new, simplified logo that doesn’t have the word "Starbucks" or "coffee" on it. 

On Tuesday, a band played and hundreds of employees gathered and cheered as the logo was unveiled at Starbucks headquarters in Seattle.  CEO Howard Schultz told the crowd there were many doubters in the beginning who didn’t think Starbucks could ever go beyond the West Coast. "But they were wrong," he said.