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Starbucks closes for training

SEATTLE, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Seattle-based coffee giant Starbucks has begun closing its more than 7,000 U.S. locations for three hours of employee training.

The company said the nationwide closure -- which begins at 5:30 p.m. local time and lasts until 8:30 -- is due to "espresso excellence training" for its employees, the New York Post reported Tuesday.

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"We will close all of our U.S. company-operated stores to teach, educate and share our love of coffee and the art of espresso," Howard Schultz, chief executive of Starbucks, said on the company's Web site.

However, news of the temporarily lapse in espresso service did not go down smooth for regular coffee drinkers in New York's Manhattan borough, which is home to 158 Starbucks locations.

"What am I supposed to do, make it myself?" said New York University student Mallory Drew, 18. "I am shocked. Shocked and appalled."

Borough of Manhattan Community College student Alba Morales, 22, predicted the closure would lead to decaffeinated confusion.

"A lot of people come here to make out, read, sleep. I can't imagine how lost people will be tomorrow," Morales said Monday.

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