Sunday, January 8, 2012
Starbucks vs. Peets...social butterfly or status snob?
For those who have frequented two popular cafes - Starbucks and Peet's - the obvious is quite noticeable.
A coffee drinker's personality often dictates where he or she may alight for a jolt of caffeine at the crack of dawn before they head off to work or perform a handful of chores.
Through some keen observance, I have noticed that regulars at Starbucks tend to be a bit uppity, overly-pampered, and status oriented.
At outlets around the city, for example, I have caught sight of fans of the Seattle-based coffee-maker standing solemnly in line (avoiding eye contact) as they obediently wait their turn.
Then, once drink is in hand, the die-hard Starbucks patron usually plunks themselves down at a a laptop (where they commence with "logging in") and proceed to ceremoniously block out the rest of the world (well, the patrons around 'em, for starters).
In the alternative?
On occasion, they haughtily dash out the door with a specialty latte, miniature pastry, and morning paper in hand.
Gosh, was the cafe on fire, or what?
In contrast, the clientele at Peet's usually saunter and slowly engage in a swirl of social activity (chat up total strangers even!) as they head for the barrista where they carefully select their treats for the day.
The dudes at Peet's usually swap newspapers, chit-chat and gossip, and even speculate about the weather (at the cafe on Market in the Castro in particular).
At some point - after the satiated patron has sipped on a piping-hot Earl Grey Tea (and probably devoured a scrumptious pastry) they lazily shift their gears and reckon how they'll fill the rest of their day.
Although I am versatile (in more ways than one!) - and manage to float between both engaging realms - I prefer the ambiance at Peets overall to Starbucks any rainy (or sunny) day!
Liza Minnelli said it best in the musical Cabaret in so many words:
"What good is it sitting at home alone in your room?"
Oh, by the way, for those on a budget there is always McDonalds McCafe!
A shot of fries with that, eh?