Election 2K12! Where Do I Vote With My Coffee Dollars?!

On the corner where our office is, there is a Starbucks. I used to live in Portland, where going to a Starbucks is basically a deportable offense, so I never go there on purpose, really. But I go there sometimes, usually when I don’t have any cash, or if I’m standing right in front of it. Or I can’t be bothered to walk even two feet further than I have to. The iced coffee is so strong that I have to pour a third of it out and add milk and it still tastes gross. I always feel a little bit sad about myself when I leave.

Across the avenue is a deli. There are three men that are almost always working when I go in, nice men with kind eyes who recognize me, or at least pretend to recognize me. Bodegas can be stressful—there’s no room for a proper line, ahhh—but I like those three men. The card minimum is $5, so I have to get a bagel if I don’t have cash. The coffee is disgusting. The bagels are great.

Across the avenue and then across the street again is a new coffee shop, Gregory’s Coffee. It is bright and well-done with good decor. It is no Stumptown, but few places are. They’ve done a good job. The baristas are cute and the owner is cute and the baked goods are arranged in a pleasing way in a wood-and-glass case. The iced coffee is cold-brewed and doesn’t need milk.

Stumptown is some blocks away. The few times I’ve walked there I’ve decided it’s not that far, and a little walk is nice, but: It actually is that far and I have to cross so many streets to get there and then I get there and there is a line and also I think their iced coffee is $4 and they only take cash. Also everyone here is very well-dressed, which situation I’m able to avoid mostly, but this can make me feel bad about myself, depending on the day.

Where will I buy my coffee now, is the question. I’d like to go to the Gregory’s, but I’m just not sure how often I’m going be willing or able to cross two streets to do it. I think I might be done with the bodega though, because if I’m going to cross one street, I might as well cross two and get coffee that doesn’t have notes of soy sauce. But if I’m willing to cross two streets, maybe it’s actually worth it go a bit further to Stumptown, though in that case I’ll have to change my whole lifestyle because I never have cash. I don’t know if I’m ready to change my whole lifestyle. Becoming a loyal Starbucks customer is also a possibility, but I’m rooting against it. Making my own coffee is not an option; don’t be ridiculous.

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21 Comments / Post A Comment

Megano! (#124)

I would go to Gregory’s! if you only have to go two streets to get properly made iced coffees, then only go two streets.

bgprincipessa (#699)

Gregory’s sounds like a good option – and think about how you’re supporting a new business!

Definitely stop going to the bodega. Why pay for shitty coffee? Easy choice.

where i work there is a tim horton’s and second cup in the building. there is a starbucks across the street, and a mcdonald’s kitty corner across the street.

the breakdown: tim horton’s mostly. mcdonald’s for $1 iced coffee. second cup when i have too much money left at the end of the week and need to spend it. sigh.

starbucks never!!!!!!

batgirl (#1,554)

@redheaded&crazy Ugh, Second Cup never! Everything from there tastes extra syrupy and sweet. Tim Horton’s always – steeped tea fo life!

@batgirl but sometimes I WANT extra syrupy and sweet…. it’s like a dessert for breakfast! :D

@redheaded&crazy Tim Hortons is FOUL. I’m not even convinced it’s actually coffee and not just brown-coloured water. I have a Waves and a Blenz across the street, a Tim’s and a generic coffee stand in the building, and a Starbucks on the next block, and I still don’t feel like I have any good coffee choices. Waves charges too much for their small cup sizes, the staff at Blenz are rude and their coffee is like hot dishsoap, Tim’s is the worst, and the generic coffee stand is just okay. They usually end up being my go-to coffee stop because they’re cheaper than Waves or Blenz (but more expensive than Tim’s) but I don’t really feel good about it, you know?

@Deb of last year@twitter I think it was on the hairpin that somebody commented they think tim horton’s coffee is specifically brewed to only taste decent in double double format, which kind of blew my mind/was eye-opening for me.

i drink mine half coffee/half hot choc so … like … it doesn’t really count? flavour-wise? although I can never tell if I actually feel more alert.

maebyfunke (#292)

Logan, you’re in Manhattan right? Why not just go to a coffee cart? (Although the quality does vary from cart to cart).

RachelG8489 (#1,297)

I vote for Gregory’s! Crossing two streets isn’t that bad, and cold brew is always a good thing.

My first cup of coffee is always from home. Second cup on days that I need it varies based on weather and $$. At this time of year, second cup means walking to Think Coffee, which requires crossing one street, for a medium iced coffee for $3.09. When it was cold, it would be either the free coffee from the student lounge, the $.50 coffee from a pod machine on my floor, or a $4 mocha from Think.

Pistol Franny (#1,024)

Gregory’s! I used to go there all the time when I worked in Midtown. Also they make an amazing s’mores cookie, which became a source of great comfort during horribly rainy NYC mornings.

Their iced lattes are pretty great too AND you can get one of those hole-punchy/swipe cards so you can get a free drink at some point down the line.

cliuless (#36)

I’m 99% sure we work in the same building, based on your diagram.

cliuless (#36)

@cliuless wait, that sounded kind of weird and creepy and i didn’t mean it to be. but it is weird!

mahiki (#1,550)

@cliuless I work in the area, closest to Gregory’s! I thought the same thing to myself, this feeeels creepy.

bittysoda (#1,551)

@cliuless It’s OK, I work on that block too. It seems like such a desolate wasteland – I’m shocked that this was someone else’s first thought as well.

I feel like I wrote this article. This is the debate I have almost every day. Starbucks always wins because I never carry cash. Hell, I don’t even need my credit card there anymore! I just use the app on my iPhone. Ugh the coffee is gross but so convenient.

fenderblender (#1,378)

I used to work in that Gregory’s for a hot minute! True story, they go through actually 50 gallons of iced coffee per day in the summer. Addictive stuff!

thecoffeestain (#1,483)

Logan, my vote is with Gregory’s. Cold Brew is awesome and so is the small walk you have to take to get there (yay exercise!).

I have a half a cup before my run at 4:30a which is so hot it scalds my tongue every morning, and when I get back a much cooler remaining half cup. Invariably there are multiple cups throughout the day, most of which are free. I typically stop at Starbucks once during the day for an Iced Venti Quad Mocha (No Whip), but I’ve been watching my spending so it’s happening less than normal. As big a coffee lover as I am, $6-$7 on something that keeps me that focused is a little much.

selenana (#673)

I also vote for Gregory’s! I am a Portlander too (former) and though I love me some Stumptown, I’d still support the local indie biz (especially if the product is comparable). And it’s closer?

I’ve been doing similar research in the neighborhood of my new job! Coffee research is Very Important Research.

TheDilettantista (#1,255)

Damn I’m glad I don’t drink coffee.

wallrock (#1,003)

My long-standing dilemma is that my preferred choice is a cafe that doesn’t open until 7:00 AM but has tasty Alterra coffee and some of the best scones in town. Unfortunately I leave for work at 6:45 AM so I only get to go here on weekends. The Starbucks down the block opens at 5:00 AM and I usually end up here on those mornings where I’ve run out of beans at home and need to satisfy my caffeine fix.

I get my bulk beans from a coffeeshop that is 15 miles away from my place but is on my way down to my parents’ and since I’m a great son I pick up a pound for my mother as well.

birdlime (#1,567)

You don’t have to choose! Sometimes you just want a drink that is only socially acceptable to buy at Starbucks and not at a real coffeeshop. Sometimes you want to take a walk! Sometimes you have cash or not. Sometimes you want to human interaction with people who recognize you (or baristas you have a crush on) and other times you want to go to a coffeeshop where no one knows you who are and you don’t have to interact with the barista. The downside of this is that you constantly spend a lot of time thinking about where to get coffee instead of just being able to get coffee. This becomes problematic in Seattle.

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