I just finished a delicious cup of coffee. Why don’t you go ahead and take a guess at how much it cost me?
“Oh, he must have gotten a cheap one,” you’re thinking, “so it was probably only about $2.50 or $2.75.”
Wrong. It cost me less than 5 cents.
“That’s impossible,” you think.
You’re wrong again. You are stupid, and that is why you go to Starbucks.
Before we get any further, let me explain this aggressive treatment of they hypothetical “you.” All I can do is encourage Starbucks users to change their ways as quickly as possible, and I do, of course, provide a much better alternative. I have seen the future of caffeine, and his name is Mr. Coffee. This coffee maker (which is about $20 on Amazon) goes off automatically in the morning, so I can easily clean and fill it while rinsing dishes at any point throughout the day. It would pay for itself in a week for many avid Starbucks drinkers. Using this is more convenient than going somewhere to get the coffee; your steaming pot of Joe is at your house when you wake up. If you drink coffee after work/school, clean and refill Mr. Coffee while you do the dishes from breakfast, and set it again to have hot coffee awaiting your return home at the end of the day. You drink coffee at the same times every day, so why not tell Mr. Coffee to just have it ready for you? If you drink a ton of coffee and want to pack a thermos in the morning, consider springing for one with a bigger pitcher. If you aren’t a black coffee drinker you can buy all kinds of creamers or flavoring. Mr. Coffee FTW. Here he is at Amazon:
Now, back to this cup of coffee I just had. An 11.3 oz container of Folgers coffee costs me $3.32, and makes 90 6 oz cups of coffee. That means that 6 oz of coffee costs roughly 3.688889 cents. I tacked on the extra 1.311111 cents to cover the water I got out of my sink, and because it’s not in my nature to be petty (clearly). Granted, that $5 venti soy milk low-fat double shot white chocolate iced frappuccino with no whipped cream that you just downed was considerably bigger than 6 ounces (“Venti” is Starbucks for “large,” not to be confused with “tall,” which means “small”). However; the price is still not even close to comparable.
Let’s take a look at a few reasons you might still be tempted to frequent Starbucks:
The atmosphere fuels your creative and artistic juices. When people see you writing in your Moleskine notebook at a Starbucks, they know you are a deep and intellectual person, right? Deep down, you know that what you’re writing isn’t worth reading and will never be published, so if you aren’t seen writing it, it pretty much doesn’t exist. What you don’t know is that when you’re sipping something covered with whipped cream and a chocolate drizzle, you don’t look like the next Kerouac, you look like a preteen schoolgirl.
If you’re part of the Starbucks community, everyone will know you care about world issues. As you sit there on your MacBook with “Save Darfur” and “Stop World Hunger” stickers all over it, I catch your eyes over the top of your chic square-framed glasses, and under that slightly emo flip in your hair. You give me a look that lets me know you are better than me because you are “cultured,” and buy all of your clothes at Urban Outfitter. You are probably reading the New York Times on the Internet. Unfortunately, the article you are reading doesn’t tell you that the $1000+ you will spend at Starbucks this year could feed a family of Africans for the same amount of time. Or maybe you do know that, but just feel that you deserve Starbucks more than they deserve food. After all, it takes some sort of genius to be a yuppie and a hipster at the same time. Then, with one last flip of your hair, you walk out, and take off (alone) in an SUV which seats eight and gets just about as many miles to the gallon. As I watch you cut off a school bus on the way out of the lot, I wonder how you can see out of your back window between all of those environmentalist bumper stickers.
The taste – it’s just the best coffee around. I guess that’s a matter of opinion, and unfortunately, you are entitled to an opinion. However, a recent study disagrees with you. There was a blind taste test between McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Starbucks, in which the coffees were served in an over-cup, to hide the brand. The survey tested both the normal coffee as well as the cappuccino of the three brands. The results of the survey say that McDonald’s makes the best cappuccino, and Dunkin’ Donuts makes the best cup of black coffee. “But, Dan,” you say, “that isn’t fair. The testers couldn’t see the mermaids on that cup. Besides, no one orders black coffee at Starbucks.” And for once, I (kind of) agree with you. If you want real coffee, make it yourself. But if you want a caffeinated chocolate shake, Starbucks is just your place.