Starbucks vs. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: which coffee tastes better?

If you cannot go to work without drinking coffee, you can either choose to make it at home or purchase it from a coffee house. With so many coffee houses available, picking one that sells good-tasting coffee is often challenging.

Since I am very particular about how I like my coffee, I spent a lot of money comparing different brands. I created this post to help you learn more about Starbucks and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. You will also discover what makes them different and which one has better-tasting coffee. Enjoy!

What are the differences between The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Vs. Starbucks?


The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf



Comfortable seating

Cool music

WiFi issues

Good music

Warm lighting

Ample seating space

Free WiFi

Wall art


1,000 locations in around 30 countries

Over 33,000 locations and 80 countries.





Food items





Price range

High price

A bit more affordable

Beverage sizes

Small: 12 fl oz

Regular: 16 fl oz

Large: 20 fl oz

Short: 8 fl oz

Tall: 12 fl oz

Grande: 16 fl oz

Venti: 24 fl oz

Trenta: 31 fl oz

Environmental consciousness

It practices sustainability

Works hard to minimize carbon and waste footprints

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Vs. Starbucks – How they compare.

Starbucks vs. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf


The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf provides a cozy ambiance to its customers. Its stores are quite accommodating since they offer nice seating arrangements and are not very crowded. You can enjoy the cool music that most stores play and the friendly staff. Though you can sit at one of the stores and enjoy the WiFi available, some customers reveal that they experience WiFi issues with this company.

On the other hand, Starbucks offers a library-like ambience in its stores. Since most of the Starbucks stores feel like home, you can spend a lot of time seated at the comfy couches without feeling pressured to leave. They also feature warm lighting and wooden walls with some earthly colors. Though some of the Starbucks stores are sometimes crowded during peak hours, this company offers unlimited free WiFi.

Starbucks wins since it provides a better ambiance than The Coffee Bean stores.


The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf mostly operates in the US. Though this company’s locations are mostly centralized in Nevada, Arizona, and California, it also has more stores in over 30 countries.

While The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf operates on the principle of scarcity, Starbucks aims to reach more customers at different locations. This coffee house has over 33,000 stores in over 80 countries. You can therefore find a Starbucks store almost everywhere.

Starbucks, therefore, wins since it has more locations than The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.


Apart from being an international company, Starbucks is also famous for its diversity. Its menu has numerous drinks and food items that you can pick from. It offers not only coffee drinks but also non-coffee beverages. This company offers the main and secret menu.

Some of the popular products available at Starbucks include cold brews, americanos, espresso, flat whites, lattes, frappuccinos, mochas, and macchiatos. This company sells not only coffee but also teas, refreshers, and smoothies. If you like taking drinks with baked items, Starbucks has got you covered since it has a couple of them you can pick from. For instance, it offers sandwiches, bagels, pre-packed lunches, and sweet treats.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf offers Americanos, cappuccinos, frappuccinos and espressos. This company is also famous for its original ice-blended coffee. You can also get whole bean teas and whole bean coffees from this company. Like Starbucks, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf also sells baked goods.

Though both companies have some similar items, Starbucks wins since it has a more extensive menu than The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

Price Range

The coffee house targets people in both the middle class and upper class. Starbucks has more affordable items than The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf mostly targets the elite. For instance, you can purchase coffee from Starbucks for $4.65. The same cup of coffee can cost you $6 if you get it from The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

Starbucks, therefore, wins in this category since it has more affordable products than The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

Beverage Sizes

One thing that makes Starbucks stand out is its use of Italian names to name its beverage sizes. This company offers five beverage sizes: short, tall, venti, grande, and trenta. The beverage size of Starbucks ranges between 8 fl oz and 31 fl oz. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf offers beverages in three sizes, namely, small, regular, and large. They range between 12 fl and 20 fl oz.

Starbucks wins since it offers beverages in more sizes than The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

Environmental Consciousness

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is environmentally conscious since it practices sustainability. It takes different measures to help minimize waste, such as offering paper straws and introducing paper cups. This company has also established different recycling programs and developed energy usage systems. The Green Restaurant Association has also certified The Coffee Bean stores green.

Starbucks is also keen on protecting the environment. It is committed to reducing waste and carbon footprints significantly over time. Some of the measures that this company takes to be more environmentally friendly include introducing reusable packaging to replace single-use packaging and investing in water replenishment.

Starbucks and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf draw in this category since they are both environmentally friendly.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Vs. Starbucks – A Comparison Overview

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Overview

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

This company has been operating since 1963. It was founded by a couple called Herbert Hyman and Mona Hyman. These newlyweds had just traveled to Sweden for their honeymoon when they discovered great-tasting coffee in the country. After coming back to the US, they decided to begin brewing coffee to introduce more people to better-tasting coffee.

The couple opened the first location in Los Angeles and called it The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. When they established the company, they imported, roasted, and sold gourmet coffee in Brentwood. By the 1970s, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf had around ten stores in the South of California. Unfortunately, Hyman passed away in 2014.

Today, Jollibee Foods Corporation owns The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. It has over 1000 locations in over 30 countries. This company offers customers coffee, tea, and even food items. You can buy different drinks from this coffee house, including cappuccinos, Americanos, espressos, and iced blended beverages. Though The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is not as popular as Starbucks, it has been operating for longer than the giant company.

Starbucks Overview

Starbucks vs. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Three guys that attended the University of San Francisco were the founders of Starbucks. They were called Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegle, and Gordon Bowker. These three got inspired by Alfred Peet, who had just opened a coffee company, and they decided to establish their own company. The founders of Starbucks had to borrow money to establish their company.

They bought a used roaster to start creating coffee blends and implemented Peet’s roasting techniques. Starbucks began by selling coffee beans that customers could use to roast their own coffee in 1971. By 1980, this company had at least four stores in Seattle. To date, it still has its headquarters in Seattle, Washington.

By 2021, this coffee house had over 33,000 stores in over 80 countries. Starbucks specializes in selling coffee drinks, tea, refreshers, and smoothies. You can also get baked items from this coffee house. Some of the popular drinks available at Starbucks include mochas, macchiatos, lattes, flat whites, cappuccinos, brewed coffees, Americanos, and espressos.

Today, Howard Schultz is the CEO of this company. Starbucks has managed to become an industry leader and even supports farming communities.

Final Verdict: So, Which is Better? – The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Vs. Starbucks

Starbucks is better than The Coffee Bean. This is because it offers more affordable drinks, has a more extensive menu, covers a wider scope, offers more sizes, and provides a better ambience. Starbucks is also the better option for coffee since it uses 100% arabica coffee. Since The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf uses both Robusta and Arabica for its coffee, it does not always taste as great as that of Starbucks. Another disadvantage with The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is that it is not only expensive but also scarce in some areas. I, therefore, choose Starbucks as the clear winner.


Which is more popular between Starbucks, Coffee Bean, and Tea Leaf?

Starbucks is more popular than Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf since it operates globally.

Is Starbucks coffee healthier than Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf coffee?

No. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf coffee is healthier than that of Starbucks since most of its drinks don’t have high sugar content.

Which came first: Coffee Bean or Starbucks?

Coffee Bean came first since it was established in 1963, while Starbucks was established in 1971.

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