Friday, September 4, 2009

Oatmeal #2: Starbucks

Oatmeal #2! We're on a roll here! (Insert lame joke about rolled oats. HAR HAR!)

Oatmeal number two is from Starbucks. I worked at Starbucks throughout most of college, and it is still near and dear to my heart. Needless to say, I had very high hopes for Starbucks' so-called "Perfect Oatmeal." (I don't know what is up with these places proclaiming their oatmeal to be "perfect" before I have even TRIED them.) Now, I know that we aren't supposed to judge things based solely upon appearance, but let me tell you, feel free to check out the photo above and judge away! That picture of Starbucks' self-declared perfection is a pretty accurate representation of the overall sub-par quality of their oatmeal, especially when their promotional photos promise this. LIARS.

Starbucks was founded in Pike Place Market in Seattle in 1971, and it has grown from a single store to the largest coffeehouse company in the wo--oh blah who cares. We're here for OATMEAL, darn it! On to the complex and absurdly fickle scoring!

  • Price: $2.45 + tax. There is some sort of ridiculous "bundle" where you can get (I believe) oatmeal and a tall latte for $3.95, but I didn't want a latte, so I got a coffee with a flavoring (which is not eligible for a discount. Stupid.) My total was $5.07. (5)
  • There is only one size, which is about 10 or 12 ounces, but as you can see from the picture, it was barely half full. (2)
  • Toppings choices: They give you a little packet of brown sugar, a package of dried fruit (cranberries, blueberries, cherries, and raisins), and some mixed nuts (almonds, walnuts, and pecans). The amounts in the packages are pretty generous, and since you add them yourself, you can control how much is put in, but obviously three choices is pretty weak. I ended up using about half of the pack of brown sugar and half of the nuts, and that was plenty. (4)
  • Temperature: It was pretty cold by the time I got to the office (maybe a two block walk), and the carton says don't microwave. So I guess my options were either to eat it cold, start a fire in the office kitchen, or microwave it in the little Styrofoam bowls stocked in my office kitchen (in which case you are basically screaming, "Cancer! Welcome to my body! My cells are open for your invasion and amusement!"). I chose to eat it cold. (2)
  • Texture/appearance: It was plenty thick, but not very chewy. As you can see, the appearance is pretty drab. But at least it has a color that makes me think, "oh, this is oatmeal," not, "oh this is....warm cottage cheese?" (6)
  • Taste: The oatmeal alone was pretty not very good. Once I added some nuts and brown sugar, it was decent. However, Starbucks oatmeal is essentially instant. If you watch them make it, they literally open up a container of instant oats, add some hot water, and swish it around. And it tastes like instant oatmeal. Which is fine--I enjoy instant oatmeal on most days--but not when you are paying $2.45 for it. If you read the Starbucks Blog (and you SHOULD), you'll note many people declaring Starbucks oatmeal to be the best thing ever and demanding that they sell it stores. Perhaps I should huffily retort "They DO sell it in stores! It's called Quaker Quick Oats, and you can buy a carton that yields 30 servings for THE SAME PRICE!" Fools. (4)
  • The oatmeal itself has 140 calories, but if you add all of the toppings they give you, it's an additional 250. Dang. I might as well have a Snickers with my oatmeal.
  • Intangibles: As I mentioned, I worked at Starbucks for several years, and I am generally a big fan. So I WANT to like it, but's just not that good. Making the oatmeal instant is kind of a cheap way out, I think. And it's frustrating that you have to buy a latte or whatever to get the "bundle" deal. (My apologies for my spacing issues. You have surely noticed that I alternate between using one space and two at the end of my sentences. I am trying to switch over to the new rules that require only one space, and I am having difficulties. I apologize. I will work on it in the future.) But I like Starbucks coffee, and it is a better breakfast option than all of their pastries. But still...the negatives are far too great to merit any intangible points. In fact, NEGATIVE points for half-assing it. Ha HA! I wield such power! (-2)
TOTAL: 5+2+4+2+6+4-2=21

Maybe I was a little harsh, but I have high standards for Starbucks, and I am sorely disappointed. So this puts Starbucks in second place, leaving Cosi (arrogant punk) still in the lead. Will anyone ever unseat Cosi?? (Hint: yes.)

I hope you have a fantastic and relaxing Labor Day. You know who didn't? These people.

1 comment:

  1. Aww... You let me down Starbucks :(