Global Business: 12 Famous & Largest Coffee Chains


Coffee is one daily beverage that many people begin their days with, and there are many coffee shops everywhere worldwide. Some of the largest coffee chains are very famous and popular among many coffee lovers. These coffee chains have many of their branches in countries in different parts of the world. We are talking about the largest coffee chains with thousands of locations or even more. Let’s find out about the famous coffee chains and their origin together with me below.

1Krispy Kreme

Founded In: United States
Locations: 1,000+

This is an American donut and coffeehouse chain that began the business in 1937 in North Carolina. Vernon Rudolph founded Krispy Kreme when he was 22 years old. It began when he was working for his uncle who ran a general store that was famous for its donuts. In 1934, his uncle closed up the shop and opened a donut-only shop in Nashville. The shop became so popular that Vernon’s father moved to help him run the place back then.

In 1937, Vernon decided to strike out on his own. He took his uncle’s donut recipe and set up his own shop in North Carolina. He also commissioned a local architect Benny Dinkins to design the logo as well. And his shop was an immediate hit since then. Krispy Kreme continued its expansion through the years, picking up speed in the 1950s. In 2001, the company opened its first international location and now there are hundreds of locations worldwide.


Founded In: Germany
Locations: 1000+

Tchibo is one of the largest coffee chains in the world with over one thousand coffee retailers. This German brand is famous for its range of non-coffee products that change weekly; hence the slogan “Every Week A New World”. Coffee shop is not their only business, their product ranges also cover services like travel, insurance, and mobile phone contracts. Back in 1949, Tchibo was very innovative when it comes to serving its customers at the beginning of the business. Customers could choose between having their coffee packed in tins or sewn into pouches made of handkerchiefs or tea towels. Tchibo always comes with a unique technique to serve their customers, and that is why this brand is so successful.

3Gloria Jean’s Coffee

image: Alpha

Founded In: Australia
Locations: 1,000+

Gloria Jean’s Coffee is an American-Australian retail coffeehouse chain company with more than one thousand locations in 39 countries. Gloria Jean Kvetko founded the company in 1979 in a small town just outside Chicago. It started as a small coffee and gift shop before growing to over 50 locations throughout the US. In 1993, Gloria Jean and her husband sold the franchise for an estimated $40 million. Then the company began its expansion offshore to its success today. Now, there are more than one thousand Gloria Jean’s coffeehouses in 48 countries in the world.

4A Twosome Place

image: pexels

Founded In: South Korea
Locations: 1000+

Inspired by the cafes in Europe, A Twosome Place has a unique goal of sharing the culture of enjoying coffee. The brand first launched in 2002 before starting its first franchise seven years later in 2009. In just one year, there are 100 chain stores by 2010. This coffeehouse chain is based in Seoul, the heart of South Korea with over 500 retail stores in the country. A Twosome Place serves a wide assortment of premium beverages including coffee, tea, desserts, and more. Apart from enjoying the relaxing atmosphere, customers can also see the process of roasting beans and making cold brew there as well.

585 Degree C Bakery Cafe

Founded In: Taiwan
Locations: 1,000+

This is a Taiwanese international chain of retailers selling coffee, tea, cakes, desserts, smoothies, fruit juices, souvenirs, and bakery products. Wu Cheng Hsueh incorporated the company in early 2003, and opened the first shop in Taipei in 2004. The name of the company is from Wu’s belief that 85 degree Celsius is the optimal temperature to serve coffee. By 2006, the company opened its first oversea store in Sydney Australia. The company keeps expanding, and now there are over 1,000 retail shops worldwide. This brand is famous for its sea salt coffee, made by sweetening its iced Americano with sea salt whipped cream on top. The concept came from the Taiwanese habit of sprinkling salt on fruit to bring out the sweetness.

6Doutor Coffee

Founded In: Japan
Locations: 1,300+

Doutor Coffee is a Japanese retail company that specializes in coffee roasting and coffee shop franchising. The company has more than 900 locations in Japan, and they also have international locations as well. The first shop opened in 1980 in Harajuku, and it was the first European-styled cafe there. The shop was small back then, but the quality makes it a huge success today. The special thing about the coffee in Doutor is definitely their unique coffee roasting. The company uses a more effective way to roast their coffee that retains the flavor in coffee. Doutor Coffee utilizes the flame-roasting approach which is laborious and time-extensive but delivers flavored coffee beans. That is one of the main reasons why Doutor Coffee is very popular in Japan.

7Ediya Coffee

Founded In: South Korea
Locations: 3,000+

Ediya Coffee is like the Starbucks of South Korea since this coffeehouse has 3,000 retail stores in South Korea alone. The name of the company derives from the name of the tribe in Ethiopia which is where the coffee comes from. The coffee chain of this brand keeps on growing since the opening of its first store in 2001. By 2016, Ediya Coffee became the first homegrown coffee brand to run 2000 stores.

8Cafe Amazon

image: Prachatai

Founded In: Thailand
Locations: 3,000+

Cafe Amazon is a chain of Thai coffeehouses owned by PTT Public Company Limited, Thailand’s largest state-owned oil and gas company. The cafes are common at PTT and other gas stations, inside of malls, and in city centers. There are more than 3,000 locations of Cafe Amazon around the world, mostly in Cambodia. The first Cafe Amazon outlet opened in 2002 in a PTT gas station, and they keep on expanding until now. The great taste of the coffee comes with the best quality coffee beans carefully sourced from selected coffee farms across Thailand. This coffee brand is gaining popularity across Asia, and it has become Thailand’s most favorite coffeehouse for many years.

9Costa Coffee

Founded In: United Kingdom
Locations: 3,400+

Founded by the Costa brothers in 1971, Bruno and Sergio, Costa Coffee is one among the largest coffee chains in the world. The company started as a wholesale operation that supplies roasted coffee to caterers and specialist Italian coffee shops. In 1978, the brothers opened their first coffee shop in London. In 1985, Sergio bought out Bruno’s share of the company. Bruno then went on to found a tableware company after the coffee business. By 1995, Costa Coffee had 41 stores in the UK before reaching 1,000 stores in 2009. The products in the shop are hot drinks, cold drinks, savory snacks, cakes and pastries, and reusable cups. In 2019, the owner sold the company to The Coca-Cola Company and the locations have grown to over 3,000 nowadays.

10Luckin Coffee

Founded In: China
Locations: 4,500+

Founded in Beijing in 2007, Luckin Coffee is one of the largest coffee chains in the world. It is also the second-biggest coffee brand in China as well in 2018. The unique thing about this coffee brand is that most of its stores are small “pick-up” locations. Most of the small locations are in office buildings or college campuses that serve for online orders pickup and delivery. Luckin Coffee operates shops, stores, and kiosks that offer coffee, tea, and food.

The thing is that much of Luckin’s expansion was fueled by an aggressive marketing strategy. The company spent three times as much as it earned to feed its growth. On January 2019, the company announced that it planned to open 2,500 new stores and surpass Starbucks to become the biggest coffee brand in China.


Founded In: United States
Locations: 12,000+

Used to be Dunkin’ Donuts, the company dropped the Donuts from its name in 2019 while donuts still remain on the menu. The name shortening is to reflect its increasing emphasis on coffee and other drinks as well as sandwiches. William Rosenberg, the founder of the company launched his shop in 1950 in Massachusetts. With 70 years of business, Dunkin’ has more than 12,500 restaurants in 36 countries. Being one of the largest coffee chains in the world, its products include donuts, bagels, baked goods, and a variety of hot and iced beverages.


Founded In: United States
Locations: 30,000+

Starbucks is the largest coffee chain that opened its first shop in 1971 in Seattle, the United States. The locations of Starbucks serve hot and cold drinks, whole-bean coffee, various coffee types, and tea. There are also fresh juices, snacks, and desserts as well depend on the country of those locations. The one thing that they all have in common besides the coffee is of course the mugs and tumblers.

Starbucks is probably the only company that keeps on changing the looks of its logo, 4 times to be exact. According to Starbucks’ spokeswoman in 2006, the logo is an image of a twin-tailed mermaid or Siren from Greek mythology. One of the nice things about Starbucks is that they always make sure that their business is environmentally friendly. That includes the reduction of using plastic straws and many more. Pricey but not so bad, maybe that’s why Starbucks is so famous.

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