orange ceramic mugs on table

Gas Station Vs Starbucks: The Battle of Morning Brews

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 an Angel and Devil are standing on either shoulder.

Judgment’s wrath sinks its fangs into your neck. Your decision about where to go for coffee will either gain my anger or my sincere appreciation.

So what’s it gonna be, punk? Are you gonna make my day?

Gas Station Coffee: Coffee Of The Common Man

I doubt many people receive aesthetic pleasure from gas stations. They are always somewhat dirty, always somewhat crowded, and smell like diesel, desperation, and day-old donuts.

And the baristas? They’re multi-talented people named Hank — pumping Gas one minute, scratching cards the next.

But 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 road warriors hold various titles, wear different costumes, and most importantly, share the belief that you can buy a damn good cup of coffee without taking another lean on your home.

I invite you to the sticky coffee counter to join the MCC brotherhood and to ditch the straight and narrow.

So why do some people choose gas station coffee over heavy hitters such as Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts?

– Did they need Gas?

– A flat tire pulled them over?

– They wanted the colon cleansing that only eating an expired Gas station burrito can bring?

No, they wanted to hear that sweet jingle, jingle that comes with that big fat pile of change you stuff into your pocket.

The kind of sounds you don’t hear when you’re annoyed waiting on a barista to make a Carmel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino.

Sure — sometimes the gas station isn’t all good times and great moments.

You just may be stuck behind the ̶a̶s̶s̶h̶o̶l̶e̶ 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!

It’s only here where 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 like the fuckin’ hero you are.

Remember, when you opt for gas station coffee, you’re not just getting a caffeine fix; you’re buying into an ideology. It’s the belief that there isn’t a problem a splash of creamer and three packets of sugar can’t fix.

Starbucks: The Iron Giant

It’s never good to knock someone or something for being successful. That said, I won’t attack Starbucks for being mainstream. Their success and popularity are due to a great product, great branding, and the adoration of white women everywhere.

But stepping through those swanky wooden doors? It’s like lighting a stick of dynamite of excitement and waiting for it to explode.

First, there’s the pretentiousness, so thick you could cut it with a knife.

Everyone’s taking pictures of their drinks as if Starbucks wasn’t as common as McDonald’s. It’s more than overpriced coffee; here, it’s a photoshoot.

And don’t get me started on the ambiance. Why would I want to sip my morning joe in a place that treats me like royalty?

Give me the simple, honest charm of the gas station any day. At least there, they keep it real. They don’t know your name, and they don’t care to know it.

And then there’s the choice — too much choice. I’m old school. I like my options limited:

Expired and soon-to-be.

Limitation — That’s where it’s at.

And then the fresh food!

Call me a caveman, but the only snack I need with my coffee is a good old-fashioned cigarette. And the best place to light one up? Next to a gas pump, of course.

Who doesn’t want the thrill of a fiery explosion at 7 AM?

So next time you’re faced with the age-old choice, remember this: coffee is coffee.

Whether it’s served in an artsy ceramic mug or a sketchy-looking Styrofoam cup, it’s all about the kick.

So why not choose the place that doesn’t require you to learn Italian to get a cup of joe?

Stay real, stay caffeinated, stay you.

Please like, comment, share and tell me what you think. What do you prefer? I originally wrote this story 8 years ago, but recently had to submit a funnier version so I had to update. For me, so it’s cool to see how the story changed.

39 thoughts on “Gas Station Vs Starbucks: The Battle of Morning Brews

  1. I do remember your original post and I’m glad you did so I needn’t be the whiny kid you reminded you that this seems like a rerun. I know some bloggers who have retreaded their blogs so many times, I recognize the headlines and don’t even need to read the blog AGAIN. Since I’m not a fan of beef jerky, I do prefer an overpriced Starbucks’. I would probably take a 7-11 coffee over a gas station offering. What is surprising that MacDonald’s coffee is often pretty good as long as you don’t spill it in your lap.

    1. Oh yeah – I usually never try to redo a story, but I figured this one is much funnier than the original. It’s cool to me to see how my style has somewhat changed and remained the same. McDonald’s is the Shit

  2. Okay, gentlemen, no. Personally, I only get gas station coffee from certain chains – usually only the ones who have the single-brew option now, as it is always fresh. I am proud to be a coffee snob, for no other reason than to be able to share the love of coffee with others – which sounds fracking ricockulous, but it’s the truth! Is Starbucks overpriced? Hell yeah. But they DO know my name, and I love that. They know my usual, exactly how I like it, which I love. If I try something new and I don’t like it, they will usually give me a different drink (this has only happened once). If they make a mistake, my drink is free. Also, I can order ahead and grab it quickly, if I am running late. Am I a spoiled, pretentious, white lady… well, yeah. I’m a coffee loving, cannabis smoking, TOOL fan, and I find myself becoming more and more selective with age (& some might say, wisdom).

  3. There’s a club mentality that’s really kind of boring. Gas stations. The best ones have the machines that grind and brew coffee fresh and in seconds. The old style glass decanters that have been sitting on the heating element for hours, is less appealing. That’s when you soften the staleness with powdered dairy like compounds. Depending on the severity of the coffee, two, sometimes three packets help to soften the blow.

  4. My husband hears you and says amen brother. He despises pretentious overpriced coffee shops and avoids them like the plague. And while he’s been known to get his at gas stations he does avoid the burritos.

  5. You nailed it. I think of the Starbucks’ devotees as a brainwashed cult who want to be recognized by the other followers with the logo in their hand. See how smart and rich we are! As a former road warrior, I love gas station coffee stops and now many of those are outfitted with a complex array of choices. We recognize excess when we see it!

  6. This was a pleasure to read. As someone who has sampled both…

    I’d say you nailed it.

    Starbucks brand was built on wifi. I go there for the comfy chairs. Ends up they have them custom made.

    Look the other way if you see me walking out with a chair, please.

  7. I liked this alot. I am a matcha tea drinker, and a bit crazy about my tea. drinking matcha is ceremony and meditative! I would not outsource it to anyone. I only drink it at home where I am confident it is made the way I want and where everyone knows my name and how to spell it.
    Angelina ( sometimes, (bossy lady)

  8. On the money once again! The key to coffee joy is finding a place that combines a cheap and cheerful price tag with actual good coffee inside an unassuming cup. These gems are rare but in my 41 years on this planet I’ve stumbled across maybe 2 or 3 😂 The odds are slightly enhanced by the fact I’ve not been drinking caffeine since I was a baby, not directly anyway!

  9. Well written, humorous as usual. Starbucks, no question, prices are out of control and if you get the normal brew to save $$, it’s often BITTER and I can’t drink it. Not sure if the coffee was sitting there too long or they aren’t cleaning the machine properly. Gas station coffee or Dunkin Donuts (they have good coffee), not sure if Gas station is cheaper, like you said — at this point, where we are watching our $$$, coffee is coffee. LOL – drink at home, use the Italian Moka Espresso pot on the stove. A winner every time. 🙂

  10. 🤣 I so feel you on this on, Anthony! I prefer the gas station — mostly because I just don’t see the point in paying $10 for a cup of coffee. I also love the way that most of them have tried to set up “fancy” creamer bars and shit to keep up with the “pretentious” coffee times that we are living in. Sure, my hands get sticky as hell preparing my own concoction because… well, I guess folks just don’t know how to use a pump properly. But hey, that just adds to the charm of it all. And, as you mentioned, I can’t buy my cigarettes at Starbucks. Thank you so much for the laughter! 😉

  11. Nope and nope. Coffee is sacred…and an adventure. If it isn’t coming from an indie operation or my casa, then I’d rather not. *bucks is only because others give me gift cards since it is a block away. Your write, though, was a fun read, thank you!

    1. So happy you enjoyed – one of my favorite coffee spots was an Indy motorcycle shop that sold coffee and played hip hop – doesn’t get any better than that

  12. I will drink a 711 coffee or a gas station coffee if it smells good. If I walk in and it smells burned and old I will just walk right out. Some stations really rate with the coffee and they have a pretty decent chicken salad sandwich if I’m lucky
    SB Kind of ticks me off Because some of them are not very good and not run very well And a dirty bathroom. But the good ones have a great Guatemala that I like

  13. Haha loved this: “But the only snack I need with my coffee is a good old-fashioned cigarette. And the best place to light one up? Next to a gas pump, of course.”
    I love my morning coffee, drunk between about 7am and 9am, and after that the day always seems an anti-climax. I actually look forward to going to bed early so my next action is to wake up and hit the joe.

Leave a Reply