Yeah! The second, good espresso I found here in the U.S. was... - imagine that - the one at Starbucks coffee (downtown Corvallis).
Usually, these coffee chains really suck at making good coffee. For example, Seattle's Best Coffee that's sold all over Portland (ridiculously, a Washington coffee in an Oregon city), was really not much of an enlightenment.
However, a German friend of mine (who usually knows what he is talking about when it comes to coffee) told me that Starbucks really makes a difference. Not having a Starbucks in my home city in Germany, I was quite excited: A coffee shop chain that doesn't suck?
And, ya, what can I say: The one-shot espresso at Starbucks rocks - even though it is served in a way too big paper cup and the clerk looks kind of strangely when you say, yes, I really only want a one-shot espresso. The price of 1,35 is still at least twice as much as in Italy, but considering that Italy is quite a few miles away, it is certainly worth the money.