Starbucks vs. Excelso: how do they compare?

Being a middle-aged New Yorker, there are a few things that I look forward to in my day. But a nice steamy cup of coffee is definitely one of them. In recent years there have been many coffee houses popping up at every corner. It becomes a particularly confusing task to choose the best coffee house to have your cup of coffee from. Recently, an old friend of mine and I decided to visit two of the most popular coffee houses in New York and compare some of their drinks.

I, therefore, decided to come up with a side-by-side comparison of the two coffee houses to help you reach a decision based on our experience.

What are the differences between Excelso Vs.? Starbucks?




Environmental consciousness

Less environmentally conscious

More environmentally conscious

Wait time

Depends on the time of day

Normally short waiting time

Service and ambiance

Over-the-counter service

Full service

Beverages and sizes

Offers a wide variety of drinks with modern twists

The sizes also vary considerably.

Offers a more traditional variety of drinks

Standard beverage sizes.


Wide variety

Wide menu

Excelso Vs. Starbucks- How they compare

How do Starbucks vs. Excelso compare?

Environmental consciousness

Starbucks’ model allows it to operate as a fast food restaurant. This mostly involves packing food in disposable containers that are mostly made of plastic or some kind of plastic drawn material. This ensures that the packing is sanitary but also has a huge impact on the environment in a negative way.

Excelso’s model makes it operate as a dine-in restaurant that serves food and beverages on glassware. Unless on the customer’s request, the restaurant always serves on or in glassware.

This makes Excelso’s model more environmentally conscious since they produce less environmentally toxic waste.

Wait time

Starbucks being an American company, prides itself in providing fast and efficient service to its customers. However, this might not always be the case because of the number of people trying to satisfy their coffee urges. During certain times of the day, especially during the morning rush, you might spend a considerable amount of time waiting in line. However, later during the day, the wait time is significantly less than we experienced.

For Excelso, the wait time is considerably less throughout the day. This is mainly attributed to the nature of the service provided. At Excelso, you don’t have to wait in line in order to get your order taken, as they make use of a more traditional approach to restaurant service.

Therefore, Excelso wins in this category as it offers less wait time.

Service and ambiance.

At Starbucks, the service is primarily over the counter kind of service. This is where you wait in line in order to get to the counter where you get your order taken. You then have to wait a few more minutes to have your order prepared, after which you head to a different counter to pick up your order. The beverages and food are mainly served in takeaway cups and containers. You can decide to enjoy your beverage in-house or have it on the go. This might be especially useful for those who are a little bit pressed for time but need their dose of caffeine.

For Excelso, they employ a totally different method of service. Some might refer to it as a more traditional method of service. When you come into the restaurant, you take a seat; the waiter will then come with a menu where you can choose from a wide variety of beverages and meals. Food is mainly served on dinner plates, and cutlery is provided, coffee is served in a coffee mug, and all other beverages are served in glassware as well. This is enjoyed by people who have a lot of time to spare and those who are after the experience.

Starbucks and Excelso tie in this category as they approach customer service differently despite Excelso having a great ambiance.

Types of beverages and sizes

Starbucks offers a wide variety of drinks. Customers can choose from juices, smoothies, and coffee-based drinks, which they specialize in. This is especially good for people who want to satisfy their sweet tooth carvings as well as get their daily dose of caffeine.

On the other hand, Excelso coffee offers specialty coffee and has very little variety in terms of flavor profiles. They also have a variety of roast profiles that you can choose from. They mainly specialize in the brewing of coffee using different methods, from the traditional French press to a more modern method of using a siphon.

Starbucks wins in this category as they offer a wide variety of beverages of diff sizes.


Starbucks has a menu that offers a wide variety of items to its customers. This includes sweet and savory menu items; they also offer a wide variety of pastries.

Excelso also offers a wide variety of menu items. They have a much wider menu than Starbucks that caters to the different tastes of its customers.

In this category, Starbucks and Excelso tie depending on the meal you are looking for. Unlike Starbucks, which offers mainly fast food items, Excelso offers more comprehensive and wholesome meals.

Excelso Vs. Starbuck- A Comparison Overview

Excelso overview

Starbucks vs. Excelso: how do they compare?

Excelso is a coffee franchise shop that was started in 1991 by Excelso Multirasa. It has developed over the years from just having a few stores in Indonesia to currently having 126 outlets in more than 30 cities. Excelso offers various products that form a huge part of their menu, but they are most renowned for the brews that encompass various coffee beans from different parts of Indonesia as well as different roast levels.

They also offer exceptional customer service that lets the customer be involved in the coffee brewing methods. One of the brewing methods that offer customer interaction is the use of the siphon method on the tabletop.

Excelso café is definitely a high-end coffee house that takes the customer on an indulgent journey in the coffee-making process. If you are looking for a place to learn more about coffee while enjoying it, this is definitely the place for you.

Starbucks overview

Starbucks vs. Excelso

Starbucks coffee was started on March 30, 1971, by three young men; Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegel, and Gordon Bowker; at Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington, United States. The trio wanted to fill in a market gap that existed by selling high-quality coffee beans and coffee roasting equipment.

It has grown over the years from that a café in Washington to having 33833 as of 2021 in 84 countries worldwide. The coffee house offers various products that cater to various people’s needs, but its specialty definitely has to be the wide range of coffee-based beverages.

Starbucks has often taken part in various community campaigns, and its most recent was the pink campaign to raise awareness of breast cancer, which affects a lot of women all around the world.

Final Verdict: So, which is Better? – Excelso Vs. Starbucks

Starbucks and Excelso are definitely amazing coffee houses that serve various niches in the market. Therefore, I cannot pick one over the other. If you are a little bit pressed for time and are looking for a dose of caffeine, Starbucks would definitely be great for you. On the other hand, if you are looking for an experience and learn more about coffee and enjoying a wholesome meal Excelso is definitely the place for you.


Which is the most popular between Starbucks and Excelso?

Starbucks is more popular than Excelso as it is a global brand compared to its competitor Excelso which is a local brand.

Which one tastes better between Starbucks and Excelso?

Both Starbucks and Excelso have unique tastes depending on what is your taste preference is. Both coffee chain offers a variety of drinks that you can choose from according to your tooth type.

What is the big difference between Starbucks and Excelso?

The major difference between Starbucks and Excelso is that Starbucks is a global brand whilst Excelso is a local brand.

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