I’m A Starbucks Convert
I’m ashamed to admit it, but I’m cheating on my high school sweetheart: Dunkin Donuts. To those outside New England, Dunkin Donuts is the most popular coffee place in the northeast, and they outnumber Starbucks around the world. (Don’t even mention Honey Dew in my presence, or we’ll be fighting.) I’ve been drinking Dunkins drinks since I was a kid, first with Coolattas and then with iced coffee. I would fiercely defend their New England reign to any non-believer.
So what happened? Milk, that’s what. After going on a cleanse a few months ago, cutting out coffee and then adding it back in, I realized I have a milk sensitivity – which isn’t surprising, since we become less tolerant of dairy as we get older. (The Spouse is lactose intolerant; I like to tell people it’s a sexually transmitted disease.) But lo my love, my beloved Dunkins, does not have alternative milks. (They do have powdered non-dairy creamer, but come on. Come on.) So I was on a mission to replace my caffeine intake, and since anyone who drinks Honey Dew is responsible for the decline of our world, children, economy, health, and souls, I turned to Starbucks.
I tried to hate them. I really did! So pretentious, with their gourmet coffees and environmentally friendly practices and hipster clientele. Dunkin Donuts was born right here in Quincy MA; Starbucks is from Hipster Central! (Well, Seattle.) I would never give in!
Well, I did. And I’m glad, too.
Five Reasons Why I’m A Starbucks Convert
1. They Cater To Alternate Diets
Starbucks has soy milk. That was the A-#1 reason I turned to them. I could get coffee without dairy so my throat wouldn’t rebel against me. The problem is, every time I asked a rep for Dunkin Donuts why they don’t have soy milk – a common request nowadays with dairy allergies – I never once got a straight answer. It was frustrating. And they don’t have plans to add soymilk “in the foreseeable future”. Think of all the business soy would bring them – me, for example. Not to mention the few times I’ve gone to Dunks and brought my own vial of soymilk, they have NO FUCKING IDEA how to handle the request of “Sugar, no milk please, but could you leave a little room at the top so I can add my own?” It was like I was speaking Latin. Every time I issued that request, I got my coffee wrong, and a different wrong each time, too. Its not even like they’re consistent in their screw ups. They just aren’t trained to handle odd requests. Which leads me to number two…
2. I’m Never Surprised
Starbucks is a corporation, which is usually bad but has a surprising beneficial side-effect: their coffee will always taste the same. If the barista has been trained properly, and they’re following directions, your order will taste the same regardless of which Starbucks you order it at. In comparison, Dunkin Donuts is a franchise. My coffee tastes different depending on which store I go to; extra sugar at one store is barely any at another. While this leads to entertaining and skillful afternoons of tracking down the perfect iced coffee, sometimes it’s nice to have a little uniformity. (Don’t tell anyone I just said that.)
3. Their Employees Are Treated Like People
I had to do some research for this one, but Starbucks gives benefits to qualifying employees – and unlike some companies I’ve worked for in the past that fudge the system to keep you part time and benefits-free (cough*YMCA*cough), Starbucks offers a benefits package to anyone who works more than 20 hours a week – that’s benefits for part time employees. And their packages extend to domestic partners, not just married couples. And they offer adoption assistance! AND they help you pay for school, regardless of academic area! Seriously, can I get a job there?
4. They Work Towards Sustainability
Starbucks’ paper products are all post-consumer recycled, and many encourage recycling the trash you create while you’re there. They offer a discount to each customer who brings their own reusable cup for their beverage. They try to make sure all their stores are built with green technology, or at the very least, maintain green practices. They have high standards for their food and merchandise products, and try to make ethical purchases and decisions with their ingredients. And they give back to the environment when they harvest, ensuring sustainable farming practices. They make the hippie in me squeal with delight at all the good they’re doing for the environment.
But the number one reason I converted? Their chai. Seriously, if you haven’t had an iced chai from Starbucks, you haven’t lived. It’s the BEST chai I’ve ever had. Go drink one. Now.
Every once in a while, I’ll crave a Dunkins French vanilla iced coffee, and I’ll indulge – with only one pump of skim milk, to minimize the tragedy. And as I drive away, I wave longingly, like when you run into your ex at a high school reunion and its slightly awkward and bittersweet, but then you go home and have crazy “I’ve moved on” sex in your Malibu beach house, or something. The point of the story is, I’m a Starbucks girl now, and I’m kinda damn proud.
Which side of the battlefield do you fall: Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks? Or if you don’t do coffee, what is your drink of choice?
- Dunks or Bucks? (thejawsofstrife.wordpress.com)
- Dunkin’ Donuts Unleashes Plan for America to Actually Run On Dunkin’ (bostinno.streetwise.co)
- Dunkin’ Donuts Is About To Look A Lot More Like Starbucks (businessinsider.com)
Posted on July 11, 2013, in Life and tagged benefits, Coffee, convert, Dunkin Donuts, environment, five things, Honey Dew, Iced coffee, New England, Seattle, Starbucks, sustainability. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.