Taste is what drives people to their favorite coffee shops — but people still believe that Dunkin' Donuts is the best coffee around. That's what a new poll from Harris Poll says, making us question everything we know about our coffee breaks and habits.
The poll surveyed nearly 2,500 Americans, who said that taste is the top factor in determining where coffee and tea lovers go for their fix. And they're even willing to go out of the way for a better cup of coffee, debunking everything we thought about the convenience of a coffee break to the Starbucks around the corner. But those surveyed also said that they prefer to go to a national chain coffee shop rather than the third-wave coffee shops in their neighborhoods... but we find that hard to believe given our list of the best coffee shops in America.
So what are the coffee shop brands Americans trust for a good cup o' joe? Dunkin' Donuts beat out Einstein Bagels and Starbucks, respectively; the release notes that the chains "scored above average" with those surveyed based on "Familiarity, Quality and Purchase Consideration." (Perhaps Dunkin' can win back that trademark of "America's Best Coffee.") Dunkin' Donuts won Harris Poll's "brand of the year" in the coffee and quick service category.
And the shops that were considered to be "below average" in consumers' minds? Bruegger's Bagels, Caribou Coffee Shops, McCafé, and Tim Hortons. While many may be surprised that Dunkin' beat out Starbucks (The Huffington Post points out another survey that ranks Starbucks as the coffee brand to beat), those in Boston — home of Dunkin' — aren't surprised at all. One blog post from Esquire honors Bostonians' dedication to Dunkin' Donuts and their hometown, in light of the recent Boston Marathon tragedies. Writes Paul McMarrow, "Dunkin’ is ubiquitous. Bostonians grow up surrounded by the stuff.... Dunkin’ is a metaphor for Boston itself. It inspires fierce devotion from locals, despite all obvious measures of its inadequacy. We love it and defend it, because it’s ours."