by Miryam Muller in , , ,

I love me some Starbucks. Chances even are that, along with many others who have fallen for the super consistent, cozy homey décor, burnt-coffee smell and the $4 latte, you can find me visiting the chain to grab a drink, to work or simply hang out with my friends every other day and in any other city I find myself in. If Starbucks has done anything, it has shown me how the ability of a brand can transform your day, and for that matter, your life.

Before Starbucks and I became best buddies, I used to find comfort in a cup of tea or coffee at the corner deli from where I used to live in New York: it was easy, there were no changes and no surprises. It was sustainable and utilitarian. It did its job. Then came Starbucks, that great paper cup of coffee that came in three different sizes, a huge range of flavors that could accommodate any mood, and that was available any time of day. What a concept! It was a cup of coffee that came with great music, free Wi-Fi, and the opportunity to support worthy causes. Who wanted the old beat-up cup of coffee anymore? A cup of Starbucks coffee gave comfort and status.

Yet Starbucks also is a company full of contradictions. On one hand, Starbucks leadership is passionate about improving the lives of tens of thousands of workers and shrinking their global carbon footprint. But on the other hand, the corporation has turned the latte into a fast food commodity that isn’t only bad for our waistlines and wallets, but has made it nearly impossible for smaller independent coffee shops to compete.

Insurance Quotes’ latest Hidden Costs video evaluates the global impact of Starbucks on our health, our environment and our economy. So what’s the grade? A respectable “B”. It turns out that the company’s forward looking leadership is truly making the company a healthier presence in the world.

Right now, you’re probably sitting within a mile of six Starbucks where you can blow $6 on a 780 calorie mocha. And maybe this video has gotten you hankering for one. So treat yourself. Chances are that mocha will be ground from fair trade espresso beans by a barista with company-provided health benefits.

The end result is that Starbucks does an extremely good job of providing coffee not only for the U.S., but worldwide, even if you may not necessarily dig their oft-burnt coffee, everyone surely loves a cozy environment and free Wi-Fi.

Oldest Starbucks Cafe