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The Student News Site of Darien High School


The Student News Site of Darien High School


Who’s the Guy with the Glasses on Your Coffee?

A look at how the new Gregory’s Coffee store compares to DHS students’ long time favorites Dunkin and Starbucks.
Katie Galligan
The staple coffee shops in Darien, but which one comes out on top as the DHS student favorite? Vote here:

When walking around the halls of Darien High School you are bound to see at least one person holding a drink. Be it a cold brew from Dunkin or a strawberry acai refresher from Starbucks, DHS students seem to live off these sweet treats. The pink and orange designs and the green mermaid logo are familiar sites to see plastered on the side of coffee cups, but wait, who is the guy with the glasses? 

On October 13th, Gregory’s Coffee opened up its store in the Darien Commons, adding one more option to the plethora of coffee in town. Hence the cute logo, Gregory’s Coffee donates a pair of eyeglasses to a person in need in a developing country for every bag of coffee they sell. In addition, when compared to other coffeeshops, they have many “healthier” options of food and coffee with unique coffee blends, a large variety of drinks (like juices and smoothies) and many vegan or gluten free food items. 

But how does Gregory’s compare to the larger coffee chains? DHS student’s opinions differ from person to person. 

“Dunkin coffee is better, but Starbucks’s refreshers, chai and their fraps are better” said junior Lindy Mueller. 

While most people believe Starbucks to be more expensive then Dunkin, the prices are actually pretty close depending on the product. See more here. (CNET)

Each chain specializes in something different with their own unique take on what makes their coffee shop stand out. Gregory’s focuses on specialty blends and their gluten free or vegan options. They make themselves stand out as almost everything is baked in house. Starbucks emphasizes their unique seasonal beverages and refreshers. Dunkin Donuts, as the name suggests, focuses on their donuts and keeps the beverage options oftentimes more simple. It can be hard to compare the shops when none share the same menu, and since each uses different methods to prepare each item and sources ingredients from different places.

“Dunkin is good but just has a different taste than Starbucks,” senior Mackenzie Maier said. “It’s more of an actual coffee taste rather than specialty flavors.”

“Gregory’s is overpriced. I got pumpkin bread and it was the driest thing I’ve ever tasted,” said senior Ellie Ernst. “I had a chai latte and it had a weird aftertaste.”

Looking at the prices, Gregory’s is the most expensive option with Starbucks coming in second and Dunkin being the cheapest. But honestly it really depends on what you get. Even though Dunkin generally leans cheaper, a large frozen coffee at Dunkin might be slightly more expensive than the one at Starbucks. Prices also differ with a store’s location; both the Darien Starbucks and Darien Dunkin lean on the more expensive side compared to their other stores nationwide. 

Popularity is also a factor. Although Dunkin claims to be the most loved coffee in America, they statistically have less stores and a smaller franchise – both nationally and internationally. Starbucks and Dunkin both have presence on social media using influencers as well as their a long standing presence in town. It’s easy to see a video of Charli D’Amelio holding Dunkin while dancing or literally anyone grabbing Starbucks in a “get-ready-with-me”. Gregory’s has its work cut out for it if they want to win over the hearts of most DHS students.

A students’ Starbucks order to bring back to school for friends. As the Starbucks mission states: “With every cup, with every conversation, with every community – we nurture the limitless possibilities of human connection.” (Katie Galligan)

“I get Starbucks more often because I just know it better” said freshman Lila McKeone.

At the physical store locations, the vibe in each store is drastically different. Gregory’s has brought a new modern style with the simple black and white color scheme. Starbucks is more homely with intricate green, red and brown designs as one of their founding members aimed to base the coffee shops off coffeehouses in Italy. Dunkin is simple and expected with the vibrant orange and pink wall decal and seating.

Some students may also consider ethics in their decision of where to buy their cold brew. There has been a rising boycott of Starbucks after they sued their union for making a pro-Palestinian statement in regards the Israel-Palestine conflict. Additionally both Dunkin and Starbucks have received backlash regarding how they source their coffee beans. All three chains have faced controversy about how their employees are treated.

However Starbucks and Dunkin products are still seen all over the school, with Gregory’s making a few appearances if you know where to look. After a few months, students seem to be formulating their own personal coffeeshop tier lists.

“Gregory’s is overpriced and for a specific taste, Dunkin is mid and Starbucks is perfect” said senior Remi Repsher. 

No opinion seems to be the same, probably because it can be hard to compare coffee shops as it’s impossible to say which one is the healthiest, the cheapest or the “best.” Most of these factors vary by product and each coffee chain has its own staple products that some students just can’t do without. Perhaps it’s not worth choosing one over the others as each offers a different experience and taste.

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About the Contributor
Katie Galligan, Writer
Katie Galligan is a senior who has been writing for Neirad since the Fall of 2022. She enjoys writing about the arts, music, clubs, and current events in the Darien community. She spends her free time as a ballet dancer at the Darien Arts Center and the Editor-in-Chief of the Current Literary Magazine. She is interested in pursing international relations and journalism in the future.

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