The Seattle Times today released video of the interior of Starbucks’ new 15th Avenue Coffee & Tea concept and what’s most impressive about the design is that it, essentially, copies most other independent coffee shops started in the past 3 years. Take a look at it for yourself:

Note the “we ran out of cash” school of interior and menu board design, the late-model La Marzocco Linea from their own liquidation sale, Melitta filter cone brew bar (particularly ironic, since these bars became popular after Starbucks bought the Coffee Equipment Company, taking the popular Clover machines out of the arsenal of independents) and most notably the parting shot advertising “daily cuppings at 10:00 AM.”

Like the automotive companies that look back fondly of their glory days by recreating 60’s muscle cars rather than exploring new designs, Starbucks has created 2008’s hottest new coffee shop, but the real truth will be found under the hood — in the cup.

The Seattle Times article references that the shop will use a blend of coffees used at Starbucks’ Brazilian chain stores, not an entirely unexpected move since a dramatic change in flavor profile will be necessary to truly set the new decoy apart from its hunter.

I’m sure that there will be a lot of curiosity by the onlookers in the coming days, but will consumers take the bait?

Next door salon owner Howie Sennet is quoted in the article as saying:

“Authenticity can’t be bought or copied,” he said. “They should use this as a lesson to find their own identity within themselves.”

I couldn’t agree more.