Gas Station Coffee Vs Starbucks Coffee

The stage is set: It’s 7:00 AM, you’re running five minutes late and you need the elixir of American life, coffee. You careen to a halt as the green light has unexpectedly turned red. Your annoyance slowly rises. Contemplating life you notice a ray of sunlight shattering through the gray clouds. A gas station sits to your left and a Starbucks to your right. It’s as if there’s an Angel and Devil standing on either shoulder. Judgment sinks it’s fangs into your neck. Your next decision about where to go for coffee will either gain my wrath or my sincere appreciation. In full disclosure when given the choice between the two I always choose gas station coffee over Starbucks. At this point I see it as an inkling of pride. Pour yourself a cup of mud, sit back and enjoy my plea for Gas Station Coffee.

Gas Station Coffee: Coffee Of The Common Man.

I doubt many people receive aesthetic pleasure from gas stations. They are always somewhat dirty, smell of the same odor and the same fifteen people work at every gas station in the country. Despite these flattering nuances gas stations are a morning haven for the common man, and serve a darn good cup of coffee. There is a special communion that takes place every morning in gas stations across America. It’s held by the finest coffee drinkers known to man: The Morning Coffee Crowd (MCC). These morning road warriors come from all walks of life, hold various titles, and most importantly share the belief that you can buy a damn good cup of coffee for the appropriate price. I’m inviting you to the coffee counter, join the MCC brotherhood, and ditch the straight and narrow.

Why do some people choose gas station coffee over the heavy hitters such as Starbucks and Dunkin Doughnuts? They needed gas? A flat tire led them there? They’re craving gas station burritos?

The reason is  basic economics. If you want to save money and want your caffeine fix, go to your local gas station. Sleepy eyed you’ll pour yourself a cup, nod to your fellow coffee drinker and mutter a gruff sound that loosely translates into “Good Morning”. You’ll pay the half smiling, half stoned cashier you’ve seen your entire life, walk to your car and drive off into the sunrise. Carpe Diem, I hope you brought your sunglasses.

The morning Gas Station experience offers you the convenience of fresh coffee without the annoyance of waiting on a barista to make a Carmel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino. Sure, sometimes you might be behind the guy that bottlenecks the line as he buys 20 instant lotto tickets but I must admit that I’m rooting for him. May your mistress lady luck be on your side!

When you make the gas station your premier morning coffee destination you’ll develop an irrational belief that anyone who doesn’t drink gas station coffee is wrong. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and you have your $2.00 twenty-four ounce cup of morning mud. Life is good.

***In all fairness there are some gas stations that are terrible, stuck in 1983 and only offer powdered cream as an option. Avoid these stations at all costs; stay away from these cheap bastards.***

Starbucks: The Iron Giant

It’s never good to knock someone or something for being successful. That being said I wont attack Starbucks for being mainstream. Their success and popularity is due to a great product, great branding, years of hard work and the adoration of white women everywhere. All things I cannot knock but only appreciate. In full disclosure I do catch myself drinking Starbucks at least once a month and yes, they have alright coffee.

In a coffee to coffee comparison I believe that gas stations match up evenly with Starbucks. I have a hard time paying a dollar or two more for a cup of coffee that doesn’t taste significantly better than it’s one dollar competition. The driving force behind my love for gas station coffee is I hold the belief that many people that are die hard Starbucks drinkers carry a sense of pretentiousness. My distaste for pretentiousness has directly led to my admiration for gas station coffee.

Many Starbuck drinkers are kind of like the people that brag they are from a certain area. Oh, when you weren’t in existence did you request to be born to your exact set of parents in the precise area of your choosing? Fascinating. Some Starbucks drinkers pride themselves on the fact they drink Starbucks. I appreciate pride but harboring an elitist view on coffee that is sold in more than 20,000 locations to me is a contradiction. The following that Starbucks carries is frustrating, fascinating, cool and impressive.

If you drink anything other than coffee then yes by all means go to Starbucks, gas stations are limited. If you are a pure coffee drinker, save yourself the hassle of waiting in line and go to a gas station. It’s faster, cheaper and without the suffocating air of pretentiousness. As I said I won’t attack Starbucks for being successful but I’ll make a claim that Starbucks is essentially as common as Wal-Mart, Target, and McDonalds. I’ll also acknowledge that Gas stations are pretty damn common, and this article displays a sense of pretentiousness for gas stations. The world spins in a full circle.

The point of this article is a plea to root for the underdog. In a world where it’s cool to go to Starbucks, sit down and talk about the doldrums of the day, I ask of you to take the road less traveled and choose gas station coffee. Choosing gas station coffee is fighting for a cleaner, safer, less pretentious future. God speed.

189 thoughts on “Gas Station Coffee Vs Starbucks Coffee

  1. Very funny. I must admit I do like Starbucks a bit but I mostly go there because my family is addicted to Chai. I’ve read that they treat their employees fairly well, but I don’t know first hand. I think they have been pretty good for the economy and if you believe their hype they are fair to their growers.
    I like to make my own coffee personally and sometimes the gas station coffee kind of scares me. Especially when I picture the guy filling the caraffe with the water from the crusty dirty sink. I look the place over and if it looks reasonably clean I’ll buy! Of course I also wonder about those rags they use over and over to wipe everything down at Starbucks. That can’t be too sanitary!
    Anyway I’m new to blogging thanks for the like and for making me laugh.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. lol I am with Hugh. As a chai drinker – Starbucks offers me reliability – it’s the same drink at every branch (try some random chai at random places and you will see what a broad interpretation there is of that drink). Honestly – I can’t drink Starbucks coffee. Too strong and bitter for me.

      That said – ‘quality/reality over blind brand-recognition’ I can totally understand. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am a strong black coffee addict. I drink coffee at midnight
    and have no trouble sleeping. However, if I have a dark
    coffee from Starbucks I might be memorizing the
    phonebook at 5am after mowing my lawn and
    my neighbor’s lawn.
    Starbucks adds some type of synthetic caffeine to
    their store-prepared coffee. Starbucks coffee that
    one can make at home does not have this added boost.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Right there with you. Drank starbucks too late one time and ended up scrolling a Reddit thread about Car Seat Headrest (I don’t even have a Reddit account) at 2 a.m., talking an acquaintance from work through an existential crisis via social media direct messaging and finishing Harper Lee’s “Go Set A Watchman.” By the time I fell asleep it was 5:15 a.m. and I had to drive myself back to school the next day…
      That being said, I love a good flat white from starbucks every now and again (at an appropriate hour of course) :p

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I get it, but there is more important things.were not all the same and I brew my own espresso and its Starbucks brand, been to Italy and love it and the espresso! and when I was your age, where I lived we… JK. Bologna with Mayo please!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I do drink Starbucks (I’m from Seattle so, it’s kind of required, and they are every 10 feet) but I’ve come to prefer Cafe Nero here in London. And bonus, it’s literally at the end of my street, so 400 feet after leaving my door I’m accepting my cappuccino. My husband, while dedicated to Starbucks since they are right outside his office, would prefer to go back to his early coffee drinking days and the weirdness that is that east coast gas station gem, WaWa. I’ve never been a fan of their coffee but they do have an excellent tea selection.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Love this! I’m a Dairy Queen Frappe’ fan myself. Its only a little cheaper, but you can find a DQ in every small town in Texas. And I’m spending money at home. Lots of Starbucks around but not as good IMHO.
    But like you when I need coffee at oh dark thirty the local Valero does it right, and they have pastries too. Oh, and when the SA Spurs win, the coffee is free here.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. At home I use whole beans and a French Press. I recently discovered coffee that rivals mine from the local 7/11 where I buy my gas. It is Brazilian dark roast (the Columbian is good, also). For $1.50 I get a medium cup with a lid, a cardboard sleeve and unlimited napkins. Wow! I drink it black so there are no calories (unlike the temptation to get gobs of cream and sugar dumped in at Starbucks). Yeah, I like my coffee and I agree with you! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ay, TonNEEE!

    Thanks for liking my recent blog post, I appreciate it! Please accept my compliments on a well-written essay! Most entertaining and insightful to boot! All best wishes for your continuing blogging growth and success!

    Jay Pochapin

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great blog. While I am not fond of gas station coffee, I do like to root for the little guy. To me, that means the locally owned coffee shops. Nothing better than finding a gem to go hang out and write at. It also helps if the coffee is decent.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Loved this – although here in England most of our gas stations don’t sell coffee, and the one’s that do sell the big brand coffee.
    You’ve got to go for the little guy, as often as you can.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m all for underdog’s uniting…woof woof …on road trips, it’s definitely gas station coffee for me…at home, it’s my own kitchen blender and #bulletproof coffee w/ grass fed butter, MCT oil and collagen powder It keeps me going till early afternoon…the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hello, thanks for liking my post. Noticed this coffee one. I love coffee, nice, normal, nothing in it just coffee and boiling water. I rarely visit Starbucks, they’re a bit pricey for me. I can find decent filter coffee at decent prices in plenty of places in Northern England where I live, despite Starbucks and Costa being everywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Iam myself a coffee bufoon. Like your theory of common man coffee rather than for an occasional sip at branded ones like starbuck ,coffee Day etc.We in India especially south indian homes our home made delicious coffee,
    liked your blog.
    kindly read my blogs very intetresting on various subjects.
    brijkauldiary.com

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wait, you are trash talking “elistist” Starbucks drinkers because you get your large coffee for $2.00??? A 24 oz coffee at Starbucks is like $2.29.

    Stop being ignorant and regurgitating what others tell you. Just because you can order a drink with 5000 things for $8.00 doesn’t mean the average coffee is anything like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I am such a fan of coffee that I collect coffee memes and phrases. I like my coffee strong and black. So strong it almost drinks me. I started drinking red-eye years ago and still need one every once in a while. The only place I can get one is at an independent shop.
    My favorite place to get coffee, besides our church’s cafe on Sunday (they make my red-eye for me too!) is Tom’s Donuts down the street from me. I can get my (enter store name here) gas station cup re-filled at Tom’s for 60 cents. #WhatABargain.
    I enjoyed the bologna I read here so far. Thanks for stopping by my blog and ‘liking’ a recent post.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Loved your blog – love the way you write! I’m an unashamed coffee lover and have been known to visit Starbucks whenever I get the chance, which isn’t often now because there isn’t one nearby – an hour’s drive to the nearest one. Life is way too short for instant coffee so I make my own brew from my great Rocket Giotto every morning, but I still like to enjoy Starbucks when I get the chance – mostly for the atmosphere and to partake of my favourite pastime – people watching (seeing how the elitists live). As far as gas station coffee goes, I don’t think our Australian versions of your gas stations are even in the ballpark. The coffees I’ve dared to taste have been a lot less than ‘ordinary’. And thank you for liking my post – Twitter-Ville For Writers – glad you liked it.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I know this is an older post but it came up when you liked one of mine, and I really enjoyed the read. 🙂

    I like my coffee black and also find Starbucks to be terribly overrated. But I go there because of the tea. They don’t even get that quite right, but it’s to my advantage. I always order a Venti Earl Grey “Hokey Pokey style” (one bag in, one bag out). 2 tea bags make it REALLY bitter halfway through drinking it. Starbucks black coffee is bitter too so go figure. But this way I get a nice cup of tea and if I’m hanging around, I get a refill with a fresh tea bag, or I can keep it for tea at home. And it’s that good tea, not chopped to powdered bits. 🙂

    I’m glad you added that caveat about avoiding certain gas station coffee. I once got a cup from some outdated place and the coffee tasted as though they tossed grounds and hot water in a plastic pool toy and shook it up. *gags*

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hey! I’d take offense at your reference to ordering a Carmel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino, except mine is half-soy, half-nonfat, 112 degrees, with a dusting of cinnamon. So there! I showed you! Good stuff. Lots of fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Love it lol. I do like my occasional special comfort food sort of drinks from Starbucks, but you are right: if you want a great cup of coffee, gas station coffee is perfect and cheap!! Thank you for brightening my day. I am going to make coffee now! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I’ve sidled up to the barista at Starbucks before and had their overpriced, acid reflux inducing coffee before, but only when no other choice was available. I’ve tried Caribou Coffee, Dunkin’ Doughnuts and various others and have found the two best coffees in my humble opinion. The first favorite is the coffee at any USO around the world! My second comes from a friend of mine who after retiring from the Army opened his own roaster in Oregon. Mt Hood Roasters has an air roasted dark blend called Trillium Trail. I get my fix from Mt Hood on a daily basis and when I’m on the road I stop at USO’s when I can find them, and then gas stations (not convenience stores) are my next resort.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I love your post! I used to drink gas station coffee every day because I liked it, and it was reasonably priced. I also enjoyed being able to pour my own cup without standing in a long line of people who were way cooler than me. But there was a problem. For months I was getting sick to my stomach after my morning ARCO-AM-PM brew. I never for a second blamed the coffee, but out of desperation I took a break from it. I figured out that it wasn’t the coffee, it was the little yummy little creamers making me sick. They spoil after awhile. It made me sad when I no longer visited the nice lady who stood at the register. She had two little kids who appreciated the goofy Dodger swag my husband brought home from work: bobble head dolls, beach towels etc.
    But I really miss the coffee. There’s no way to guarantee that the creamers are fresh, so I gave it up altogether.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I like Starbucks as much as the next guy, but then I always get that look when I say, “Coffee. Black!” It’s that look where they’re trying to pigeon hole you into “Cheapskate”, “Hillbilly” or “Mentally unstable” because you don’t want anything fancy.

    Reckon I suffer from the Martin Crane philosophy of life. “I’m a regular Joe and I like my Joe regular!”

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I don’t care who you are, that’s funny! I happen to love good gas station coffee! I’m not a Starbucks snob, I just don’t care for their coffee.

    Excellent writing!

    BB
    In the CLE

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Mr. Tony! I really enjoyed this article. I read a lot between the lines and I appreciate how you dissected the subject. So many people today degrade an issue like this into a race issue. The way you wrote your views was not offensive. The place to stop for coffee is all up to free choice and that is what is great about our society. We have to build, not destroy. We have to respect one another. I recently got the best hot chocolate milk on Earth at a Starbuck’s – inside a Barnes and Noble Bookstore – my favorite place. I don’t hesitate to buy coffee at a gas station; I find them just as good as Starbuck’s. People must decide on their own how they spend their disposable income. Some buy steak; some buy hamburger. I’m going to have a look at some of your other work. Keep writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words! I’m love Barnes and noble too – thanks for checking me out. I agree – too many people go for the “it’s my way or the highway approach” and that doesn’t allow for dialogue.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. I don’t even drink coffee but this piece is just fantastic and so well written!
    I love it for its nitty, gritty and witty content. It also sounds like the obscure trains of thought that cross through my head 50 times a day.
    Coffee is also not the only thing that people do this with either. By that I mean this situation of coffee vs coffee manifests itself in so many different ways in society. When I think of another one that wages a similar war I will holler it your way!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. There’s a Starbucks about two miles from where I live, but there’s also five indie coffee shops, too. I tend to go to the indie ones because they always have a fun and unique vibe. Gas station coffee and Starbucks’ll do in a pinch. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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