Starbucks in Armenia: how local coffee-lovers survive without it?

Starbucks in Armenia

Do you have Starbucks in Armenia? That’s the question I got recently asked on Instagram by someone who was considering visiting Armenia. That got me thinking… How come having Starbucks in the destination is even a factor for someone who’s planning their vacation? Well, overpriced coffee is the first thing I think of when I hear the word “Starbucks”. And since I only know it from abroad, I decided to learn more about it and its (potential) place in Armenia. And it looks like Starbucks offers to its customers more than just some overpriced coffee. 

So, as of April 2022, there is no Starbucks in Armenia. Local coffee-lovers satisfy their appetite for freshly brewed coffee and social connections at other venues. The Green Bean, Lumen Coffee, The Coffeeshop company and other coffee-shops offer a Starbucks-like service and ambiance to their customers in Armenia.

Where exactly Armenian coffee-lovers find Starbucks-like coffee in Armenia, and a similar atmosphere for working, studying, dating and so on, is the topic of this post. I’ll list the venues and will explain how these Armenian coffee-shops compare to Starbucks. So tune in! But, before diving in, let me know how much you love coffee by using #ArmeniaTravelTips on Twitter and Instagram.

Why is there no Starbucks in Armenia?

Of course, legally there are no restrictions for a western company like Starbucks, who’d want to open a branch in Armenia and operate here. A good testament of that are countless other western brands that operate in Armenia like KFC, Burger King, ZARA, Mango and many others.

So, what’s the problem? What’s stopping Starbucks from entering the Armenian market? I think the answer might have several components to it.

  • First, it’s the level of economic development of the country. If you’re going to charge over 5 USD for 200 ml of coffee, you need to make sure the local market has sufficient buying power. In other words, Starbucks management might feel that there are not enough local residents in Armenia who’d be able to afford their products, and who’d want to buy it.
  • Second, I think logistics might be an issue here too. Armenia has a pretty complex border situation, where effectively only one of its land borders (the one with Georgia) is able to connect Armenia’s trade with the world outside of its borders. Moreover, that border crossing is mostly blocked for large trucks every winter. I wrote more about this in my post where I was debating myself on the topic of whether Armenia is a cheap country. So, check it out, if you want to learn more.
  • Lastly, Armenia has its own tradition of coffee culture that dates back for centuries. So, there is a chance that there is not much appetite for a “foreign” coffee concept in Armenia. At least in the minds of people who’re in charge of expansion strategies at Starbucks.

Although, I’d argue that if that was the case we wouldn’t find decent alternatives to Starbucks in Armenia. And we do find them, as you will see below. So, what are those great alternatives?

The Green Bean Yerevan

So, The Green Bean in Amiryan 10, located in the heart of the city center, is my top choice for an alternative to a typical Starbucks in Yerevan. It’s the first non-smoking coffee shop in our capital city. And I love them because both the coffee and the service are outstanding. 

The coffee shop imports coffee from top-notch Italian producers – in small portions – so you’ll always get a freshly brewed cup of coffee here. Besides, baristas working at The Green Bean are true professionals, and their staff speaks both English and Russian. So, no issues with communication whatsoever.

Fancy a flavor syrup in your coffee? No problem! From vanilla, chocolate, and caramel to gingerbread and hazelnut, The Green Bean has a decent variety of syrups they can offer.

Also, my lactose-intolerant friends will appreciate the availability of non-dairy milk options here. The offer includes coconut, almond, and soy “milk”.

If you are a Starbucks-lover you wouldn’t be surprised that there is an extra charge for everything. 🙂 Here it’s not an exception: 300 AMD extra is what you’ll pay for adding syrup to your coffee or for replacing regular milk with one of the non-dairy options.

The Green Bean vs your typical Starbucks experience

Large Latte priceFlavor syrups offered?Non-dairy milk options offered?Free wi-fi?Calm environment?
1700 AMD ($3.5)YesYesYesYes 

Lumen Coffee

Lumen Coffee, a coffee roastery and specialty shop, is another great alternative option to a Starbucks-like experience in Armenia. The coffee shop brings coffee products from different countries, and they know how to make the perfect cup. Unlike Starbucks, they don’t offer flavor syrups with the coffee, but dairy alternatives are available – soy, coconut, and almond “milk”.

The best thing about Lumen is that they roast fresh coffee in-house every single day. So, the freshness of your cup of coffee is guaranteed here. The taste is out of this world! I personally think this fact alone makes Lumen even better than Starbucks.

They use a variety of coffee preparation methods, like chemex, aeropress and cold brew. And all of this is available to you at their modern interior at 3a Teryan St. in the center of Yerevan. By the way, the atmosphere is very calm and work-friendly. So, if you’re looking for a place like Starbucks where you’d be able to work or study on your laptop, this is a great option.

Lumen Coffee vs Starbucks

Latte priceFlavor syrups offered?Non-dairy milk options offered?Free wi-fi?Calm environment?
1500 AMD ($3.1)NoYesYesYes

Coffeeshop Company

In terms of the business model, and the overall feel of the place, the Coffeeshop Company comes the closest to what Starbucks is like, I think. The atmosphere, the selection of snacks, the service – everything is more “chain-like”, for the lack of a better word. But I don’t mean it in a bad way. It feels like a decent and busy place for the urban, creative “class”.

To be entirely honest, I’m not quite sure this was the vibe they were aiming for, when planning their business. Because their official website claims they bring the traditions of a Viennese coffeehouse culture to Armenia. And while I’ve been to various coffeehouses in Vienna, I don’t think The Coffeeshop company venues in Yerevan reflect that culture in any way. I genuinely feel like they’re more like Starbucks. And again, I don’t think it’s a bad thing.

Prices are also more Starbucks-esque in comparison to other places on my list – they’re a bit on the pricier side. But the service there is always decent, so I think it’s not unjustified. Also, they have a good menu beyond the typical sandwiches and snacks you’d find in a regular Starbucks.

Non-dairy milk offer is pretty standard – soy, coconut and almond. But you’d be delighted to learn they have a broader selection of coffee syrups:

  • hazelnut,
  • amaretto,
  • caramel,
  • cinnamon,
  • macadamia,
  • vanilla.

The Coffeeshop Company has several locations around Yerevan, and new ones keep popping up. My favorite one is close to the Opera House, in the city center, so check it out at 2, Hin Yerevantsi street.

The Coffeeshop Company vs Starbucks

Large Latte priceFlavor syrups offered?Non-dairy milk options offered?Free wi-fi?Calm environment?
2250 AMD ($4.7)YesYesYesYes 

Keerk & Co

Whether you’re seeking a good coffee, or you need a quiet place to read a book, Keerk & Co can be your go-to venue. In fact, “keerk” means a book in Western Armenian, so the whole idea of having a serene and pleasant place for self-reflection is well built into their philosophy.

The venue offers both indoor and outdoor sitting, so it’s a good choice at any time of the year. The location of the coffee shop is somewhat hidden, at Marshal Baghramyan Ave., 3a Building, which allows it to offer an awesome place off the beaten track. And it’s probably one of the reasons it’s more affordable than other coffee shops on this list.

Keerk & Co offers you various flavor syrup options, including vanilla, caramel, hazelnut, and almond. But, they don’t have any non-dairy milk options, unfortunately. So, my vegan and lactose-intolerant friends, this place is probably not the right one for you. 

Keerk & Co vs Starbucks

Latte priceFlavor syrups offered?Non-dairy milk options offered?Free wi-fi?Calm environment?
1500 AMD ($3.1)YesNoYesYes


While originally created as a bread factory specializing in European bread and pastry baking, today Crumbs features a cozy café to give you direct access to their baked products. But the coffee is what we’re here for, right? And it doesn’t disappoint. Their coffee and a sandwich on the way to work / school, or just while rushing to catch your tour bus, is all you need for a sweet morning.

The coffee shop is ideal for spending time with your friends, savoring yummy food, and rewarding your taste buds with a good cup of coffee. They operate out of three locations in Yerevan, but I like the one in Mashtots street the most. I wouldn’t recommend this venue as a place for work or studies, cause it can get quite lively at times. But the atmosphere is great nonetheless.

They don’t use syrups in coffee at all, but they are happy to add home-made chocolate or caramel to your coffee instead! How cool is that? Non-dairy milk alternatives are available for those who prefer them – almond or soy, last time I checked.

By the way, they serve one of my favorite traditional Armenian breakfasts – scrambled eggs with tomatoes. See the image below. And if you want to learn more about what Armenians eat in the morning check out this other post I wrote about Armenian breakfast (coming soon).

Crumbs vs Starbucks

Latte priceFlavor syrups offered?Non-dairy milk options offered?Free wi-fi?Calm environment?
1400 AMD ($2.9)NoYesYesYes

Alternatives to Starbucks in Armenia: final words

Ok, maybe having Starbucks in Armenia would be great. But that doesn’t mean we are any worse off without it. We also have various stylish cafes where we can enjoy a yummy cup of coffee in a modern environment. So, I encourage you to check them out, and let me know what your thoughts on them are. Post your coffee pics with  #ArmeniaTravelTips and let me know on Twitter or Instagram!

Featured image credits: Lisa Fotios on Pexels (edited)

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