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The Cold Filtered Ramblings of Gene Mueller

Caffeination Nation: the coffee wars heat up around the country and here at home

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It's playing out around the country.

It might be happening right in your community.  It certainly is in mine.

It's a war for caffeination domination being fought out by Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts.

The Boston Globe mapped the two combatants location for location across the country, showing those areas where Dunkin reigns supreme and those where Starbucks has the upper hand.  It's fascinating, territorial and in the process of changing.  Big time.

Dunkin seemed to have a larger presence in southeast Wisconsin years ago, back in the day before coffee became a fast-food money-maker.   You went to Dunkin Donuts for, well, donuts, only to find out that the java you bought on the side wasn't half bad, either.   Starbucks slowly came on, as did Alterra and any number of other local coffee bistros as Dunkin seemed to retreat. 

Now, they're back--at least in my neck of the woods.  A brand new Dunkin Donuts is on the cusp of opening on the corner of Highway 100 and Grange, roughly in the shadow of a very popular Starbucks in a very busy shopping center just down the street.  It would seem to be part of Dunkin's local expansion plan unhatched about two years ago, calling for 36 new Milwaukee area locations.  36.  That's more than a toe in the water.   That's full immersion.

While Starbucks is a place most of us think of for coffee, Dunkin' wants to be more than just coffee and donuts.  It already offers sandwiches and is trotting out this colossus Friday:



That's's an egg and bacon nestled between A GLAZED DONUT.   320 calories.  20 grams of fat.  And I'm guessing it's delicious.

The coffee war is on.  Truth be told, it has been for a while.  Why do you think McDonalds is trotting out all sorts of McCafe beverages and such?   We lap caffeine up by the bucket load, and it's a better-than-decent money maker for those who dispense it.   Our thirst shows no sign of abating, and there would seem to be no end to the number of places willing to serve it up.

I'll take mine black, like my heart.

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