When asked what she ordered at Starbucks for her ’73 Questions’ video for Vogue, Blake Lively responded, “do people still go to Starbucks these days?” Well yes, Queen B, people do in fact still frequent the billion dollar (and growing!) franchise on a daily basis. But I guess when you live in the concrete jungle and are doing a video for Vogue in the first place, it’s easier to splurge at the cooler, latte art-invaded coffee spot at $6 an ounce.
Do the pros outweigh the cons or vice versa when it comes to getting your caffeine fix at a chain versus a family-run corner hideaway? I broke it down so you don’t have to.
You know what you’re getting at chain coffee joints… and it’s not always a cup of the finest beans from Costa Rica (although Starbucks does believe in ethical sourcing). Those off-the-beaten-path spots offer some of the best on the market, with unique notes of flavor and methods of production, which makes the price understandable. Once you get that first sip, you wonder why you ever went to chains to begin with.
Oh wait, that’s why. It’s all fine and dandy until you walk into your local coffee shop and see the total for a muffin and cappuccino is enough to set you back on next month’s rent. Like I said, it does make sense considering the quality, but it’s still not something you feel like scrounging for every day.
You never know what you’re walking into when finding a hidden gem coffee spot (unless you look it up on Yelp beforehand – don’t be that person). Whether filled with cool art, mosaic-tiled walls, bean bag chairs, or… cats, local places bring that air of uniqueness to the scene. And you’ll be relaxing to the tune of some indie record that’s much cooler than
mine Taylor Swift’s.
Ugh, you know the place. Every town has that we are too cool for you how dare you walk through that door type of spot. Unless you’re a friend of the people that run it or write poetry, it’s not worth it. They’re also the people that scream “NAME FIVE SONGS” when you wear a Led Zeppelin t-shirt.
Pro: You feel good
Supporting local, small businesses is so important. And unless it’s run by *cough* people like as described above, these small town hubs are what keeps the wheel turning. They’re an oasis for anyone and everyone. Handmade baked goods, local brews, and good vibes make you feel like you’re putting that extra dime towards something long-lasting and substantial.
The big con seems to be the lack of convenience, compared to the inevitable Starbs/Dunkin’/Coffee Bean on every corner across the country. Sometimes you have to swerve off the path of expedience to find a local joint, and even then you’ll probably want to chill out and stay a while.
So is supporting the town coffee spot worth the splurge? If you’re Blake Lively, yes, and if not, well, weigh the highs and lows and then decide. If you have to be one of those people that still goes to Starbucks, so be it.