Caffeinated life: Starbucks is the new McDonalds

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This morning while I was making breakfast I thought to myself, “Do I want coffee or juice?” It turned out to be a juice kind of day but it got me thinking about coffee and its prevalence in my life and our culture.

From my friend who must have two cups of coffee before she can speak, to the numerous students I watched drink red bull and monsters for breakfast, something has changed.

I was not always a coffee drinker and even now I would describe myself as an occasional one. I started drinking coffee in college like a lot of people do, all nighters and such. But it never became a habit for me.

Some where in the last ten years or so there has been a coffee boom. I remember going to a little coffee shop in Tallahassee Fl called Aristotle’s coffee garage. Later my friends and I frequented and place called the “black dog.” And now Aristotle’s is gone and if it weren’t for the University the Black Dog would be too. It seems more and more that all I see are Starbucks and it makes me mad. Not because they are successful but because they are everywhere in an annoying frequency.

Point and case: I went to a shopping center and there were two Starbucks on adjacent corners of the shopping center. You would think they would be competing against each other.

I worry about he next generation, the ones who think that you must have caffeine flowing through your veins in order to be awake at all. It is scary because they don’t know the risks they are taking with their health and frankly neither do we. There were two students taken off my campus last year of teaching for mild HEART ATTACKS due to drinking too many energy beverages. That Title alone kills me, there is nothing good for you in theses drinks, they cover the fact that they are over caffeinated with sugar and then throw in a few “b” vitamins to make it all better. My kids are never going to drink this stuff and I did my best as a teacher to educated my students about it.

But how safe is it for the rest of us?  I had a friend who was pregnant. Her doctor told her that she could have one cup of coffee a day, meaning the home-brewed kind. So my friend was tripping down to Starbucks every few days to grab a cup of joe as a treat. She got curious, how did the coffee she was drinking compare to a cup of home-brew? After some internet searching she found that her cup of Starbucks coffee had triple the amount of caffeine as a regular cup of coffee and she stopped drinking it until her pregnancy was over.

If the whole business is driven by the fact that they have their clients unknowingly or willingly addicted, I’m not sure if that is a business I want to support. That said I don’t think coffee is evil or that people should enjoy it. I think my concern is how we use it and the level of awareness that is not there.

This is what I mean: I don’t drink coffee when I’m calm, rested and have enough time. Sometimes I drink it as a treat or because its cold outside but I don’t drink it to modify my mood or make my body do something it doesn’t have the energy to do. I feel like if we took care of ourselves more we would drink coffee less.

I’d love to hear what you think about his one.

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One response »

  1. I’m not a fan of Starbucks either, but in two weeks when we travel to Seattle, one of the sights we’re heading to is the first Starbucks ever. Mostly because it is a cultural icon, and it reminds me of my dad. Black Dog is wonderful, and I wish I could go there more often but I don’t like going alone all the time. And their herbal tea is wonderful.

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