It’s a good day for coffee lovers in South Africa. Taste Holdings opened its first Starbucks store in the country, in Rosebank, Johannesburg on Thursday morning.

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Since, opening its very first store in Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington in 1971, Starbucks has grown to over 24 000 stores in 70 countries, and has now finally made its way to our shores. According to staff members, the planning and preparation has been nothing short of exhilarating.

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Thebe, a Starbucks’ barista, told DESTINY: “It’s been an awesome journey right from our training days, and today all the pieces are coming together. I’m so happy to see my team performing, and excited about the long queues! Starbucks is going to rock. When I got here at 7.30am, people had already been queuing since 12.30am. The team are pushing the line and everyone is participating. I don’t see anyone who’s disappointed and I’m positive that the queue is only going to get crazier towards the weekend, because most people are still at work.”

We also chatted to dedicated customers who were willing to brave the cold and the queues, for a good cuppa java.

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Lerato Mashiyane
I’ve been standing in the queue for 40 minutes, simply because I’m excited for the different varieties of coffee that we’ve never had in South Africa. I’ve never had Starbucks so I’m thrilled about this.

Mpumumelo Mduye
I’ve been in the queue for 35 to 40 minutes. It’s such a recognised brand overseas, so I just wanted to be part of the brand experience.

Nokwazi Buthelezi
I’ve tasted Starbucks coffee before and I really enjoyed it, so I knew standing in the queue for an hour and a half would be absolutely worthwhile.

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Richard
I just want to taste the coffee and find out what the hype is about. I’ve been here for the past 15 minutes.

While most are excited about the launch, others are irritated with South African’s obsession with international brands. Of course, mixed reactions were expressed on Twitter: