Coffee is my homeboy. I really love that shit. It makes me a better human. I have probably consumed at least several cups before second breakfast. I don’t understand what a “cut off” time means (I don’t care that it’s 7:30 in the evening. I WANT IT.) I genuinely enjoy the caffeinated buzz it gives me and at this point in my life, don’t know how to function without it. Above all, I just really appreciate a really good cup of that stuff. Like, I just paid $17.00 for that pound of beans but it was worth every cent because, damn! Those are some high-quality beans—is that blueberry I taste? Sweet Jesus.

I worked for Starbucks during my teens on the east coast, galavanted across Europe for a few weeks, returned stateside and began working at a local coffee roastery. By then, I was spoiled by European espresso and no longer accustomed to the slightly charred taste of most of Starbucks blends.

But, still, I drink Starbucks on the regular. If you’ve ever lived a vagabonding, van-dwelling, dirtbag life for even a short stint in time, then you know that Starbucks is the absolute best place in the world.

Okay, yes their beans often taste burnt. Yes, a majority of their specialty drinks are sugar-laden and uber-fattening (470 calories and whipped cream isn’t going to help you send 5.13, bruh.) And with a continuous bump in prices, those specialty drinks wind up costing you well over $6.00 (that’s one third of a bag of high-quality chalk!)

But the fact that I can spend a few bucks for a hot cup of joe and free wifi is invaluable to me. Many of you tech-savvy, IT, work-remotely dirtbags know this. Additionally, store hours are often better than many coffee shops I’ve been to while road tripping. Most Starbucks cafes stay open until at least 8 p.m. or later–which means I don’t have to sit outside in the parking lot, poaching wifi for another hour.

You can find a Starbucks almost anywhere while on the road. They always seem to be at your nearest convenience. Some locations are even equipped with easy, mobile pay options and drive-thrus, which is fantastic. I’ve been driving alone in a car for seven hours and I don’t want to talk to another human. Also, I smell. Speaking of personal hygiene, you can always count on having your own private bathroom so you can grab that quick sink shower and not feel weirdly ashamed.

There is one on every major city street corner, in every shopping center, airport, and highway rest stop. I’ve even seen multiple shops set up on a single Manhattan block. I can fill up my Nalgene with water, grab a hot cup to go, and have a pleasant, private poop before getting back into a car for the next five-hour block.

As much as we all love to hate corporate America (especially those who don’t actually know what a cappuccino is or has made-up beverage sizes), Starbucks has remained consistently convenient over the years. Maybe they really are an evil corporate company, but they also have a reward program that gifts me a free drink on my birthday every year, not to mention I get a ten cent discount for bringing in my own filthy, crusty, unwashed mug. They’ll even rinse it out with hot water with a smile if you ask them to nicely enough. That doesn’t seem too evil to me.

9 thoughts

  1. nice read Kathy. I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to coffee these days and avoid corporate coffee usually but just this morning I had to stop at a Starbucks for my caffeine fix as there was a wreck coming into work and I didn’t have time to make coffee this morning. I too spent a summer working at one inbetween jobs and it was always a fun and clean place to work. thanks for the article.

  2. Most days I walk past at least two Starbucks to get to any coffee shop. There are just other local shops in DC that I like more. My reason for not going to Starbucks come from what you wrote ” I was spoiled by European espresso and was no longer accustomed to the slightly charred taste of most of Starbucks blends”. I don’t like the charred taste; sometimes the more than slightly charred taste of Starbucks. I will drink about any type of coffee in the office, but if I am paying for it then I get picky. There is a place in DC called Philz coffee that makes great pour over coffee. I really like the coffee at a place called Pleasant Pops, in DC. The Chinatown Coffee shop is good also. And when times get hard I will even go to Starbucks. Thanks for your blog and keep writing.

  3. “I also really love rock climbing; I think it also makes me a better human. But I think it’s mostly the coffee.”
    haha!!!
    A large, I mean grande, Sumatra blend and a brownie and I’m good until lunch!!!

  4. I’m currently road tripping around Australia, and I’m struggling to find good coffee. In the big Cities there are Starbucks, but for the most part they don’t exist over here. I’m having to live off of McDonalds Coffee, which is just as horrific. (But its easy to camp in a McDonalds car park and steal their wifi; For the price of a coffee)

  5. It was our grown children who pointed out to us that all our trips are punctuated by and rated on coffee shop stops and how good the coffee was etc. I can understand the need. We lived in Europe for ten years, so coffee is not just a powder in a jar. It is life. It is how we time our day. In the UK we have Costa, where we choose if we have choice. I have worked in Canada and drunk the Hortons, but you need to know what to ask for, I was berated for describing the Hortons standard brew as insipid wee. I know what to ask for now, but the Canadians must have stamped my passport, they still look at me funny.
    Jim

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