Save Your Bucks! (A Biased Opinion On Why Starbucks Is Bad For You And Your City)

Starbucks_Coffee_Mannheim_August_2012Every morning I drive by my local Starbucks on the way to school, and every time a little piece of me dies. In my humble opinion, Starbucks is a waste of money. Why spend three or more dollars on a cup of coffee, when you can go to any gas station or make your own coffee, which will probably be better? Conar Perry of Godwin High School (16’) says he likes Starbucks because of “all the hot babes.” I don’t go to Starbucks because I think their coffee is overpriced and bitter, and I don’t need the whole experience of waiting in line just to get an average cup of coffee with my name spelled wrong on the cup. 

While doing some research on this topic, I found this interesting paragraph from Boise Coffee, a coffee blog from Colin Mansfield, a guy living out in Montana: “First, we’ll assume that you drink five cups of coffee per week (you’ll need sleep at some point). Given that there are about 52 weeks in a year, that means you’ll consume about 260 cups of coffee per year. At Starbucks, a brewed coffee is about $2, depending on size. Remember, this isn’t one of the fru-fru fancy drinks – it’s just your run-of-the-mill black brewed coffee. At this price point, you’ll be spending $520 per year on coffee.”

By that logic, spending only two dollars on a regular coffee from Starbucks adds up annually to enough money to buy an iPad or a relatively inexpensive computer. Just let that sink in if you are a “Starbucks everyday” kind of person. If I were in your shoes, I’d ditch the overpriced coffee and go for the iPad.

My second complaint about Starbucks is that the coffee isn’t good. Their iced coffee is extremely bitter, and their regular drinks taste like something out of the witch’s cauldron. Whenever I drink Starbucks, I make sure I get a friend pay for it because I know I’ll be regretting it as I attempt to drink the coffee. One former barista wrote that Starbucks hides over-roasted coffee behind a reputable name, brainwashing people into believing that the burnt taste is actually good coffee.” I totally agree with this. If you can actually taste the flavor in the drink, please tell me, because I think it is some of the worst coffee you can buy. It’s so bitter, and when I take the first sip, it is always steaming hot, which results in me burning my tongue. In addition to the high price, Starbucks also beguiles you with quantity. Former barista Annalee Lane also claimed, “this is not an exaggeration. Next time you get an iced beverage from Starbucks, take a look at the side of your cup. The lines you see aren’t decorative. The bottom line indicates to baristas how high to fill the cup with coffee or tea, the next line is for milk or water, and the rest of the cup is filled with ice.”

Although I hate the taste and prices of Starbucks, I still must give them credit. Whoever is running their marketing department is a genius. They have figured out how to transform Starbucks from just another coffee shop into THE coffee shop, and it has worked. The marketing team has figured out how to make the mediocre coffee appealing and take all your money in the process. If Starbucks weren’t so popular, no one on the planet with a brain would be paying for that coffee, but because of what Starbucks has transformed into, people forget that the coffee is terrible. Even in the time I’ve been alive, I’ve seen the growth of Starbucks. When I was younger, there were maybe two or three in the general area, but now there are 23 locations in a five-mile radius of my house. It is safe to say that Starbucks has effectively taken over the coffee shop scene. I think we should be supporting our small local businesses (Cafe Caturra, Black Hand, Lamplighter, Capital Coffee) that are actually trying to make a good cup of coffee, instead of a money-hungry powerhouses like Starbucks that could care less about the quality of your coffee.

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About the author

Parham Alex is in High School, and is a senior