a little and a lot

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Why the 'Bucks is Worth the Bucks

Sure, Mickey D's has some great brewed coffee. They can even add cream and sugar if requested. But there is no substitute for Starbucks.

There was some hype a few years ago about how McDonald's had "the best coffee." Ok, whatever. It's not bad, I've had it, and after the non-eco-friendly styrofoam cup has allowed the coffee to cool to an acceptable drinking temperature (which would be 5 hours later), it's a nice way to wake up in the morning. I make the same thing at home, arguably better. Some fresh ground beans, filtered water, organic half & half, and ahhhhh.

Here's why I'm willing to spend $18 for a cup of Starbucks. Because it's not just a cup of coffee. It's a short, toffee nut, soy latte. Or today, it is the much-awaited fall tradition of a short, pumpkin spice, soy latte. With whip, baby.

McD's tried. "Watch out, Starbucks!" everyone exclaimed, when the McDonald's Empire announced the addition of lattes, cappuccinos, and mochas to their menu. What everyone failed to realize is that there only a handful of people who want a straight-up, unaltered cappuccino. It's the special request--nonfat, extra hot, this with this but not that--that makes a truly purchase-worthy cup of "coffee." On one occasion, I tried to order an "iced hazelnut latte" at a McDonald's drive-thru, and I was met with garbled confusion. What they ended up doing was putting ice in a steaming hot black coffee. Wha?

This is also the reason that S'bux has hooked me instead of locally-owned coffee shops. I love their charisma. I love their charm. I love their local-ness. But I LOVE Starbucks' syrups--there is no substitute. Toffee Nut is NOT Caramel. It just doesn't translate. It reminds me of a childhood memory in which my dad grilled these awesome, fat, juicy burgers and I turned up my nose, saying, "But Dad, it doesn't look like McDonalds." (See? McD's has some specialties--just not specialty coffee.)

Then there is also the issue of making the world a better place. McDonalds has perhaps turned from the error of their ways...slightly. But are their cups 100% reusable or recyclable? Can buying a cup of their coffee also purchase medicine for someone with HIV/AIDS in Africa? Is their coffee "responsibly grown & ethically traded?"

(Have I mentioned that Starbucks has been listed as one of the best corporations to work for in America?)

Starbucks, you may be a mass chain who is taking over the world. But I don't mind so much, because I truly love you.

Check out these Starbucks faves:

I am all about the Starbucks (RED) products! I've used their (RED) card since last December--what a simple yet awesome idea that purchasing something you were already going to purchase means that you get to help someone else?

Their (RED) edition coffee is also quite tasty--a blend from Rwanda & Ethiopia!

This is the catalyst for today's post/rant.

Today is the first day of fall--perhaps not on the calendar, but indeed in Starbucks. Today is the first day they serve Pumpkin Spice Lattes!

Oh my, this pumpkiny, spicy goodness makes me feel gloriously in love with autumn. Bring on the sweet potato pancakes and the butternut squash soup! And the chili--ohhh, the chili!

I have the "tall" version of this tumbler, purchased for me by "Santa" for my stocking. (Thanks, Saint Nick!) Not only do they gladly put my coffee-drink of choice into this tumbler for me, but they also give me a small discount for doing so!

I have a cold-drink reusable cup purchased from the 'Bucks this past summer--it looks just like the plastic cups they put frapuccinos and iced coffee in, only it is thick, double insulated plastic, including a green, thick plastic straw. Love. It.


Tesney said...

I'm with ya, sista! Oh, make mine a grande skinny caramel latte, extra hot, no foam, with whip. BTW, check out justlovecoffee.com. I'll be setting up a storefront soon to help with our adoption. We're not really fundraising, but if you want some good coffee for a good cause, it's a win-win. Or if you know someone who is adopting...tell them! :) Oh, and the coffee is organically grown, free trade.

Mandi said...

The one time I go to High Point Coffee, they bring out the good stuff! See you tomorrow, Starbucks! Yay for Fall!

Kristy said...

I always look forward to your pumpkin spice latte post. Because I love it too, and I know that you'll tell me when it's servin'. Miss ya!

ashley said...

well said o kindred spirit... well said. did i tell you they closed my pre-work starbucks location? ac wharton showed up to help me commemorate my last day. it's been great for the budget, but has so put a "kink" in my morning routine... the days just are not the same...

Unknown said...

LOVE this post! I am not a huge fan of their coffee, but all of their specialty drinks can't be beat. Bring on the pumpkin spice latte! So glad you went to day to share the good news!

Jane said...

AGREED! 100%! I used to be able to do the straight ups, but I've gotten picky in my later years. And more creative. I'm going to try some of those you listed above. MMMMM!

Mandi said...

Oh my, I forgot to mention that along with the pumpkin spice latte comes the oh-so delicious iced pumpkin scone. So, dont forget to grab one of those as well. It made my morning!

Brooke said...

great post. i love the bucks too. pumpkin donut, you, me, soon!

Larissa Smith said...

I love specialty coffee stores for the things that they can make that I can't. I was thrilled when I found a coffee shop here that has Toffee Nut syrup (Monin brand), and enjoy a latte there every now and then. But pay big bucks for drop coffee? No way. It's kind of like going out to eat. I'm not going to order something I can make for myself; I'm going to take major advantage of what they do better than me. And yes, I'll pay for it.

Did you know that the nut flavor in Toffee Nut syrup is macadamia? That's why nothing else is even close!

Ashley @ pure and lovely said...

oh, amen lady. tall nonfat white chocolate mocha, please. gosh. im going to get some in the morning. ;)

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