Everyone knows that I’m a huge fan of Folgers coffee. Nothing gives you more bang for your buck than a massive tub of Folgers and most days of the week you won’t find me on the train without a thermos full of that stuff.
There are exceptions, though. Sometimes I’m just a little too hungover on a Friday morning to make coffee. Once or twice a week I’ll simply be too lazy to brew up a pot of the Folge before heading out the door. And some days I’m just downright lazy. It’s on days like these that I go and buy coffee. I don’t like to do it often, but when I do I certainly have a preference. Where I buy it isn’t really of the utmost importance, but I’m starting to get the idea that at least in the bigger cities of this country, people are judging you based on where you buy.
Sometimes I go to a local place but if I’m really being honest with myself I’d just as soon go to a Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, or Panera. Starbucks is definitely my go-to option but it’s the McDonalds of the coffee world. I think it’s tough for a lot of people to admit that fact but it really is. The good news for me is that I have no issue with McDonald’s. And I certainly have no qualms with going to Starbucks.
Locally owned coffee shops are awesome and I can totally get behind supporting small businesses. Please do not get that twisted. I don’t have some vendetta against small business owners making a living. Locally owned and operated coffee shops that specialize in specific brews and make their own cold brew from scratch are really great. But in my experience, they’re also twice as expensive as Starbucks and not as efficient.
I didn’t realize this was such a polarizing topic until last week when a coworker pulled me aside as I walked through the door with a medium cold brew from Starbucks in hand. “Would it kill you to buy local?” she said in a semi-serious tone. “Honestly, this is just more convenient sometimes.”
That was the extent of the conversation. I went about my day like nothing happened but it has been eating at me a little bit. And then I heard a segment on NPR about how where you buy your coffee is now a status symbol and I really started to get inside my own head. Are people actually looking at the cup of coffee you’re holding and judging your socioeconomic status off of that and that alone?
When I have the time there’s a nice little coffee shop around the block from my apartment that I really like. The owner is almost always working the front register, everyone that is employed there seems to genuinely enjoy it, and the wifi is top notch. A small cold brew there is $4.50 at that place, though. It’s a nice treat on a special occasion, but Starbucks makes the same shit for a dollar less and with just as much coffee.
I think for a lot of people it really is a status thing like that NPR segment said. Instead of walking around with a giant cup from Starbucks that basically screams “I’m a corporate yuppie that doesn’t care about anyone but myself” they want to be seen with a cup from the tiny little shop run by John and Jane Doe.
The perception, obviously, for a person with this mindset is that when they buy small batch, locally roasted coffees it’s not from a conflicted region. It’s made with care, and they’re better than the guy who stops at Starbucks or Dunkin’ for their cup.
They’re more socially conscious and definitely don’t support anything that the current president is doing. These are people who can afford to buy a Juicero, have two Prius’ in the garage, and will never allow their kids to eat fast food. It’s an attitude that I understand but I certainly don’t condone. Starbucks now represents corporate greed in the eyes of many. Are you annoyed?
You should be. We’re at a point in time where the fucking coffee you drink in the morning defines you as a person.
I’m not saying you should diss local coffee shops in favor of a Starbucks or Dunkin’. I’m just saying that if you want to stick it to some people with a twisted view then get a Starbucks next time you’re in the market for a coffee.
I think in this day and age Starbucks drinkers are looked down upon. Snooty, holier than thou, elitist dickheads that only drink organic coffee from a local roaster are scoffing at the masses for choosing Starbucks over a local option. And to those people I say fuck you.
Drink whatever you want in the morning. Just don’t tell me I’m wrong for not buying a local cup of coffee. Let me drink my Starbucks in peace without attaching a guilt trip to it. Corporations like Starbucks get me out of bed in the morning and for that I am eternally grateful..
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