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Forbidden Espresso

Forbidden Espresso English, baby! Video Lesson

Date: Jun 05 2007

Themes: News


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

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How far is the nearest Starbucks from where you live? Two blocks? Three? Starbucks are everywhere. There is hardly a city on Earth that hasn’t been affected by globalization. Even the Forbidden City, a 600 year old palace and set of buildings in Bejing, China, is now home a Starbucks. A lot of people think that stores like Starbkucks shouldn’t be allowed to open in beautiful, historic places. Kevin is among them.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Kevin:  I was listening to NPR yesterday and there was quite a long report about this Starbucks that’s in the Forbidden City…

Amanda:  Yup, Bejing.

Kevin:  Which some people are really adamantly against and other people are like, “Oh it’s no big deal.” What do you think about that?

Amanda:  It’s interesting because it kind of parallels...My friend just went down to Texas. She wants to move from Portland to Texas because in their churches they have Starbucks. The way that she sees it is it’s not really compromising the integrity of a place of worship as much as it is keeping with the times because everyone’s all about convenience and retail.

Kevin:  Fair enough. But don’t you think that there have to be some places…

Amanda:  That are sacred?

Kevin:  Yeah, I mean…if you put a Pizza Hut there…

Amanda:  I do, but how do you…how and where do you draw the line, I suppose?

Kevin:  Well and I guess to me it comes down to demand. If people don’t want to support the business, then people need to stop going, and then the business won’t be a success. But I hear people complain, “Oh I don’t like this. I don’t like that. I don’t like McDonalds. I don’t like Starbucks.” yet when it’s the closest thing to their home or to their house they’ll walk there instead of walking another two blocks to a local coffee shop for example.

Amanda:  Absolutely. So they feel one way but their actions say another.

Kevin:  But I personally have a problem with there being a Starbucks in the Forbidden City.

Amanda:  So what do you think, do you think that particular shop will shut down after all this settles?

Kevin:  I think it probably will.

Amanda:  OK. We’ll see.

Kevin:  Wanna bet on it?

Amanda:  I’ll bet you a latte.

Kevin:  Alright.

Amanda:  Okay.



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Kevin was listening to a radio station called NPR (National Public Radio) when he heard a program about the Starbucks in the Forbidden City. Amanda is reminded of a friend of hers who might move to Texas because they have Starbucks in churches there. She doesn’t think it’s wrong, just keeping up with the times.

Kevin says that if people don’t want a certain business somewhere, they shouldn’t go to that business. He says that a lot of people say they don’t like Starbucks or McDonalds, but when it’s nearest thing, they go there.

Kevin doesn’t think it’s right to have a Starbucks in the Forbidden City. He thinks it will close soon. He and Amanda bet (what else?) a latte on it.

Have you ever been someplace old and beautiful and found a Starbucks or McDonalds there? Were you glad it was there or did you wish it wasn’t?



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With the time goes by, some left, some disappear.

06:00 AM Apr 02 2012 |




I find some guys are interested in the Forbidden City. Let me introduce this place to you with my poor english. Sorry guys, sorry Forbidden city. Okey, the Forbidden city locates in Beijing, which is the capital city of China. The Forbidden city is called 紫禁城(zi jin cheng) in Chinese. As the name’s origination, It is a location endowed with cosmic significance by ancient China’s astronomers. Correlating the emperor’s abode, which they considered the pivot of the terrestrial world, with the Pole Star (Ziweiyuan), which they believed to be at the center of the heavens, they called the palace The Purple Forbidden City. The Palace Museum is located on city center in Peking.China is existing biggest, most integrity of thou building cluster.It is been one of five greatest temples in the world by the fame.
The Forbidden City start to set up in A.D.1406, the Forbidden City have the size courtyard more than 90s and the house contain 980 and add up to 8704.the Forbidden City surroundings surround 12 meters in height, long the Forbidden City wall of 3400 meters, form is one rectangular city defense, there is 52 meter wide moat outside the wall surround, formation a fortress of severe barracks.The Forbidden City has 4 doors, center door Wu door, east door  Donghua door, west door Xihua door, north door Shengwu door. (I searched these information from the internet and copy something here. I think every nation has its own history and own feature, which makes our world so diversified so nice. I do love them and respect them with my heart . I think some must happen with the modern times goes with us. Some would be changed and some should be kept. You guys may give you own answer. I do hope that let us know each other more deeply and fully. Be responsible for what you did.)

05:52 AM Apr 02 2012 |




personally! no matter what you do you should draw the line means you should have a bottom line for whatever you do!

Additionally! i have not seen a single starbuck in the big downtown of wenzhou!

so i do not konw what is starbuck! now i know what it is 咖啡美食


09:31 AM May 08 2010 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

And unfortunately, there's no Starbucks in Iran too.

08:17 AM Nov 27 2008 |



ok ı am waiting you
ı hope!

08:09 AM Nov 21 2008 |




Yes ! It have a lot of Starbuck in Bangkok Laughing. I like Frappae Cappucino…

05:00 AM Jun 02 2008 |


United Kingdom

As far as I know there are no Starbucks in Vietnam. They have their own excellent coffee and it is widely available everywhere. There is even a legendary brand that has passed through the intestine of a civet!! There are no Macdonalds either and only one KFC in Ho Chi Minh City. Some people say this is due to the uncanning ressemblance between Ho Chi Minh and Colonel Saunders!

I like it that way. I think American culture is great in America but doesn't always export well. Like our love affair with the car, not everywhere needs to be like Los Angeles! Still I know a lot of younger Vietnamese hanker after fast food because they feel it is modern and sexy.

I saw this before in Spain where the traditional diet has given way to a heavier meat based northwern European taste. Unfortunately it seems to be money at the root. If you are rich you eat like the rich people which isn't so good for the health. Give me a plate of freshly caought sardines, a salad with olives and garlic and a chilled bottle of white wine any day

02:24 AM May 08 2008 |

john andrew


i requestin to all my friends from china that they may provide informtion about the forebidden city and empress, because we have listened about this city but nothing know about the facts that way it calls forbidden city"

02:14 PM May 06 2008 |



O personaaly feel that yes there should be places which has historical value or which are unique in its own so it should be remain as it is.

08:38 PM May 05 2008 |

Jennifer wen

United States

I think where there is a need where there is the business.if people need it ,why not ?

01:50 AM Apr 06 2008 |



im glad .i can eat something if im hungry and yhen go back

11:26 AM Jan 18 2008 |



United Arab Emirates

ok nida i wanna one please…

05:37 PM Jan 01 2008 |



United Arab Emirates

after`all it is a preferable place for students…

05:35 PM Jan 01 2008 |




well on my own opinion, starbucks company should choose a far from sacred places or something.. I agree with kevin.. sometimes its just ruin the reputation of the a place of worship..well here in philippines.. wow starbucks are everywhere! but i go for SEATTLES BEST!!!

03:26 AM Dec 04 2007 |



I will go to beijing this summer

12:21 PM Jun 11 2007 |


United Kingdom

In Vietnam where I lived and worked for two years there are no Mcdonald's and no Starbucks. There is one Kentucky Fried Chicken in Ho Chi Minh City (maybe because of the physical resemblance between Uncle Ho and the Colonel!) However it is really refreshing not to have them. Why travel if you want a version of your home. Spain is full of Germans and British who do nothing but eat frankfurters and fish and chips and drink their brands of beer. It is very depressing. Travel is to expand your mind and to try new experiences!

04:59 AM Jun 11 2007 |



we can see starbucks everywhere.it might be very convinient for us. but they should not change aspects of beautiful places.i love starbucks coffee though.

02:05 AM Jun 11 2007 |


Iran, Islamic Republic Of

I have been in a place old and beautiful and found Starbucks and some modern things there.

07:38 AM Jun 10 2007 |

English rocks

South Korea

I'd like to visit that place in Virginia!

01:57 AM Jun 10 2007 |


South Korea

i agree with kevin ! when i went to egypt, i saw pizzahut right in front of piramid..and it didn't look good.. it also made me to compare with american historical places.. especially virginia. there is a city in virginia, and it was built before 200 years ago.
they do not have any starbucks or burgerkings. nothing has been changed since 200 years ago!
people even live there  !! it made me feel like im in the 19 centuary !!and i believe that lots of people will agree with kevin !~

12:06 AM Jun 10 2007 |

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