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#1 of 25 Old 04-09-2014, 05:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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No matter how much I hate Starbucks coffee, I frequent the place so to use their WiFi. Their coffees are pretty much rubbish, topped with frothed, over-sweet whipped cream and drizzled with caramel sauce or some horrible red stuff vaguely tasting of something 'berry'. Every time I visit Starbucks with Juniper it's packed, especially at around 11 am on any day - but I can't find anything suitable much for her. But what is it that brings customers back time after time? Is it because the coffee house is akin to a big social networking place where people gather together of all ages? That said there aren't many oldies upstairs. xD

 

If you go, what type of coffee do you drink? Is it always a cappuccino? And with your toddler in tow, what would you choose to give them? Or if on your tod do you neck a quick espresso like the Parisiennes before hoofing it out of the door? Or hang out for a few precious me-moments to sip a cappuccino?

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#2 of 25 Old 04-09-2014, 07:41 AM
 
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I go to Starbucks maybe once every 2 months. When I go, I get a small cappuccino and don't add anything to it. During the holiday season I'll get one or two eggnog lattes. My kids like to get the boxed milk and some sort of baked treat.

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#3 of 25 Old 04-09-2014, 07:45 AM
 
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I go because it's the only place to sit and chat in town.  There's a small coffee place, but I think an entire office works out of there so there is never anywhere to sit.  I get a chai, hot or cold, because I really don't like any of their coffee things.  

 

I could invite my friends over, but then I'd have to clean up :)

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#4 of 25 Old 04-09-2014, 08:10 AM
 
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In some towns, Starbucks gets its clientele because it has a monopoly an options for meeting with friends for coffee, studying with WiFi, etc.

Where there are other choices, though, I honestly think what keeps people coming back is all of the sugar. I can't stand sugary drinks or flavors in my latte. But they still manage to sneak sugar in. I recently ordered an iced coffee and was shocked to sip it and taste all of the excessive sweetness. When I returned it to the counter, the barista informed me that they come *automatically* sweetened, and you have to go out of your way to request unsweetened. duh.gif Another time, I ordered a soy latte only to drink it and learn that they use a super sweet vanilla soy milk. Yuck!

So when I go, I just get a simple cup of coffee and leave it at that.

But for a number people, the unwritten expectation is to get a triple veinte caramel macchiato, (which isn't really a macchiato at all, but I digress), with a slice of lemon poundcake. Sugar is addictive stuff, and marketers know it. I just wish that Starbucks didn't resort to so much sugar-pushing. Fortunately, I'm moving to a very coffee-snobby city with much better options. love.gif

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#5 of 25 Old 04-09-2014, 08:30 AM
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I like their iced tea, but like a pp mentioned, you need to request it to be unsweetened (unless you want it sweet). 

 

I also usually like mochas, but I can't say that I think Starbucks does a good job with them.  I also think their drip coffee is too strong or something.  

 

I think people go to starbucks because the name is well known and their is a level of consistency within their products.  Therefore, whether you are in Boston or Seattle, you can still get your favorite drinks.  My kids like the vanilla frappucino.  

 

We have lots of coffee options where I live so it is rare that I would be at starbucks.  

 

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#6 of 25 Old 04-09-2014, 09:27 AM
 
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I go to Starbucks when I "have" to.  Of late I've been ordering a double short Americano.  My girls order the soymilk hot chocolate.  We sit up at the counter, if there is one, and they watch the action behind the counter.  We do not linger.  I will say they do a good job training their employees.  In my area, the coffee is of fairly consistent quality which is nice.  Our local coffee stands make better coffee, but some are dismal.  My SIL works for Corporate helping them with ethical sourcing, so I get to see the good side of the company, which makes me feel a little better about patronizing the chain, but I will never be an aficionado.

 

I'm a bit spoiled with coffeehouses.  I *lived* in one of the most well-loved coffeehouses in the world-- the Last Exit on Brooklyn coffeehouse in Seattle's University District.  It was huge and its shared tables were packed every night.  In the days before WiFi, when you had to go home and dial up your favorite BBS, when the Web was brand new and only doctors carried cell phones that were the size of a brick, we had some of the world's best Go players, the some of world's best speed chess players (I'm not exaggerating.)  Bridge and Spades.  Backgammon was banned because the owner couldn't stop the betting.  There was always conversation to be had, from a rant about the U District police to physicists discussing their work.  And cigarette smoke.  And COFFEE.  Espresso floats and monstrous peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Music on the piano or a spontaneous guitar jam and more on open mike night, both good and dreadful.  An art show on the walls every month where artists could display and sell their work.  Theater patrons from the stage next door would pile in every Friday and Saturday nights.  People in ties, folks in dreadlocks, folks from around the world would descend on the Exit.

 

Sigh.

 

So, Starbucks doesn't hold much interest for me.  I don't miss the cigarette smoke, but I miss the space.  I miss my old living room.


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#7 of 25 Old 04-09-2014, 11:34 AM
 
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I'm almost 40 but I only started drinking coffee 2 years ago.I like starbucks well enough. My go to is black coffee with lots of sugar free caramel. I get a medium amount of coffee in my large cup and then I load in splenda and half and half. Not healthy in the slightest!

I ALWAYS order it French pressed.

I prefer the coffee I make myself at home. Triple certified, ground fresh in a hand mill, French pressed with rapadura and raw cream. That's the stuff!

Bring back the old MDC
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#8 of 25 Old 04-09-2014, 11:44 AM
 
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I'm not a big fan of Starbucks and only get something if DH is stopping there for coffee on a long drive. My drink of choice is the valencia orange refresher. DS gets a cake pop.

 

I prefer local coffee shops, as does DH, and if the kids are in tow, we go to a play cafe, which is an indoor play place with a coffee shop attached. Parents get to enjoy their drinks while kids play.


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#9 of 25 Old 04-09-2014, 11:50 AM
 
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I prefer the coffee I make myself at home. 

I admit I make some of the worst coffee in the world at home.  :p  It is as thick as cowboy coffee, and heavily dosed with organic vanilla half n half.  Well, not the worst.  I've had coffee so undrinkable, no amount of sugar cream and vanilla can redeem it.  Blech.  And the taste sticks with you all day.  Double blech.


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#10 of 25 Old 04-09-2014, 11:52 AM
 
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So, for my birthday this year my aunt gave me a $75 Starbucks gift card. yikes.gif It's going to take me absolutely forever to use it up, but I have to say, it's kind of awesome knowing I can splurge sometimes.

I hardly ever go to Starbucks for lots of reasons:
--I like the coffee I make at home
--My kids are usually with me, and I don't want to spend 3x the amount and give them a bunch of sugar just because I feel like having a coffee
--It's hard to pass up all the tempting sugar-laden stuff and just stick to my small cappuccino
--I usually have my puppy with me, and I can't leave her in the car while I run in for a coffee

So, yeah, it'll take forever to use this card, but I'm still glad to have it for those few times I'll splurge!

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#11 of 25 Old 04-10-2014, 01:21 AM
 
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I go to Starbucks when I "have" to.  Of late I've been ordering a double short Americano.  My girls order the soymilk hot chocolate.  We sit up at the counter, if there is one, and they watch the action behind the counter.  We do not linger.  I will say they do a good job training their employees.  In my area, the coffee is of fairly consistent quality which is nice.  Our local coffee stands make better coffee, but some are dismal.  My SIL works for Corporate helping them with ethical sourcing, so I get to see the good side of the company, which makes me feel a little better about patronizing the chain, but I will never be an aficionado.

 

I'm a bit spoiled with coffeehouses.  I *lived* in one of the most well-loved coffeehouses in the world-- the Last Exit on Brooklyn coffeehouse in Seattle's University District.  It was huge and its shared tables were packed every night.  In the days before WiFi, when you had to go home and dial up your favorite BBS, when the Web was brand new and only doctors carried cell phones that were the size of a brick, we had some of the world's best Go players, the some of world's best speed chess players (I'm not exaggerating.)  Bridge and Spades.  Backgammon was banned because the owner couldn't stop the betting.  There was always conversation to be had, from a rant about the U District police to physicists discussing their work.  And cigarette smoke.  And COFFEE.  Espresso floats and monstrous peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Music on the piano or a spontaneous guitar jam and more on open mike night, both good and dreadful.  An art show on the walls every month where artists could display and sell their work.  Theater patrons from the stage next door would pile in every Friday and Saturday nights.  People in ties, folks in dreadlocks, folks from around the world would descend on the Exit.

 

Sigh.

 

So, Starbucks doesn't hold much interest for me.  I don't miss the cigarette smoke, but I miss the space.  I miss my old living room.


Oh, this makes me so nostalgic! About 20 (or more!) years ago, I drove a city bus route through the U. district. After my shift, I would go in search of the ultimate coffee. And of course, Seattle was the place to find it!

 

Today, still (or again) in the Pacific Northwest, Starbucks holds little intrinsic appeal for me. But I often meet clients there, because it is recognizable, easy to find, on every street corner, and I can sit and wait 1/2 hour for my client without anyone looking funny at me. I sometimes order a brewed coffee with lots of whole milk. Sometimes not, and I can still sit there.


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#12 of 25 Old 04-10-2014, 03:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank goodness I installed a coffee machine in my office: lovely espresso on tap.

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#13 of 25 Old 04-10-2014, 08:39 AM
 
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I managed a Starbucks for a while before I had children.  I'm perhaps a bit biased.  :)  One, I visit Starbucks because I like their coffee (it's only a bit weaker than I make my own coffee).  I don't often drink anything at Starbuck besides plain black coffee. No cream, no sugar.  I do find many of the drinks too sweet but that's not a Starbucks problem.. that's because I don't like milk and sugar in my coffee.  I do like the venue because I can get a cup of coffee and chat with friends.  It's like a neighborhood place to go and I always see people I recognize there.  The service at the Starbucks I go to has always been very good and yea, it's always packed, but so is everything around here where I live.   I kind of think people like to hate on Starbucks.  :)  I've tried to like mom and pop and smaller establishments but their quality is inconsistent for the same price and I haven't found a local place where I like the coffee.  It's always too weak.  Some locations also have a Clover machine that brews a fresh cup for you right there and it's really good, too.  

When I worked there, I liked it a lot.  I loved our regular customers and loved having this place for people to hang out and visit friends and have a cup of coffee.  I liked walking in to work when the store was already open and seeing people sitting around and chatting and laughing.  Like, I was part of giving them that destination to go to.  

That said, I do like Caribou coffee better but we don't have any locations close to us like Starbucks is.  It's growing around us, though.  When I take the kids to Starbucks they usually get a short hot chocolate.  Or they don't get anything because coffee is my go to drink and I drink 3 cups a day.  Hot chocolate is a treat.  They are fine with this because they have seen mom without her coffee.  heh.  I make most of my coffee at home, though.  It's stronger, I can make it on demand and it's much less expensive.  I go to Starbucks probably once a week.  

If I want something sweeter I drink a double short mocha or a tall dirty chai with half the chai.  :)


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#14 of 25 Old 04-10-2014, 01:57 PM
 
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If I want something sweeter I drink a double short mocha or a tall dirty chai with half the chai.  smile.gif

What's a dirty chai? I do love a chai latte. At home, I like to steam and froth lightly sweetened milk on the stovetop and steep a bag of black tea in it, along with a cinnamon stick & couple of cloves and cardamom pods.

My favorite chain coffee place drink for the last couple of years has been the English breakfast tea latte from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, but paying $4 for tea somehow seems even more obscene than for coffee.

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#15 of 25 Old 04-10-2014, 02:52 PM
 
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LimaBean, in your shoes, I'd put that 75 toward a shmancy coffee maker. love.gif

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#16 of 25 Old 04-10-2014, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My schmancy coffee machine resembles a red chicken :rotflmao

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#17 of 25 Old 04-10-2014, 04:14 PM
 
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LimaBean, in your shoes, I'd put that 75 toward a shmancy coffee maker. love.gif

That's not a half bad idea!!!

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#18 of 25 Old 04-10-2014, 04:34 PM
 
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What's a dirty chai? I do love a chai latte. At home, I like to steam and froth lightly sweetened milk on the stovetop and steep a bag of black tea in it, along with a cinnamon stick & couple of cloves and cardamom pods.
 

 

Oh, your chai sounds MUCH better!  The chai at Starbucks is a syrup.  :)  A dirty chai is a chai tea latte (chai syrup and milk) with a shot of espresso in it.  I thought it would be gross when I first tried it but it's pretty tasty!


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#19 of 25 Old 04-10-2014, 07:01 PM
 
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My husband and I like Starbucks. It's a fairly consistent cup of coffee (and they are super nice about redoing a cup if it tastes "off" in any way, too sweet/not sweet enough, etc). We have Gold Cards (through the My Starbucks Rewards program), so we tend to get iced coffees (he prefers his with nonfat and classic syrup, while I take mine caramel with cream). When we have a "free" coffee or coupon of some sort, we'll go for something a bit fancier, like an iced macchiato. We like to nicely make fun of the people ahead of us at the drive-through who take forEVER to get their orders. ("I bet they ordered Frappuccinos. That's not even coffee, go get a milkshake!" More often than not, the barista then hands them a Frappuccino cup or several through the window...)

 

If there was a local place I preferred that had great coffee and was consistent, I'd go there. I suppose it's a bit of a catch-22 - they likely don't exist because of chains like Starbucks, but Starbucks is a bit better about consistency and quality (in addition to being fairly easily accessible).

 

Oh. And I don't drink hot coffee - I haven't since high school (the joys of taking college courses and sleep deprivation!). I've cold-brewed coffee in the past, but my husband and I will literally drink an entire container of homemade iced coffee while waiting for the next batch to cold-brew. Especially being pregnant, I find I don't reach as quickly for the caffeine if it isn't readily in my 'fridge. There aren't many places that can do a good iced coffee that I've found. We did try one place next to a local natural parenting store across town, but the prices were actually much higher than Starbucks and I wasn't impressed with the taste.


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#20 of 25 Old 04-10-2014, 07:07 PM
 
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My schmancy coffee machine resembles a red chicken ROTFLMAO.gif

Chicken, schmicken. It's cute! Does it make good coffee?

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#21 of 25 Old 04-10-2014, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Chicken, schmicken. It's cute! Does it make good coffee?

 

Absolutely! I love the plastic capsules, 16 to a box costing £3.68 (average) for various types of coffee: fresh coffee hit every time and, no mess. Not to be confused with the very expensive Nespresso system. This is the UK's Dolce Gusto site:  https://www.dolce-gusto.co.uk/EN/Pages/dolcegusto-home.aspx  The capsules contain a mixture of instant coffee and freshly ground. Neato. Lovely taste. I even took it onboard a cruise my family went on. At ship's exorbitant prices, think I did well to take it. eBay does some GR8 bargains.

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#22 of 25 Old 04-10-2014, 08:41 PM
 
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Erm... embarassed to admit it but my teenager goes there every school morning he's with me. :2whistle

Instead of an allowance he gets Starbucks' cards. I have to leave for work very early. He has to get himself to school.

It means he eats breakfast (maybe not a great breakfast but at least a breakfast) and gets out of the house early. I think it is his treat. It makes him want to get up and I think it makes him feel a little worldly  to go to the starbucks with all the adults and read his book before school.

When my kids were toddlers I'd stop at Starbucks on car trips because their bathrooms were clean and they would make warm milks for my kids (i.e. no chocolate sauce) and I knew their (very nice) barristas were making $10/hour. That said their drip coffee is AWFUL.

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#23 of 25 Old 04-10-2014, 09:09 PM
 
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Before I was pregnant my daily Starbucks order was 6 shots espresso over ice. I'd add half and half and sometimes a couple of raw sugars smile.gif
I went to half caf quads when pregnant and only got them maybe three times a week.
Now that I am nursing a dairy sensitive 10 mo old, I usually get three shots decaf and being my own coconut milk creamer... It's been a sad, sad digression...

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#24 of 25 Old 04-11-2014, 09:32 AM
 
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Before I was pregnant my daily Starbucks order was 6 shots espresso over ice. I'd add half and half and sometimes a couple of raw sugars smile.gif
I went to half caf quads when pregnant and only got them maybe three times a week.
Now that I am nursing a dairy sensitive 10 mo old, I usually get three shots decaf and being my own coconut milk creamer... It's been a sad, sad digression...

I had to go off coffee while I nursed because I discovered my milk supply, which was extremely touchy, plummeted when I consumed caffeine, and even decaf coffee was verboten.  (And strangely enough, drinking diet coke at my sister's house was the worst).  I have been slurping down the caffeine ever since, (and now that I've nursed 2 babes, the caffeine doesn't give me breast cysts before my cycle like it used to).


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#25 of 25 Old 04-11-2014, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I know vanilla flavoured soy milk is used by Starbucks in their organic products, but it contains carrageenan which is a thickening agent derived from certain types of edible seaweed. Carrageenan has been known to cause intestinal inflammation, but could regular intakes of their Organic Vanilla Soymilk cause any harm? I don't drink the stuff, neither allow Juni to, and my coffees I nearly always drink black. But Starbucks regularly gets a bad press as to its organic products being potentially harmful. Anyone?

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