Starbucks vs. Si Si’s Caffe

Amanda DeVechhi, Staff Writer

One may think Fall is solely when the leaves begin to change, but just like the leaves, drinks can change too. This is the season when Starbucks in Orinda and Si Si’s cafe in Moraga, open up their fall selection of coffee drinks. Miramonte students have differing opinions on which coffee shop is better and why.

Si Si’s is a very personable coffee shop; the employees know what the customers like and don’t like. Junior Arden Creson can attest, “Si Si’s is smaller and more personable because they take time to talk to you and are very friendly. Starbucks doesn’t have time to get to know their customers because they are such a big chain.” Si Si’s also has a section of the coffee shop where they store regular customers’ coffee cups with their initials on the cup. Although Starbucks has something similar to this service, it is more prevalent at Si Si’s. This aspect makes local cafes stand out when compared to a national corporation like Starbucks, which has shops everywhere.

Not everyone agrees. Senior Jessie Musacchio feels that Starbucks has a greater selection of products than Si Si’s: “There is something for everyone. They not only have drinks[hot and cold] but they have pastries, sandwiches and more.” Despite the fact that Musacchio has tried numerous Starbucks drinks, she didn’t find the fabled Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte to live up to the expectations. “I’ve never had it until this year, I don’t know if I really liked it. I only got it because of peer pressure,” Musacchio stated. “My favorite drink is the cool lime refresher; it’s bomb.”

Junior Emily Parodi would agree with Musacchio: “Starbucks has a great selection of drinks. I like the fact that they have products that use soy milk rather than regular milk… Starbucks also has gluten free options. ” Parodi continued, “Starbucks has a secret menu whereas Si Si’s doesn’t have this as much.” It seems that Musacchio and Parodi are on the same page considering that Starbucks can make alterations to their drinks, whereas Si Si’s exclusively has their set selection.

Aspects that make Starbucks desirable is the fact that they have shops everywhere. Senior Julia Alfonso likes how Starbucks is part of her routine, and its convenience. “Starbucks is a huge corporation and they get a lot of money from everyone. I feel like they use this money to have the flexibility to make a selection of drinks.”

Si Si’s diehard fans, however include junior Kai Otsmaa. Although she has been to Si Si’s only a handful of times, she prefers it over Starbucks. “I like Si Si’s because I like to support local businesses,” Otsmaa explained. “The people who work there are friendly and the service is good.”

But some students complain that both venues shortchange students as well as other consumers with busy schedules which include classes, sports and SAT and ACT test prep. The lack of flexibility makes it difficult for some girls to get their fill of fall drinks, which are limited, this makes them more desirable when they come out. In addition, the fall drinks are only good during the fall; most customers wouldn’t enjoy a hot pumpkin spice latte in the middle of the summer. But it really all depends on the person buying. “I generally prefer summer drinks because I have more time to go there. I don’t go to Si Si’s on Wednesdays when we have the late start because I usually have a math test that I have to get there early for,” Otsmaa said. Although Otsmaa is unable to try the fall drinks as often as she would like, she does enjoy the Iced Caramel Macchiato. “It’s sweet but it’s not too complex to try for the first time,” she said.

Senior Julia Ruiz enjoys Si Si’s because it is a one of a kind cafe. “I go there because the prices are lower and they have good quality drinks.” Although Ruiz has not tried the fall drinks either she agrees with Otsmaa, “I actually prefer the simple drinks, I usually get a peppermint hot chocolate or the peppermint mocha.”

So the question that still remains is: Why are girls so obsessed with having a Starbucks or Si Si’s coffee cup in their hand? Otsmaa thinks she has the answer, “Honestly I think people like feeling cool when you’re holding that big name brand in your hand, but also because these places are good and relatively inexpensive.” Musacchio agreed: “Starbucks is very trendy, and it tastes good too. It’s convenient and the stores are everywhere.” Alfonso disagrees, “The stereotype is stupid, when I’m waiting in line I see more old people waiting for their drinks rather than teens.”

Starbucks has locations at 2 Orinda Theatre Square and 500 Moraga Road in Moraga. Si Si’s is located at 910 Country Club Dr in Moraga.