I was taught to make a pros and cons list when facing a tough decision. Like most things my teachers told me, that suggestion made the quick in-and-out my ears trip. But, I think today I’ll give it the old college “why the hell not?”
Here’s the background. Each morning I make my own cappuccino. Lately I’ve been wondering if it would be better to get it from Starbucks. Let’s make the chart:
- It’s more convenient.
Okay. Done. Starbucks it is!
(but wait . . . )
Ugh. But wait nothing. It is more convenient to get my morning cappuccino from Starbucks. End of story.
(but what about the cost?)
Sigh. Taking things in a two week cycle (because I’m paid every two weeks and a one pound bag of coffee beans lasts two weeks), brewing at home is about $40, Starbucks is $49. Give or take.
(see. starbucks is more expensive therefore a con.)
It is more expensive, but I’m not factoring in the rewards that get me free drinks. That brings the cost down. Granted, Starbucks is still more expensive than brewing at home, but the difference is not that great. When the difference isn’t that great, the other factors that play into the cost come into play. Specifically, the travel time to get the milk and the beans.
(hold on a second. we go to the grocery store anyway, so the trip to get the milk isn’t a special consideration. as for the beans . . . okay that is out of the way.)
Yeah, to the tune of 30 minutes, one way, with favorable traffic, and how often is traffic favorable in Houston? Price of gasoline aside, the stress of dealing with traffic is more significant than cost in dollars, right? I mean, I’m paying with my health.
(okay. fine. price is a wash. what about the satisfaction of making it at home? the ritual? and, if not that, stopping at starbucks is out of the way!)
I do like my morning ritual. The tactile pleasure of hand grinding the beans, pumping the milk frother, and the smell of the coffee brewing are reasons I’ve been doing it at home. And if I’m being honest, there is a bit of foodie snobbery in there. *harrumph harrumph* I can make my cappuccino better than anyone else! *harrumph harrumph*
But, as long as I’m being honest here, I’m not a gourmet. I’m a gourmand. My palate is not sensitive enough to tell if my beans were freshly ground that morning or ground a week ago and frozen. I read somewhere that grinding beans right before making the coffee makes a difference and because I’m an impressionable idiot I bought into the hype. And at the risk of contradicting myself, Starbucks coffee does taste better, even to my stunted palate. The stuff I brew at home is a bit bitter. Not terribly so, but more bitter than what I get at Starbucks.
Plus, all that prep time, while relaxing, drags out my morning routine to the point of ridiculousness. If I didn’t have so much crap to do in the morning I wouldn’t have to get up at 3AM.
(ugh that’s true.)
So, cutting out the 15 – 20 minute prep time would be nice. Yeah, I’ll still have to stop at a Starbucks to get my coffee, which takes time, but it will shave off about half what I need to make it myself.
As for Starbucks being out of the way, I pass a Starbucks on the way into work. It’s right there, just before the freeway on ramp. Couldn’t be easier.
(okay. fine. that’s all good but, and this can’t be denied, starbucks is the evil empire. we don’t want to support the evil empire, do we?)
No. I don’t. But that’s simplistic, black and white thinking, isn’t it? Thinking like that almost everywhere I shop is the Evil Empire. America itself is the Evil Empire. I’m an Evil Cog in the Evil Machine of the Evil Empire. Or, there are shades of grey. Starbucks can suck sometimes, and then other times it can be, dare I write, good. Maybe I’m equivocating, but the whole dark side thing is a red herring. But, I’ll concede.
That puts the count at two “for” to one “against” getting my cappuccino at Starbucks, which means the pro side wins. Just as it did at the beginning, except with more steps this way.
I have learned two things from this experiment. First, I should get my coffee from Starbucks. Second, pros and cons lists are a pain in the ass and I was right to ignore them.
(what we’ve proven is the existence of our confirmation bias.)
Six, one half dozen. Whatever. I mean, Shakespeare said it best with, “A turd by any other name would still smell like shit.” You benefit just as much as I do from this. So quit your bitching.