Starbucks is a Waste of Time and Money

Why Brewing is Better than Buying


Nathan M

A freshly brewed mug of coffee in the morning.

Nathan Metzger, Staff Writer

Starbucks is overrated. Why do people want to spend so much money on, at most, mediocre coffee when buying and brewing a coffee at home costs a lot less? The coffee can be brewed to fit any taste. I find it to be a waste of time to have to get dressed, find my wallet, sit through traffic, and a line in order to get coffee on a Saturday morning when I can just walk to my kitchen, and put some coffee beans in the french press and pour water into it.

One gripe with Starbucks is more often than not, the mediocre taste. With a drink that is mostly just coffee, it often tastes burnt and has an unbalanced flavor, “I think they burn a lot of their stuff honestly,” Chance Ekstrand ’20 said. Many times the flavoring overbears and masks the taste of coffee all together. At home, even if it is messed up after a few times, the coffee becomes entirely micromanaged. When making coffee at home, people can feel a sense of accomplishment from brewing a quality cup of coffee, “With the cost and flavor, it just tastes a lot better if you brew it yourself,” Ekstrand said. In Starbucks, flavor can be adjusted by a few things here and there, but can not get them to change the tiny details to get the perfect brew.

It is understandable to want to go out somewhere interesting to get coffee, but there are so many other places to go. The thing with Starbucks is that, while they do have different layouts, they all have the same feel. While consumers may want that sense of familiarity, there’s nothing very unique to really draw people in consistently. Instead people can go to any array of local coffee shops which often have their own unique quirks. For instance, Twisted Bean has a very leisurely feel to their shop which is extremely open and they also have private rooms that can be rented out to relax and study in. There is also Java Joes which, while similar to Starbucks in spacing feel, has a larger variety and board games for customers to play when people go out for coffee in groups or with friends.

There are two main types of coffee drinkers: those that drink for taste and those that drink for the caffeine content. While there are some decent tasting coffees at Starbucks, they seem to be few and far between and just seasonal. If people want coffee for the caffeine content, there are better brews people could get. The strongest coffees at Starbucks is a venti black coffee, which has a caffeine density, excluding espresso shots, 20 milligrams per fluid ounce of caffeine, while the company Death Wish’s namesake coffee contains a caffeine density of 54.2 milligrams per fluid ounce of caffeine and Black Insomnia, another coffee company, has a coffee that has 92.1 milligrams per fluid ounce of caffeine. People just need to spend some money to get the equipment and beans to make it themselves, but it is cheaper over an extended period of time.

Some people may complain about the cost of brewing coffee at home because it usually requires a decent starting payment for a good espresso machine. I have done the math, if  a consumer were to buy a good cappuccino machine, about $400; and bought specialty coffee with a subscription at $15.99 per month and drank it every day, it would only cost around $680.87 for the year, then take away the cost of the machine the next year. Getting Starbucks every day of the year with the cheapest cup of coffee possible which is a tall Blonde Roast $2.19, it would cost around $799.35.  “Most of it’s really overpriced for the quality that they give out,” Ekstrand said. This would save $118.48 the first year and about $518.48 the second year, if it was just home brewed.