Starbucks Passport App is the Untappd of Coffee


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Coffee connoisseurship has almost certainly gone mainstream, and the latest indication is the release of Starbuck’s “Coffee Passport” app to the general public. The app allows users to collect digital stickers in their coffee passport each time they try a new coffee (or a single-origin coffee from a new country), while recording tasting-notes and comments about the experience. The app also includes plenty of study materials to shrink the gap between coffee shop guest and trained barista, including a glossary, primer on cuppings, and tips on various brew methods.

Starbucks baristas have had a paper version of this idea since the mid 90s, and the app was pre-released to Starbucks staff a month ago. The idea of ‘collecting’ rare beverages on your phone pokemon-style has precedent with apps like Untappd (for craft beer) and Delectable (for wine). In general, these apps encourage users to expand their selection and provide an incentive to go for the “new” over the “tried-and-true.” This could ultimately hurt Starbucks, who have had a hard time breaking in to the niche coffee market, although they’ve indicated a plan to focus even more on rare, high end coffee in the future.

To read more, click here.

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