Monday, February 19, 2007

The Much Anticipated Coffee Post

Ok- so none of you anticipated it at all, much less, much but it felt like a nice title and since Im recovering from a heavy duty cold- fluish thing, can't I be a bit grandiose with my title? Recently I read a review about the best coffee franchises in the country. I'm more of a tea person, however, law school has helped me appreciate the finer points of coffee such as providing one with the ability to keep one's eyes open to study for longer than they previously thought humanly possible. After three years of diligent coffee consumption I thought I'd share my reviews on the famous franchises. Agree? Disagree? Do tell!

Dunkin' Donuts: Safe and reliable. Not too bitter, not too bland. Nothing to do jumping jacks for, yet nothing to point out as flawed. However its one drawback proves fatal for me, in order to consume their coffee one must position themselves in the front line of donuts on a daily basis. Can anyone be so strong?

Seattle's Best Coffee:What a bold proposition to make about one's coffee all the way on the other end of the country. Honey you may be the best in Seattle, but you are certainly not the best here. Your bold hubris filled statement makes me want to travel to Seattle and simply prove you wrong. If however what you assert is true and you are truly Seattle's best, the people of Seattle are quite coffee deprived.

Starbucks: Starbucks should be your beverage of choice if and only if:
a) there is no other coffee shop within a forty mile radius
b) Walking around with the logoed cardboard cup makes you feel cool, young and chic.
c) You frankly adore the taste of stale, burnt coffee. I've never tasted the discard of cigarettes thrown together in a pot and cooked for an hour. But I imagine this coffee tastes justlike that.

I know I sound unreasonably bitter (ha) about Starbucks but in my defense, for many years I hated coffee because I thought, if Starbucks is the coffee darling of the world, and I hate their coffee, why, I must hate coffee. Oh Starbucks, you took the best coffee drinking years of my life!

Caribou Coffee: I had an interesting experience here best shared by example

Me: I'd like a small iced coffee please
Bob: We just got a great caramel flavor, how about I just throw that in? We're trying to see if people like it!
Me: Um, ok, thanks!
Bob: Tell ya what, Ill go ahead and mix in some vanilla *starts mixing*
Me: *not really wanting vanilla but seeing its too late take out $1.64 to pay*
Bob: Ok, this will be *ringing register* $5.24.

Caribou, your coffee's okay (though a bit too watery for my taste). But are you that hurting for business that you dupe your customers into buying more than they wanted? And for the record, iced coffee with a shot of caramel and vanilla is not my cup of tea!

You might be thinking well Negative Nancy what do you recommend? Ladies and gents I'm sorry to say that as of the date of this post I have yet to find a coffee franchise I can stand behind (though recent reviews indicate McDonald's is fab- but again, its the whole being in the line of fire of thousands of McMuffins that proves fatal for me). I do enjoy frequenting a few local "mom-pop" type of cafe's that I absolutely adore. My suggestion? Find your local mom-pop coffee shop where they grind the beans fresh, and keep it fresh all day, where they know your name and make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Try, and try again and soon you'lll find your favorite little nook. Here's a jump start!

28 comments:

mezba said...

Not a coffee person, but when you guys come to Canada, I will treat you to Tim Hortons.

momyblogR said...

OMGosh, of all the places in the world to get coffee and I've ordered coffee ALL over...McDonalds has to be the WORST as far as I'm concerned. I've gone mornings withOUT when that is all there was, lol.

Starbucks, SUCKS!! It's over-priced, the wait is forEVER and I agree, it tastes burnt with a Marlboro Light in it..trust me, I know. I would dip out of a puddle before I ordered from Starbucks.

I'm with you. Mom and Pop places serve the best along with Diners If you have to order out.

I'm pretty happy with the pot of Folgera at HOME. :):)

Irving said...

I like Dunkin donuts coffee, and you can buy it by the pound to make at home. If you go through the drive-in window, you won't have to see the donuts lol

Where I live, Java Nation is the local coffee shop that grinds their own beans, and it is great.

The worst - Starbucks. Overroasted and burned coffee.

Ya Haqq!

mystic said...

I think Tim-hortons beat all of them (no offense america) but dunkin donut is good.

Starbucks is only good for 'chai tea latte', oterwise its - ridiculously expensive Seattle best coffee is better than SB.

huda said...

I've been to Caribou dozens of times and never had a problem, so maybe your experience was just due to an overzealous barista?

But I agree with you that we should support the local independents. I think one of the best coffee houses I've ever been to is Uncommon Grounds in Wrigleyville... beats the pants off a chain any day!

Suroor said...

That's Bob's coffee was a rip off! I love coffee and I like Starbucks. Dunkin' Donuts always give me bitter coffee. Seattle's is gross. I like the coffee I make :)

The friendly lion said...

i'm not a real fan of hot coffees, i much prefer the ones i make at home which are more milk and less coffee. Coffee bean and tea leaf does a great cold coffee, their ice blended caramels are the best so much better than Starbucks frapaccinos. try it if you get it there!

Anonymous said...

...uff, the mere mention of coffee conjurs up images of all those all-nighters during finals where it was made by the gallon in hopes of getting work/studying you should've beforehand...gimme my cuppa chai anytime, any place please...from my other coffee loving friends,i hear peet's coffee rocks...have you tried?...

-ash

Anonymous said...

Check out this article about Caribou. Very Islamic. Worth a 2nd try..

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15239646/

Tee said...

I'm not a big coffee drinker either but I have a bunch of points to agree and disagree on in my limited experience.

Dunkin Donuts are avoided because of the attraction to the donuts - Agreed.

Seattle's Best - My sister worked for them before and brought me yummy conctions before but she knows my taste, (which when it comes to coffee is probably the taste of a 5 year old.)

Starbucks - I tend to be generally anti-Starbucks except at Christmas time. I LOVE LOVE LOVE their gingerbread latte.

We have a place here called Daily Grind (not sure how widespread they are). They are pretty good.

My little sister also worked for a place called "Cosi" and she still goes back often. She's brought me a few things from there too that were great. (Like their rice crispy treats covered in chocolate... OMG.) LOL. The coffee was good, too ;)

I tend to enjoy coffee from home mostly. Every where else serves it too hot. I HATE hot coffee. I don't like to wait to drink it and I don't like burning myself or taking wimpy sips.

I like my coffee WARM with a lot of flavored creamer and some packets of Splenda. LOL.

Aisha said...

Mezba, I've heard so much about Hortons, so much so, I'm tempted to make up a trip simply to try it! :)

Mommyblogr, "dip out of a puddle before trying starbucks" LOL. I will do Starbucks on many an occassion simply b/c there is no alternatie in the vicinity but its always a grumpy option. It requires so much creamer and sugar to make it drinkable!! Sounds like a lot of ppl like home coffee, I might have to get a coffee maker..

Irving, Java Nation, I will have to look it up, thanks for the tip,they might have it here. the dunkin donuts near my house has no such drive through :(

Mystic, chai tea latte. I have a hard time saying chai tea since it sounds so chic but I know what it really means and it makes me annoyed. I'm such a snob in the strangest things..

Huda, I find Caribou slightly watered down, have you ever noticed that? I only get their regular hot or cold coffee though.

Suroor do you brew your own starbucks, i heard that tastes different?

Friendly Lion, is that a store? (coffee bean and tea leaf) I am intrigued! :)

Ash, I too am of your variet and prefer the chai over the coffee on almost any given day unless I need it to stay alert. I hope I dont get addicted to it but I fear i am :(

Anon, thanks for the tip,I will.

Tee, when you make it at home do you make instant coffee or coffee maker? In college we were so dumb we had never drank coffee before so we bought instant coffee and put it in the coffeemaker to make on a regular basis. It was so embarassing when we had company, lol. I'm trying to find that one that can grind the beans but they cost money... lol... one day! :)

wayfarer said...

I totally agree. The best cups of coffee I've ever had were not at a chain...they were always urban coffee shops that kept students awake into wee hours...exactly how i spent all my years of college. :-)

Anonymous said...

starbucks rules and you know it!

Bee Amma said...

Oh gosh, i was totally obsessed with Tim Hortons this time i went to Canada! Their French Vanilla Caps are amazing, but ridiculously sugary and bad for your teeth i imagine! If i go to canada again, i think id refrain, after bringing back boxes of it and making it at home, i can see just how much junk goes into making it! But it was still good! :)
Other good coffee places, which true coffee lovers rate are Costa, and Cafe Nero :)

Baji said...

Tim Horton's is good, but too sugary.

I like Carribou and appreciated the link to the article.

I hate Starbucks, too. Their coffee does taste burnt.

I always prefer my loal mom and pops. DH and I buy beans and grind at home and set the cofee maker-now we're coffee snobs.

Hubby can't get over the chai latter thing either. Funny thing is that I drink them now because of preanancy and I atually like them even though I'm forced to say "tea tea, please".

Aisha said...

Wayfarer do you have a personal favorite in the city?

Anon... um ok!

Bee Amma, y'all have me so curious about Hortons now. I think I may have to find an online store and order some.

Baji, well its okay, for cravings one can make the exception for tea tea :0)

Anonymous said...

There are Tim Hortons in some areas in the U.S., including in MI.

Tee said...

Aisha - I use the coffeemaker and I use A LOT of water - really watered down. LOL... If I just feel like one cup sometimes I'll make instant. I have General Foods International French Vanilla Sugar free. (Comes in a small rectangular tin). It's really good.

ABCDlaw said...

Instant is what I live off of. I'm the only coffee drinker (well "outed" coffee drinker anyway, my little sister isn't "allowed" because she's 14 but she does anyway) in the house I live cup to cup!

The friendly lion said...

Yup Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is a store and according to wikipedia it popularized the chai lattes although i have never seen them here i.e in the UAE. I couldnt find a store in Atlanta but this is the website http://coffeebean.com/ maybe you'll have better luck than me!

frenchita said...

negative nancy :P, wonderfully written, you should seriously think of writing a book.
i always drink instant coffee, those chains are way too expensive!
i tried molten choc cake from chilis, it sure is mouth watering!

Bee Amma said...

no no!! the ordered stuff is not as good! You must fly to Canada and taste it!

pixie said...

I would rather have a up of tea than coffee myself. But I did find tons of good coffee places in Alaska. They are everywhere and they were mostly mom and pop places. The best place was an art gallery/slash coffe place in Seward. Excellent coffee!

The Brown Girl said...

Mmm Dunkin Donuts coffeee..... aaah the aroma.............the aroma..........the flavor.... the pull-you-straight-up-out-of-your-misery flavor...

heaven in a cup...

Starbucks is for preps --- ahahah aka FourBucks cuz no matter what you get it costs around four bucks.

Aisha said...

Anon- hmm I need to look it up though I'm sure I've never heard of it in my neck of the woods... thanks for the tip though :0)

Tee- I really want to buy a coffee maker. I just love how it drips into the pot, and the house smells so good. I feel very urbane and chic when I am at people's homes and they put on a pot of coffe, lol :)

abcd what is your coffee of choice?

FriendlyLion, you are so kind!! thanks for the tip :)

Frenchita, molten choc cake is my absolute favorite dessert! :) Its absolutely perfect. Warm and cold, hard and soft. Its lovely :)

Bee Amma, d'oh :(

Pixie, I bet the wintry cold in Alaska inspires good coffee drinks to be made :)

Farah, lol, wow such passion for dunkin donuts coffee I have never seen. ;0)

ABCDlaw said...

hmmm, I guess it would have to be Nescafe Clasico. I started drinking it in high school. I think its also the cheapest one out there, which is probably why my parents bought that brand :)

Aisha said...

lol, I think I've tried that one too!

wayfarer said...

Java Monkey in Decatur is good and a cool place to just hang. ChocoLatte is pretty good too and they have free wireless internet. There's another one i liked...in little five points...can't remember the name though.

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