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Ten Reasons to Avoid Starbucks

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As much as we all love to hate corporate America (hell, we're an alt-weekly, it's kind of our shtick) -- it has one big asset: convenience. After all, with 60-hour work weeks, bicycle bar crawls and that pesky need for sleep, ain't nobody got time for consumer responsibility.

And there's no company more convenient -- or more corporate -- than the almighty Starbucks. You've gotta hand it to them, they essentially created a billion dollar market for non-essential beverages. These days, they fuel the caffeine addiction of a whopping 60 million customers a week.

But for our readers, who are smarter and more socially responsible than the average bear -- there's no excuse for spending $40 a week to feed a Starbucks habit. Miami has plenty of brew, from cafe con leche to Panther, so here are our 10 reasons never to hit up a soul-sucking Starbucks again.

10. They're accused of mocking deaf people.

According to a new lawsuit filed in New York, Starbucks employees mocked a group of deaf customers, then proceeded to call the police on them. Um, yeah. Baristas aren't what they used to be.

9. Panther Coffee.

In addition to their two retail locations in Wynwood and Miami Beach, you can score these locally-brewed bevs at a whole host of other small businesses around town, from Urban Oxy to Ten Fruits. And it's seriously good stuff. So show some hometown pride and support your local wildcat.

8. Cuban coffee. Hello!

Why would you choose a watered-down, flavorless latte monstrosity when you could share shots of a colada with co-workers? Nowhere else in America do they have Cuban coffee at their fingertips. We're lucky ducks, and it's blasphemous to pass it up in favor of crappy chain coffee. Shame on you.

7. Starbucks' whipped cream alone has 80 calories per serving. On a tall.

Not exactly diet friendly, their coffee topper is a calorie bomb -- along with almost everything else they serve. Sure, they have some light menu options, but most of their pastry case and fancy drink menu consists of uber-fattening sugar-laden concoctions that nobody needs. A venti white chocolate mocha runs 580 calories. No wonder Americans are obese.

6. They just raised their prices. Again.

Like $5 for a coffee drink wasn't enough, the chain just rolled out a (approximately) 1% increase on lots of products. With Americans' utter dependence on caffeine, they're cleaning up. We should all feel violated.

5. Disposable cups.

Convenience means to-go, which means single-use cups. Which means landfill fodder. TONS of it. And while they are rolling out some reusable containers (which cost customers an extra $1, mind you) -- reports suggest they aren't easy to recycle, and they're only built to last about a month. So in the end, that's just more garbage. Stick with your handy-dandy Tervis tumbler and fill up at home.

4. Free Wi-Fi is no excuse.

Nowadays, you can score free Wi-Fi anywhere. Hell, McDonald's has it (but, DEAR GOD, please don't go there either). There are tons of adorbs small businesses around town where you can eat, drink and still check out Instagram vids without incurring data charges. Inhale a panini and surf the web at SpecialTea lounge; eat an empanada and update your Facebook status at the Bookstore in the Grove or grab an omelette and pen a Yelp review at the Daily Creative Food Co.

3. Their foodstuffs are godawful.

Have you ever tried that almost inedible item they're calling an egg salad sandwich? Bland, completely tasteless and wrapped in plastic, it's like your high school cafeteria all over again -- only a lot more expensive. Make your own sammie at home or hit up La Sandwicherie, for Pete's sake.

2. Local businesses need you.

The last thing Starbucks bigwigs need is a chunk of your hard-earned paycheck. But local businesses rely on the likes of you to feed their families. Not to pull the heartstring card, but seriously, folks -- support your neighbors, friends and fellow 305'ers. Now, huddle up for a group hug!

1. Their coffee sucks.

In the end, isn't that what it's all about? That stuff is swill.

Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahalexs.

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