Thursday, September 27, 2007

Coffee - The Perfect Cup of Dark Rich Brew - aka Starbucks vs. Dunkin Donuts

I have several strong beliefs in life. Things that I consider immutable and indisputable. Maybe 4 or 5 of them. Wait, maybe 6. In any case, one of those beliefs is as follows: there are two kinds of people in this world - those who like Dunkin' Donuts, and those who like Starbucks. If I know which one of the two coffee chains you prefer, you're like an open book to me. Once that piece of information has been revealed, I basically know everything else about you. Unfortunately, there are people who don't drink coffee. But let's ignore them for now, because a difficult problem arises when someone is not a coffee drinker. Then I'm at a complete loss. I can't even guess their weight. But if you drink coffee on a regular basis, and you have any sort of opinion regarding the longstanding Starbucks vs. Dunkin debate, then I'm able to gaze within your soul and determine for whom you voted in the last 8 or 9 elections - along with many, many other factoids about your life.

Which coffee is actually better? And subsequently, which group of people is better? I have my own opinion on the matter, but I won't give it away. Good luck figuring it out, because there's no way I'd reveal that kind of valuable data. I will, however, say that my opinion is very,very strong. Strong, dark, rich, and bold. By the way, ever been to Seattle? Fantastic town. I love it. I also feel the peculiar need to mention that my next dog will be named "Frappucino".

So as a relatively impartial observer, and scientist by training, let me evaluate our two choices. First we have Dunkin Donuts. They make donuts, muffins, cookies. They make crullers. They make smoothies and Coolattas. They also make breakfast sandwiches layered with cheese, meat and some sort of egg-inpired product. Oh, and they have coffee. Or "coffee", as I prefer to type it. I'd also do the air-quotes if I were speaking to you right now. It's pretty weak stuff. Thin and light brown. A teaspoon of cream will lighten it, and without 10 or 15 sugars, it's as tasteless as making out with the widow at her husband's funeral. Seems to me people must go to Dunkin for the donuts, or maybe the Munchkins (admittedly, Munchkins are pretty fun to eat). But it sure as hell can't be the coffee.

Here are some other disturbing things about Dunkin Donuts. In most locations, there's a sign on the bathroom door that reads, "EMPLOYEES NEED NOT WASH HANDS BEFORE RETURNING TO WORK." I also swear that on several occasions, the cashier has mouthed the words "Please help. I am nothing more than a slave, working only for the contents of the plastic tip jar in front of you. Also, they whip me and make me drink the coffee here. I've thought about escaping, but have been warned that this visor I'm wearing will explode if I run out the door. I sleep under a pile of coffee filters." These are not good signs.

How may I help you? Our coffee sucks and I'm treated like chattel.

Starbucks, for comparison's sake, focuses mainly on the coffee. Sure, they have all the ancillary pastries and snacks. But the focus is on coffee, and the mouth-watering aroma of freshly brewed coffee practically knocks you on your ass when you walk in the store. Dunkin Donuts smells like Windex.

Once you're in the Starbucks, order yourself a nice fresh cup of dark, rich, robust, soothing, delicious coffee. Don't worry about the funny naming convention they use. Tall, Grande, Venti? That's bullshit. Ask for a medium. They'll understand. Keep in mind that they have a monopoly on pretty much all of the decent coffee grown worldwide. And if I'm not mistaken, Starbucks serves up over 250 billion cups of piping hot delicious coffee each year. Now that's a lot of coffee! They must really know what they're doing. Additionally, the employees always seem friendly, happy, and well-fed.

So make up your own mind. Take this post for what it is - an unbiased, scientific comparison of two large, commercial coffee providers. If you like crappy-watery-dirt-flavored coffee, slavery, and the opposite of hygiene, then choose one. If you like delicious, flavorful, fresh, clean-tasting coffee, served up on a gleamingly sterile counter by a healthy-looking employee, then choose another. The choice is yours. You have the power. Just remember that this choice says everything about who you are. So choose wisely......


swag said...

Starbucks vs. Dunkin Donuts coffee?

Isn't this like a beauty contest between Joan Rivers and Courtney Love?

Anonymous said...

You want quotes? Here's one overheard in a board room in Seattle:

"Buy the cheapest grade beans you can. Over roast them so no one can tell, and waaaaay overcharge. The heards of sheeple will slurp it up, tatto themselves with our logo and it will keep us in $2000 shoes."

Brilliant, H.S.!"

The Mill said...

Pretty good analogy swag. Perhaps my palate has been paralyzed by years of Chef Boyardee, and my taste buds murdered one at a time by Cap'n Crunch. I'm drinking Starbucks right now and it tastes nothing like Joan Rivers.

Anonymous said...

I meant "herds" were overheard! DOY.