Starbucks CEO’s Favorite Drink: A Nostalgic Connection to India

Narasimhan is an Indian-American business executive with over 30 years of experience in the consumer goods industry. He previously served as the CEO of Reckitt Benckiser, a British multinational consumer goods company.

Narasimhan is a graduate of the McKinsey & Company Global Institute and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the board of directors of PepsiCo.

In a recent interview with Fortune magazine, Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan revealed his favorite drink at the coffee chain, which has a special connection to his Indian heritage. Narasimhan, who was born and raised in Pune, India, shared that his go-to drink is the Doppio Espresso Macchiato with some hot milk on the side.

“It’s a way for me to replicate the taste of South Indian coffee here in the US,” Narasimhan explained, expressing his fondness for the beverage’s familiar flavor. The Doppio Espresso Macchiato, a simple yet flavorful combination of espresso, steamed milk, and a dollop of foamed milk, reminds Narasimhan of the coffee he enjoyed back home.

Narasimhan’s preferred drink choice is also quite affordable, costing just $3.35 (approximately ₹280). This makes it a more budget-friendly option compared to some of Starbucks’ more elaborate and expensive beverages, such as the seasonal pumpkin spice frappacino, which can cost up to $5.95.

Beyond his favorite drink, Narasimhan also mentioned being pleasantly surprised by Starbucks’ whiskey barrel-aged Guatemalan coffee. This unique beverage, available at Starbucks roasteries, offers an intriguing twist on traditional coffee with its distinct flavor profile. “It has no alcohol in it. It has a cube of ice. And it’s a wonderful drink that’s available in our roasteries, and I’ve enjoyed that deeply,” Narasimhan remarked.

Narasimhan, who assumed the role of Starbucks CEO in 2022, brings a wealth of experience to the company, having previously served as the CEO of Reckitt, a multinational consumer health, hygiene, and nutrition company. He also held various executive positions at PepsiCo and worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company for 19 years.

With his deep understanding of the consumer goods industry and his global leadership experience, Narasimhan is well-poised to steer Starbucks into its next phase of growth. His appreciation for the Doppio Espresso Macchiato, a beverage that reflects his Indian roots, serves as a reminder of the diverse perspectives and experiences that contribute to the success of Starbucks as a global brand.