Point-Counterpoint: Which coffee shop reigns supreme, Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks?

Two DI columnists discuss the better choice for coffee, choosing either Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks.

February 13, 2019

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Depend on Dunkin’ for coffee and more


The Daily Iowan runs on Dunkin’ — or, at the very least, this managing editor does.

Dunkin’ is such a cornerstone of my life that I’m taking a break from reporting on the University of Iowa administration and the latest higher-education funding woes to argue that Dunkin’ is the superior coffee company.

My relationship with coffee — now the blood that runs through my veins — started with Dunkin’. For the longest time, I thought the only coffee-filled beverage I could tolerate was a Starbucks Frappuccino — yes, those overpriced coffee slushees. I’m as appalled as you are.

But then, I embraced my hometown Dunkin’.

It was fall 2013 when I tried iced coffee for the first time. I opted to sample the seasonal pumpkin flavor swirl, and with one sip, life as I knew it had changed forever. (The seasonal flavors straight slap, by the way. Go try a Girl Scouts flavor swirl. Starbucks could never.)

Coffee from any fine Dunkin’ establishment is sweeter, cheaper, and just plain better. Dunkin’ offers happy hour every day, unlike Starbucks, but the coffee is sure to make you just as happy no matter what hour you purchase it.

And Dunkin’ basically pays customers to keep coming back. Under its DD Perks rewards program, members get a free drink every 200 points, which are accrued after spending $40, along with a number of other deals for food and beverages. Meanwhile, Starbucks Rewards offers members two stars for every $1 spent, and it takes 125 points to earn a free drink, meaning customers have to spend more than $60 before receiving their free beverage.

The deals, the doughnuts, and the delicious coffee — it’s no surprise so many of us depend on Dunkin’.

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Starbucks offers healthier food choices and consistency


As the day begins, I long for caffeine in its most sacred form: coffee. Therefore, I choose to go to Starbucks. Starbucks provides me with a variety of coffee roasts and drinks to choose from, an array of healthy snacks and a consistent product that I can elect as my “go-to” drink (yes Americano, that means you). Not to mention the fact that Starbucks is located all over the country with numerous locations in many cities. Allow me to elaborate.

When I think of a great place that I frequently indulge in, coffee-wise, I want consistency, variety and quality. Starbucks is steady in always giving me a superb drink at the perfect temperature with just enough room for milk. Moreover, it is consistent in spelling my name wrong, but hey, that’s part of the fun. I appreciate its dependability of drink quality and service.

In addition to fabulous coffee, Starbucks has delicious healthy snacks, such as almonds, fruit, or an egg-white breakfast wrap, that aren’t available at other well-known coffee shops (the ones with varieties of doughnuts.) While it does have sweets, and tasty sweets at that, its food options are not limited to just pastries or some sort of fast food. As a busy student who frequently needs healthy snacks on the go, Starbucks supplies me with great options at a nice convenience.

As the semester drags on, and caffeine cravings persist, and you are ponder which coffee chain to splurge in, I highly recommend you consider Starbucks for its superb snacks and consistent good quality coffee.

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