Starbucks vs Cafe Nero

‘Some’ (actually, most) of the youth-workers I know are devotees of the coffee bean, further to this, they tend to love and frequent funky places in which it is served well, they are a vital venue for youth work and for meetings. For example here, Doc Sarah H got invited to a staff party at her local coffee shop! (I remain uncertain as to whether this was because: a) She is such a good customer or b) She is in their so often they thought she was staff).
Now I’m actually a BIG advocate of the classy independent coffee shop BUT these are rare (at least good ones) so I regularly find myself in that classic dilemma, Café Nero or Starbucks? As this is probably relevant to at least 15 of the readers of Youthblog, I thought I’d articulate my (very subjective) thoughts on this in case you face just such a dilemma.
starbucks vs.jpg
Starbucks
Coffee Good
No free Newspaper
Non Smoking (Huzzah)
No loyalty card
Standing around like a muppet waiting for your coffee
Wi-fi that accept roaming partners and hence more accesible

Café Nero
Coffee Good
Newspapers available
Smoking area which you often can’t avoid if you want some sugar, a newspaper or the toilet (Newbury is especially bad on this)
Loyalty Card (which therefore makes them a bit cheaper)
Standing around like a muppet waiting for your coffee
Expensive and limited Wi-fi

So the coffee is great at either venue and I’m a bit torn really. I love cafe Nero’s loyalty card, always having newspapers to read AND the Apricot Croissants BUT loathe the smoky atmosphere and the limited wi-fi option. I love Starbucks being smoke free and the fact that you can use the wi-fi via a number of different subscriptions. Overall Nero has much more going for it but the wi-fi and the smoke mean that for my vote: Starbucks is the ‘Wizard’ Choice.
Starbucks wizard.jpg
I have tried to let Nero know some of my critiques but the comment section is in the smoking area (duh!) and in the Newbury one I have never ever seen any comment cards available there. Oh and if Starbucks are reading this and feeling smug, ONE THING! The practice of selling the Times for 50p is OK, but putting the discarded ones back on the pile and selling them again (and possibly again) is wrong, so wrong!

13 Replies to “Starbucks vs Cafe Nero”

  1. Anything caffinated and I’m happy – but smoke free is better.
    My local coffee shop doesn’t have wi-fi – but it does have the most tremendous cake selection!! 🙂

  2. We in Northern Ireland are so very fortunate….Starbucks are few and far between and as far as I am aware Nero’s hasnt realised we exist!! Its small and local for me….no papers, no wi-fi, sometimes smoking, few loyalty cards but always good coffee and staff you get to know….support small and local, bring down the world (or just go to Starbucks for a ‘treat’ and it tastes even better!!)

  3. Ok just to add to the mix…
    Cofee republic
    Coffee Good
    Newspapers available – er…. dunno
    no smoking… I think
    Loyalty Card (which therefore makes them a bit cheaper)
    Standing around like a muppet waiting for your coffee
    Internet available on computers
    Bloc3
    Has complimentary Newspapers
    No smoking (except outside)
    Loyalty Card (which therefore makes them a bit cheaper)
    No standing around like a muppet cos they bring you your drink
    No internet so free from distractions!
    and on another matter…
    Yes Agent K’s coffee shop indeed serves EXCELLENT cake hmmmMMMMMmmmmm.
    And what about the fairly traded issue?

  4. Did I read that right, Sarah – Coffee Republic do a loyalty card? All that money I’ve wasted!
    For me, it’s Coffee Republic every time even though the one in Reading is desperate for refurbishment. If I’m in Oxford, then it’s definitely Nero rather than Starbucks.
    Presumably the smoking thing is less of an issue now though, or does that law only apply to pubs? I do agree with Sarah’s comment on the fair trade though and must admit I’m surprised that one of them hasn’t gone that way yet.

  5. well the coffee Nero that i go to – to meet my yoofs you understand(Not for fun oh no)- brings your coffee to you and the smoking section is upstairs so is no problem. However I’ve got to say Costa coffee wins for me – as they serve fair trade and have an amazing drink called a chocolissimo which is made with pure melted chocolate – OH YEAH!!!

  6. AMT coffee is 100% fair trade, although I have only seen these as stalls rather than shops… Costa and Starbucks definitely have fair trade options though. My current favourite order is hot steamed skinny milk with sugar free vanilla syrup from Starbucks. Just thought you would like to know.

  7. Caffe Nero all the way for me: I’m never out!
    Smoking up-stairs… No comments box though 😛
    The Frappe Lattes are the greatest… And the staff are cute… And give us free drinks and stamp our loyalty card… We average three free drinks a week, then our loyalty card ones on top of that… We get about three stamps per drink 😛
    And teh staff are so uber hot and really nice…

  8. Corazie,
    Wow, sounds like you’ve got a great thing going with Nero. I only got double stamped once in the last two years.
    will try the frappe latte

  9. Caffe Nero – til I Die!
    Anyone who tells you Starbucks coffee is “Good” shouldn’t even begin to think they know what coffee should taste like.
    The coffee at Nero’s is one of the finest you’ll find – and if you’re not happy in any way they will make you another, no fuss at all.
    Nero’s is all about the experience – the best coffee (not just acceptable coffee!), the music, the free news papers, lots of leather chairs, great staff who will always see you right if you do get a coffee that isn’t made to your liking. It’s all good.
    Smoking will be banned in the UK within the next few months so you’ll be sorted on this front.
    Starbucks coffee is a chemical horridness that shouldn’t be consumed.

  10. i work at caffe Nero and have hands down prefered it to everywhere else because of the service and the people that work their. Plus the coffee actually tastes like coffee rather then syrupy drizzle

  11. right to settle this….nero is for people who like coffe…..starbucks s for the scene kids/people who are trying to be young hip n trendy by spending more n dont give a poop about taste….just like chavs dont care wat girls look like aslong as they get their end away…..nero is cheaper and has much better coffee….i went for an iced mocha latté at my local nero today but unforunately it was closed…this would normally cost me £2.70….bacause i was in the mood for a drinki went to the starbucks across the road n found the same drink was over £3…i decided to leaveit and settle for coke….if i want a coffe it will always be nero hands down….great staff friendly atmosphere and amazing coffee that isnt over priced…plus the loyalty card is great

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