I agree. Four bucks is dumb. However, in Florida, an iced tall caramel macchiato comes to $3.38 including tax. And the peace of mind that comes with knowing the barista didn’t spit in your drink. And never having to really order because the barista already knows what you want and how you want it (whole milk, light ice, and a box of organic chocolate milk for the kid) because they are all so nice and so…un-McDonald’s-like.
I’m not making excuses for Starbucks or why I think anything you drink is worth more than $1.50. But it’s the same reason people are willing to pay a few bucks for a beer in a bar rather than buy a six-pack and drink at home. What’s next, McDonald’s? Bud McLight?