The Starbucks coffee brand has become something of a flagship for corporate coffee everywhere. Occasionally you’ll still see the odd family owned coffee shop on a corner somewhere, and if you live in a big enough city you might see a few of them near universities or downtown, but for the most part our coffee comes from places like Starbucks, Tullys, or Seattle’s Best (which happens to be owned by Starbucks now). The coffee is the same almost anywhere you go, and for that reason, the consistency of their product makes them a perfect stop for someone unwilling to take a risk on their morning caffeine.
There are of course other methods of getting that morning boost. You can always brew your own cup of Joe first thing and take it with you to work. But, many people are turned off by the prospect of the extra time spent brewing and work spent cleaning the mess up. If you’re a single cup kind of person, there’s no need to worry about that extra clean up and maneuvering. There are single cup coffee makers on the market that will brew up exactly as much as you need quickly, saving you the time and money of having to go to Starbucks or one of its many rivals or subsidiaries.
Starbucks is as consistent as they come. They use the same coffee in every store everywhere you go. You get the same cup of coffee almost every time, unless your Barista is entirely incompetent. Those machines are big and expensive for a reason; they’re mostly automated. At home, you can choose whatever variations you want. If you want to try something different every couple of weeks, you’re more than able to, and the difference in cost is negligible because a bag of ground coffee at $12.99 is still less than you’d spend in a week at Starbucks and it will last you much longer with your single cup brewing method.
Convenience is a factor too. You walk in, tell them what you want – no matter how odd or complicated – and they’ll put it together for you. It’s perfect for the non-fat, soy, single pump, half decaf crowd, but if you just want a little caffeine to wake you up, why go to that trouble? You can put your cup in and press start and in less than five minutes, while showering even, have your coffee ready for the morning commute.
The difference between Starbucks and at home brew is similar to going out to eat and cooking at home. If you cook at home you’re left the liberty to experiment and make the portions and variations you want. Menus aren’t so forgiving (or cheap). However there’s always the chance that something could go wrong with your cooking. With a coffee maker, it’s almost assuredly not going to go wrong. It’s too simple to go wrong.