Why I Still Drink at Starbucks Although It’s Overpriced

Last Sunday, I showed up to Starbucks relatively early in the morning to get some work done before meeting a friend to talk some shop. Here’s a timeline of the morning:

7:15AM: With my own personal Starbucks mug in tow, I went up to the register to get a huge cup of Casi Cielo (I had to inquire about the pronunciation). I forked over some cash, sat down and got to work.

7:16AM: Damn, this is good. Time to get to work. Spotify loaded. Tyrone Wells playing. Pages opening.

7:20AM: After perusing Facebook for several minutes, updating this status, and enjoying some more coffee, I get to work.

7:32AM: Cup of coffee done. This might be a record. I head to the cashier for a refill which only costs me $0.80. I consider this a triumph for my bank account and flash my Starbucks app to pay.

8:00AM: Article coming along nicely. This caffeine must have some sort of creativity side effect because the words are flowing onto the page rather effortlessly. I reread my work to make sure it sounds like an educated, literate individual and not Larry the Cable Guy after a few Buds.

8:13AM: Coffee done. If I had a caffeine monitor on my blood stream right now, I would be approaching very high numbers. A Starbucks fan for quite some time, I know they don’t skimp on the coffee.

8:15AM: Down another $0.80, I have another warm cup of Casi Cielo (or as I call it – Heaven) in my hand. All is good.

8:17AM: Article done. On to the next one.

8:30AM: Friend arrives. Waits in line to get cup of coffee. I’m not one to let a friend wait alone so I hop back in. I believe the barista is impressed by my coffee drinking abilities. Hard to say. I make the smartest decision of the morning and opt for decaf.

9:00AM: Apparently decaf still packs a caffeinated punch – either that or the other drinks are beginning to catch up to me. I feel as though I possess limitless amounts of energy and productivity.

10:00AM: Conversation over. I rip through the rest of the second article and head for home. Decaf in tow. Hands jittery. Starbucks card down a grand total of $5.15.

Starbucks and I have an interesting relationship. When I’m in search of a good cup of black gold, I’m a monogamist – heading straight to the first sign of the Siren. She’s a polygamist, servicing hundreds of thousands of individuals everyday with expensive coffee drinks that last for 15 syllables and take two breaths to pronounce.

But I love it.

Sure, I’m open to other coffee chains, and I realize that there are other places that serve potentially better cups of coffee. Still, I spend countless amount of dollars at Starbucks every year culminating in winter when the good ‘ol red cups don shopping plazas and coffee tables alike.

October 10, 2011 marked a big day in my relationship with Starbucks. I hit Gold Card status which equates to spending roughly 25% of a year’s salary on mochas, frappuccinos, and venti coffees. After speaking with several clients, I was quick to realize that not only did this Gold Card offer relatively few benefits – namely a free drink every 12 purchases. It cost me a fortune.

I’m well aware that I could save a good amount of money by driving past the coffee conglomerate. But, I don’t care. Here’s why: coffee is one of those things that I enjoy, and I’m completely fine with spending money on it. Another one: good beer. I’ll pass up a Miller Light in favor of a good craft brew 90% of the time provided it’s early enough that I can taste the difference.

Starbuck-aholics get their caffeine fix under the posh roof for one of two reasons: they enjoy good coffee OR they just want to be cool and hip.

I’ll confess I’m a little of both. The coffee is delectable, but there’s also something cool about sitting at a coffee shop and writing or working. It makes me feel like I’m doing something important. Take surfing Facebook for instance. At home, I’m wasting time on my computer. At Starbucks, I’m increasing my social media presence.

Starbucks has created an allure of importance and a cultish following hooking followers that are caffeine addicts like myself and gaining traction from individuals that hate coffee. They do it with the environment, the friendly baristas that know your order, the free wi-fi, and the whole experience they create.

It’s got me hook, line, and sinker…and they know it too.

Enjoy Starbucks? Hate it? What’s your favorite drink? I want to hear it in the comments below.

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