Full disclosure: I’m at a Starbucks right now, sipping from an over-brewed, over-sweetened iced tea that I blew $2.61 on.

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That said, I’m not happy about it. What other business could get away with a list of offenses anything like what Starbucks has racked up? Sure, the green mermaid may be this century’s green fairy, but I think it’s time for a bit of myth busting. Trust me, by the time you’re finished reading this I will have convinced you to ditch the frappuccino when you need your caffeine fix. After all…

1. It’s hella expensive.

Photo by Karina Rao

Let’s get real. At Starbucks, you’re paying for the atmosphere. A 16 oz. coffee there costs $2.10, while the same quantity costs $1.50 at McDonalds and $1.89 (for 14 oz.) at Dunkin’ Donuts. Prices aren’t great, but people don’t come to Starbucks for coffee. No, they come for the ubiquitous frappuccino—which runs between $3.50 and $5.00 for a tall. That can really add up.

2. It’s not healthy.

Photo by Justin Schuble

Alright, so you probably guessed that your venti caramel macchiato isn’t doing your body any favors, but why do you think Starbucks drinks are so expensive? It’s because they’re loaded with caffeine. Yep, if you aren’t keen on an early death, you may want to stick to Dunkin’ or some other place for your daily fix. One grande coffee is almost the recommended daily caffeine intake for an adult.

If caffeine is all you’re after, stick to pills—one pill typically contains half the caffeine of your average beverage, and you skip all the sugar of sweeteners. Sugar? That’s right, most of those fancy flavored drinks have more sugar than you should be consuming in an entire day.

You might want to think twice before the next time you order. Then again, you may not even want to order at all…

3. It’s not even good.

Photo by Lauren Anzevino

According to some blind taste tests, it’s not the best coffee. Although you could probably tell that if you didn’t load up your drink with cream and sugar anyway (just saying you don’t have to be a coffee expert to hear your tastebuds loud and clear).

As far as I can tell, Starbucks beverages exist to get you as caffeinated as possible in a drink that barely passes for coffee. They do it fairly well, I guess. But like I said, I won’t pretend I don’t drink it.

 4. And the food.


Photo by Elena Gallch

Food? Does what Starbucks sell even qualify as food? They try to trick you into buying a reheated grilled cheese sandwich for like $7.00. They stick a packet of peanut butter and a hard-boiled egg in a plastic box and call it a “protein plate” or whatever. I genuinely have no idea how they get away with it.

Some of my least favorite Starbucks offerings are the cake pops (it’s like a cake from somewhere other than Starbucks, but you pay a lot and there isn’t much of it) and the bantam bagels, which are tiny bagels filled with cream cheese (cute—but not too appetizing sitting on a counter). Honestly, the coffee begins to sound good when I think about the quality of the food. Gross.

5. Oh, and the stuff they sell.


Photo courtesy of Prasad Nalk

Dried fruit chips, packaged waffles, coffee gadgets—why? I don’t know anyone that has ever bought any of these things, much less anyone who was happy with such a purchase. Of course it’s overpriced, of course it’s of poor quality, and yet someone must be buying it or it wouldn’t be there.

Next they’ll be trying to sell you booze. Oh, wait, they already do that.

6. And last but not least, the ice.


Photo courtesy of Courtney Laub

So much ice! God forbid my beverage approaches anywhere near room temperature. There’s too much ice and not enough coffee in Starbucks iced drinks. And I’m certainly not the only one who thinks so.

At some point, I started asking for iced drinks without ice, but, depending on the Starbucks, they sometimes just fill your cup halfway (I rarely take the risk these days). Also, consider the caloric content of their drinks knowing that the cups they give you are half full of ice—you’re basically drinking syrup. Honestly, ice is just a way to short you on your coffee. If they had any decency at all, they’d make the ice out of the drink itself (thank you AB, at least you understand).

Look, I’m not telling you to hate Starbucks, I’m just telling you to stop enjoying it. Go find a new favorite coffee shop. Donut Delight is pretty good…If you live in Connecticut.