Commentary: It’s Starbucks, Not Dunks.


Mae Squeglia ('23), Orbit Contributor

As you walk through the halls of RMHS, it becomes clear that the school is divided into two factions.  These factions are not just different from each other, they are in opposition to each other.  While mostly they co-exist, the opposition sometimes becomes contempt. 

Members of the groups are easily identified. You know them by their cups.

Whether it’s a cup from Dunkin’ or Starbucks, the person holding that coffee will not let you breathe without fighting for their favorite coffee shop like their life depended on it. One of those people being me. 

Dunkin’ and Starbucks are the two most popular coffee chains in the US. Both give the buyer an array of options of coffee and food to choose from, and both menus include many different types of coffee, flavors to put into the coffee, pastries, breakfast sandwiches, and other breakfast food items. 

Now comes the greatest debate in New England history: which one is the better coffee shop? 

Most New Englanders would argue that Dunkin’ is the best coffee shop, myself not included. I strongly believe that Starbucks is the better coffee shop, which never fails to leave me with judgemental looks and complaints from my own father about how I am being “pretentious” about coffee.

…I simply cannot get myself to join the Dunkin’ train no matter how much hate I may get.

The love New Englanders have for Dunkin’  is shown throughout New England as you can not pass through a single town without at least one Dunkin’. Dunkin’ lovers claim that the inconsistency in the outcome of their coffees does not bother them and that Dunkin’ has much better food options, with a whopping 50+ varieties of donuts and many other breakfast sandwiches–not to mention other delicious options like greasy bacon from a bag and half-done hash browns. 

Dunkin’ coffee lovers’ main argument, though, is that Starbucks is way too overpriced. While I will agree that you are paying a lot more at Starbucks than you are at Dunkin’, you are getting your money’s worth at Starbucks.  Starbuck’s great product customization leaves one to choose from so many different options into making your perfect drink, whether it is a cold brew, latte, or refresher. Along with this, the actual coffee beans used in Starbucks coffee are of much better quality beans than at Dunkin’, leading customers to enjoy a deeper coffee. Any coffee I have ever gotten from Dunkin’ has always been at most subpar. Typically, my coffee isn’t actually what I wanted but I drink it anyway, and past that the coffee tastes watered down and low quality. When it comes to Starbucks, my order is always done correctly and the coffee has a rich flavor. 

The ambiance of Starbucks also contributes to why I claim that it is the better coffee shop. Starbucks has a homey, library-like vibe that allows for many people to concentrate and do their work there. Dunkin’ gives a very fast food restaurant vibe, with its fluorescent lights, vibrant colors, mysterious film on the tables, permanently empty napkin dispensers, and the list hanging on the menu that states everything they are out of, which is often much of the menu. While Starbucks is nowhere near silent like an actual library, the wooden walls and tables, earthy colors around the shop, and classic coffee shop playlist in the background provide many with a sense of concentration.

For all of these reasons, I am a Starbucks advocate. I know that this goes against the classic New England culture, but I simply cannot get myself to join the Dunkin’ train no matter how much hate I may get.

With all of the reasons provided, I can’t understand how one can still wait in a drive through line for 20 minutes, try to hear through the ear-piercingly loud but somehow also muffled speaker, and end up behind that one person who orders the whole menu, just to receive a below mediocre Dunkin’ coffee.