Do Starbucks Americanos Taste Different in Korea than in the States?

You would think that the flavor profile of a Starbucks Americano is the same across the world. However, many people say that they taste different in South Korea as opposed to the United States. This variance might possibly be traced back to the company’s operations. Starbucks Korea used to be operated as joint venture between Starbucks and the Korean conglomerate E-Mart. However, in 2021, E-Mart bought Starbuck’s share in the joint venture business. That said, Starbucks Kroea still retains a branding alliance with the global Starbucks entity. This separation could have fostered a more unique coffee culture around the Americano, which holds a prominent spot on Korean Starbucks menus.

While Americans often prefer their coffee with an array of extra shots and cream, in Korea, the Americano remains a simple, yet full-bodied drink. It’s said to possess a pronounced bitterness, rather than an off-putting flavor. This could be attributed to the rigorous training of Korean baristas, who are schooled formally, as opposed to learning on the job. This likely contributes to the coffee’s premium quality, paralleling the trend of fast food in Korea, which is often regarded more luxurious compared to its American counterparts. Additionally, even the merchandise at Korean Starbucks outlets is often said to be more aesthetically appealing than elsewhere.

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