Starbucks ad from 1984

My mom saved a lot of stuff. Well, I’ve saved a lot of stuff too. Don’t we all? Lol. Among her stuff I happened to find an old magazine brochure from an exhibition about China at Seattle’s Pacific Science Center in 1984.

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'China: 7,000 Years of Discovery' brochure cover from the 1984 exhibition at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle
‘China: 7,000 Years of Discovery’ brochure cover from the 1984 exhibition at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle

Caption for the cover:  “The ‘100 Boys’ jacket of Empress Xiao Jing is embroidered with figures of dragons, bamboo, flowers, and 100 boys playing games, flying kites, catching birds, and pretending to be officials. All are symbols of good luck, long life, and fertility. Xiao Jing was a contemporary of Elizabeth I.

Now, I know I certainly went to the Science Center in 1984, as I have a picture with my mom and my grandmother, who was visiting from out of the country. So I guess it’s possible I went to this exhibition too. In any case, on the back of this brochure was a gem of an advertisement. A full page advertisement from Starbucks! An advertisement not about coffee, but about tea. Well, their full name used to be “Starbucks Coffee and Tea”. I’ve never seen so much text in a Starbucks advertisement lol. Take a look (click or touch to enlarge):

Starbucks 1984 advertisement about rare Chinese teas in 'China: 7,000 Years of Discovery' brochure from the exhibition at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle
Starbucks 1984 advertisement about rare Chinese teas in ‘China: 7,000 Years of Discovery’ brochure from the exhibition at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle

You saw it here first!

At least, I think you did. I did an image search on both Google and Bing for this, to no avail. So it might be somewhere on the Information Superhighway (oh wait, that was 1990’s lingo) but if it is it’s not easily visible. So you saw it here first! 😀

There’s a few curious things here. First, the amount of text, as I mentioned before. And it’s so poetic! And written with such confidence, despite Starbucks being so tiny compared to today. But they were in their expansion phase! Notice at the bottom right corner how there were only 5 Starbucks stores at the time? Haha, they could list all the stores in a corner without any problem. But coming soon was their first store out of the Seattle area, in San Francisco. So that’s where their expansion began. It’s quite appropriate, because of the historical connection with Peet’s. The 3rd store, 507 Broadway East, doesn’t exist anymore, but it happens to be across the street from one of my favorite cafés in Seattle, Espresso Vivace. There’s no Starbucks at Fourth and Spring but there’s one a block up at Fourth and Seneca. Bellevue? That’s like a foreign country to me, but it’s no longer there either. And the 1st San Francisco location? Oh, it’s a kids clothing store now. Where’s the respect for history?! Sigh. Just kidding. Anyway, that store is just a few doors down now. What else? Of course, they have the older brown siren logo which they’ve resurrected again in the past few years. Next to China is the USSR. This was pre-Gorbachev, so, <shiver>. Korea makes a nice appearance. And finally, “a visit to Starbucks is a special part of any trip to Seattle.” Little did they know how prescient that would be, and how true it still is in 2015 for the great majority of tourists.

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Appropriately, I’ve finished this post and published it at the University Village Starbucks, the 2nd Starbucks ever. See: image image It’s a green tea with a little bit of mint, according to the barista. Not much more specific than that, unfortunately. Well, times change. There’s a fancy Starbucks Teavana store a few steps away from here that has a whole collection of teas. Perhaps they have some teas similar to the special imports from 1984.

Eh? what’s that you say? Look closely at the picture? There’s a tag? Oh yeah! I hadn’t noticed that until now. :–*> So, my tea is a Teavana brand Jade Citrus Mint. Tasty. Relaxing. And it turns out that it is from China too. Yay! How very appropriate. 😀 Its base is 珍眉茶, known as Chun Mee, or “precious eyebrow tea”. Hm, I really like it. Now that the vanilla rooibos tea latte is gone from Starbucks, this might be my new preferred tea.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this little glimpse of the past! Until next time… ~

Word out ~

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NOVEMBER 2015 UPDATE

A little article from The Seattle Times about Starbucks and its connection to China and its economic changes in 2015:

http://www.seattletimes.com/business/starbucks-beijing-star-rides-china-changes

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