mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Friday, October 08, 2004

I'm not addicted to coffee, I can quit anytime

Ok, the title to this post is false. I'm an addict. I probably drink about 30 to 40 ounces of coffee a morning, If I don't drink it, I suffer both mental confusion and crushing headaches. While I will occasionally purchase a Starbucks or Borders gourmet coffee drink, I usually stick with homebrewed or workbrewed canned coffee, interspersed with the occasional RoFo or Dunkin' Donuts brew.

But as an addict, I found this Slate article on the addictive power of Starbucks interesting.

There are two major bones I have to pick with it, though. The first is the dramatic begining where he compares the price of coffee - a dollar at the convinience store, $4.39 for a Java Chip Frappacinio. That seems to me to be comparing apples to oranges - it seems obvious that a plain cup of coffee is going to cost less than a complex chilled coffee beverage. Drinks like lattes and Fraps cost more partly because people are willing to pay extra for them, and partly because they are much more labor intensive. As the classic Bud Light ad says, they call it a latte because it costs a latte money and takes a latte time to make it. A more valid comparision would be between a cup of coffee from a convinience store and from Starbucks. The largest size cup of coffee from RoFo costs $1.09. The largest size coffee from the on-campus Starbucks at the college that signs Mad Anthony's paycheck charges $1.79. It does cost more, but not as dramatically more as the comparision would make you think. Plus, the Starbucks doesn't get robbed on a regular basis the way the nearest RoFo does.

The other questionable statement is this one:

The Wall Street Journal earlier this year sent samples of coffee from Starbucks, 7-Eleven, and Dunkin' Donuts to Central Analytical Laboratories. The lab reported that a 16-ounce Starbucks house blend coffee contained 223 milligrams of caffeine, compared with 174 and 141 milligrams in comparable amounts of Dunkin' Donuts and 7-Eleven coffee, respectively

True, but how many Starbucks customers actually get brewed coffee, compared to the fancy (and more expensive) lattes and the like? Those drinks are heavy on milk, so they have less caffine. The CSPI caffeine chart seems to bear this out (and also tells me that those pre-class Mocha Lattes aren't helping me much).

Well, I gotta stop writing and grab some coffee.


At 10:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And Starbucks is worth the extra


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