Is there something I'm missing with the major coffee chains?

Alright folks, searching for some help with this one - I have never been a Starbucks fan. I order black coffee with no room, and that's it. Now, I do NOT consider myself a coffee connoisseur... in fact I'd be lying if I said that a cup of freshly ground folgers didn't hit the spot every once in a while. But my problem with starbucks (a sentiment which I've seen others share) is that it ALWAYS comes out tasting burnt and acrid.

Now, I've come to accept this at starbucks. Perhaps some people like it, but I find it awful... I love a good strong coffee taste, which will inherently carry a little bitterness, but the stuff that comes out of their drip machines is about 3 notches too high. But that's the way starbucks does it, and I'm ok with that.

Let it also be known that I feel smoky, bitter, dark roasted coffee has its place, such as Vietnamese coffees... But I don't want a straight cup of the stuff first thing in the morning.

Now I've tried Peet's coffee (at many a Starbucks-hater's recommendation) at least a dozen times in half a dozen different locations, always the house coffee, black with no room, and I run into the SAME THING. Is there something I'm missing? Is this what coffee is supposed to taste like, and I just don't get it? Because this isn't going to develop like my taste in beer, where I begin to get used to and eventually really enjoy the complex bitterness... I'm always going to hate this coffee. And if this is what I can expect from these types of chains, I'll gladly steer clear from now on.


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