If you're a serious coffee drinker, you are probably very vocal about where you get your coffee and why you get it there. I am well aware of the stereotypes associated with Starbucks – it's for "white girls" in Uggs who like to flash the mermaid logo as a status symbol. Because of these stereotypes, I have put in every ounce of effort to deter myself from being obsessed with such a mainstream establishment.
But I surrender. If you know me at all, you know I love my Starbucks. And I can assure you, it's not because of some stupid status symbol.
1. Trendy vibe.
Starbucks has a pretty distinct trendy vibe. A lot of people who find it too mainstream gravitate to the Mom and Pop coffee shops with more of a cozy feel. A lot of my friends say they like Caribou better because it feels more "home-y." I beg to differ. While some may like the relaxed cabin-feel of a Caribou, I prefer places that provoke a feeling of fast-paced energy. And that's Starbucks.
2. Stellar customer service.
Starbucks wouldn't be its fast-paced, energetic self without its employees. I can't say I've ever had a terrible experience with someone who works at Starbucks. They're almost always friendly, outgoing and willing to make your drink exactly how you want it (even if you order a "Grande triple-shot almond latte, but not too much almond, and can it be sugar free, and can I have that made with skim milk?")
3. Drink consistency.
Go to a Starbucks in Moorhead, Minnesota, or go to one in New York City, and you'll get the exact same taste at both locations. I can't say the same for some of Starbucks' competitors. At other coffee shops, I'll have a phenomenal nonfat latte one day, and the next it tastes like it was scorched to ash somewhere in the deepest dungeons of hell. There's some comfort in knowing what you're going to get. It's kind of like watching the same favorite movie a million times... it's nice knowing everything is going to work out.
4. You can call ahead.
And even when it seems like it's not going to work out, it can. How many times have you overslept by a half hour and left the house with wet hair and an empty hand because you didn't have time to brew your own coffee or wait in line? Not to worry! At Starbucks, you can call ahead and they'll have it ready for you when you get there. Now there is no excuse to be crabby and miserable all day. There is no excuse to skip the caffeine.
5. You can be a gold member!
What's not to love about being a gold member? It makes you sound special and important. Not to mention, for every 125 stars earned through purchases, you'll get a free beverage of your choice in any size! And if you're an avid coffee drinker like me, that money saved adds up to quite a bit.
6. Great people-watching.
Although Starbucks has acquired a stereotype, the actual demographic of customers reaches much further than just "white girls." I also just realized that I have never walked into an empty Starbucks. Most tables are almost always occupied, making it prime people-watching territory.
Although you might find Starbucks too mainstream, you have to admit they know what they're doing. The efficiency, consistency and customer service practiced makes Starbucks my automatic go-to when I need a quick caffeine boost. And I'm willing to bet it will be yours too if you give it a chance.