It’s time to admit it: Chain coffee shops are better than independent coffee shops

Starbucks and Costa FTW


This is a big call but by no means the wrong call. It's 2019, so let's put an end to all this madness. Time to say goodbye to the debate and agree that chain coffee shops are better than independent coffee shops. It's an unpopular opinion, but sadly folks, it's the truth.

Let's paint the picture. It's a cold, bleak February morning. It's dark outside, the post Christmas sales are well and truly over, and the disappointment of failing your "new year new me" mantra is beginning to settle in. At this point, no person in their right mind has ever thought: You know what I need? Unbranded coffee in a cafe full of mismatched crockery and overpriced pastries. It's always best to head back to what we know and love – one grande triple mocha frappuccino to go, please.

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Home from home

Consistency is key

There's a lot of uncertainty in the world right now. Are we leaving the EU with a good deal? Is a second referendum on the cards? Who will take full custody of Wes and Megan's hamster? If there's one constant in our lives, it's knowing you can get the same cup of coffee no matter what part of the world you're in. With 29,324 Starbucks stores worldwide, statistically the furthest you can ever get from a Starbucks is 4,787 miles, and this would put you in the middle of the Indian Ocean – so if you can't beat them, join them. Bring on the loyalty cards.

The Brits are definite creatures of habit, so what could be better than knowing that you'll get the same coffee, the same selection of food and the same service at any branch you visit? Nothing makes a journey to the unknown more calming than knowing you can take a piece of home with you.

The nation can't be wrong

In a recent survey of the nation's favourite coffee shop, Costa Coffee won for the eighth year in a row. The survey included chain coffee shops, independent coffee shops, retailer coffee shops and even pubs. For a chain to win this many times in a row, they must be doing something right. Vive la révolution.

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A loyal fan through and through

That personal touch

A lot of people say chain coffee shops lack warmth and character, but oh how wrong they are. You don't see independent shops writing your name on your to-go cup every day – and you can't get much more personal than a personalised cup. If you're lucky and make it your regular, the barista might even learn your name and order – nothing screams customer service quite like it.

Caffè Nero (the nation's third place favourite, following Costa and Starbucks) has also recently introduced book shelves in their stores to give customers a chance to read and exchange books whilst enjoying their cappuccino and cake. Now, what's more warming than that?

The menu is also of such variety that your coffee can pretty much be tailored perfectly to you. With so much more variety at the chains, they are much more likely to accommodate exactly to your needs. At an independent cafe you might find yourself with a modern take on a coffee with deconstructed parts leaving much to be desired. But need a no sugar, extra shot, no whip, soy milk, venti caramel macchiato? Sorted.

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The daily grind

Time is of the essence

If you don't have the time to spend sipping your coffee in a homely cafe, there is nothing worse than having to wait an age for your hot drink. Chain coffee shops have got the grab and go down to a tee, with no waiting around for extensive latte art. Starbucks even have the option on their app to order and pay ahead of time, allowing you to skip the queue and simply pick up your drink. Time is money people, and if it's the difference between an extra few minutes in bed before those gruelling morning lectures, I'm taking them.

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The mismatched crockery is so wrong

I think it's pretty clear the debate is over, but let's not forget if there's only one thing to love about Starbucks, it's the merch. So why not set yourself the challenge of collecting all 94 mugs in the collectors series from all the Starbucks around the world? There's one for the bucket list.