Saturday, September 12, 2009

Storytime with Amanda Meyer: Seasonal shifts in the great coffee battle

So this fine Saturday, I want to talk about coffee. Specifically, I want to talk about my inability to start brewing my own and further inability to stop spending far too much money daily on my caffeine fix.

I’m a sucker for advertising. I define Corporate America’s targeted demographic. And yet, if Dunkin’ beat Starbucks, why does The Bux continue to beat my wallet on a daily basis? I’ll tell you why in four short words: pumpkin spice soy lattes. Okay Dunks, you win my vote on iced coffee, but fall is in the air. I know, I know, summer just ended, but if you don’t believe me, look at the foliage freaks screwing up traffic on 95N starting at the 128 Split all the way up to New Hampshire.

So other than the foliage and back to school, fall in Boston means that it’s a lot windier than I’d ever like it to be, and thus, my lattes double as a way to keep warm. Starbucks re-introduced the pumpkin spice flavor this week and I am already hooked. In my humble opinion, it’s absolutely perfect. The soy milk makes it extra thick and the nutmeg on top is like the icing on a cake.

“But Amanda! You live in Boston? Wouldn’t it be much more fun to hang out at some tiny hole in the wall cafe drinking fresh brewed coffee that isn’t mass produced?” Well, in a word, yes. But to elaborate, that takes time, time I don’t have as one of this city’s many impatient “Massholes,” and I like I said, their advertising is good. Basically what I am telling you is that getting out of bed early to brew coffee is less appealing to me than standing in a line, having an anxiety attack about being late to work, and spending no less than $5.21 (venti soy flavored latte with MA 6.25 percent sales tax) on enough espresso to get me through the day.

Call me crazy, but that’s just how I roll. And for the record, when I do have a lazy Saturday morning with nothing to do but homework or reading, I absolutely love scouting out “real” coffee shops and spending some nice time there with my iPod and my books. But in the great rush to work Monday through Friday, that is the last thing on my mind.


  1. I am often torn between dunkin & starbucks, but starbucks always wins. Dunkin Donuts I go to for donuts or the .99 cents breakfast wrap. And yes, they have "chai tea" [I don't drink coffee], but it's just not as good as Starbucks. So starbucks takes all my money as well.
    To help me not spend all my money there, a couple of Christmases ago, my mom got me the container of starbucks chai tea & the vanilla flavoring they use to make vanilla chai. But like you said, it's way more appealing to stand in line and possibly be late for work then to wake up a good 10-15 minutes earlier. yuck!

  2. Oh my gosh it makes me feel a million times better that I am not the only person who is so easily charmed by Starbucks!!!! And uh.... Dunkin's chai? Is that any good? I LOVE chai lattes at Starbucks and also at this bakery in the city I used to work at called Flour.

  3. Speaking as a former Dunkin' Donuts employee, the chai tea is nothing really special. It is made the same way the hot chocolate and Dunkachinos are made: a big vat of powdered mix, with steaming water on top of it. I find it tasty, but I'm not a discerning taster when it comes to that sort of thing, since I don't drink much coffee or any tea.

  4. $5.21? Damn.

    I go with the standard brew from Bucks, the Pike Place. I need to try this Pumpkin one, though. But as a journalist, if I spend $5.21 on a cup everyday, I'm broke. Fast.

  5. Yeah, the Dunkin Donuts chai is pretty lame. it's more like warm milk than anything else.


Try not to be too much of an ass, unless completely necessary. You are subject to tyrannical moderation.


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