Sunday, July 20

the local coffee shop

Before there was Starbucks®, the "local coffee shop" usually meant an independent donut shop. In my case, the only nearby "dedicated coffee shops" are in/near office parks and are open 9-5 weekdays. Starbucks changed all that, extending their hours, creating atmosphere, and putting them on every corner -- hence their current saturation problem.

There are nine (9) Starbucks locations within three (3) miles of my home - two are inside grocery stores. Two of the remaining seven are on The List To Be Closed in the next few months, and only one of the seven has a drive-thru. I was mildly surprised by one of the closures .. Preston/Beltline (actually it's closer to Preston/Alexis) which always seemed to be busy - located between a Blockbuster and Wendy's. Granted, there's another Starbucks a hundred yards away, but it's inside a Tom Thumb grocery store and lacks the ambiance (!) of a Real Starbucks.

I waddled over to the 4th-closest Starbucks yesterday (the nearest one with a drive-thru window) to try their new smoothie - er, Vivanno™. There are only two from which to choose: banana-orange-mango or banana-chocolate. I could definitely taste the "whey protein and fiber powder", but it was otherwise unremarkable. Noteworthy: just like Jamba Juice®, you can add extra stuff (in Starbucks' case, that means a shot of espresso; matcha green tea powder; or substitute nonfat milk to shave 20 calories).

Vivanno verdict: it's okay but not sure $4.06 (with tax) for 16 ounces is something I'd go out of the way for. I found McDonald's Iced Coffee more refreshing at less than half the price (also more healthy if you opt for the sugar-free vanilla flavor -- 60 calories). I suspect I should compare it with an offering from the local Jamba Juice (co located with Whole Foods), smoothie-to-smoothie:
16 oz. Vivanno (banana-orange-mango): 250 calories, 16 grams protein, 6 grams fiber, 2 grams fat, 1 fruit serving. (No artificial colors, artificial sweeteners or high fructose corn syrup.)

16 oz. Banana Berry™ (Jamba Juice): 280 calories, 3 grams protein, 3 grams fiber, 1 gram fat, 2 fruit servings. For comparison, add the "whey boost" to get ~16 grams protein and 4 grams fiber.


For an apples-to-oranges (er, banana-to-coffee) comparison, here's the info on the McCoffee:

16 oz. McDonald's Iced Coffee: 60 calories, no fiber or protein.
Premium Roast Coffee. Light Cream: Milk, cream, sodium phosphate, sodium polyphosphate, DATEM, sodium stearoyl lactylate, tetra sodium pyrophosphate, sodium hexametaphosphate, sodium citrate, carrageenan. CONTAINS: MILK. Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup: Water, erythritol, natural (plant source) and artificial flavors, cellulose gum, sucralose, salt, malic acid, potassium sorbate (preservative), acesulfame potassium, caramel color (with sulfites). Ice.

1 comment:

judy said...

Gene.....drink the damn coffee and move on. Don't scramble your brain with facts and stats about coffee, just drink it and scramble your brain with CAFFEINE!!!
a white, crystalline, bitter alkaloid, C8H10N4O2, usually derived from coffee or tea: used in medicine chiefly as a nervous system stimulant.