Cheapest caffeine: an investigation into finding the cheapest coffee in the student union?


Justice Amarillas

CC’s Coffee House in the Student Union Memorical Center on March 23. Coffee is abundant on campus, and consumers can choose from which shop to buy according to price or taste.

Taylor Brestel

Most college students run on coffee. 

The lines at the library Starbucks stretch out the door in the morning, the afternoon and the evening. There seems to be no end to the amount of students buying lattes and iced coffee and trying to stay awake in class after a long night of studying—or binge-watching “The Office.”

The Student Union Memorial Center has several different coffee shops: Starbucks, Einstein Bros. Bagels, CC’s Coffee House and even Burger King. But which of these options is the cheapest?

While each venue offers a variety of different options, like a frappuccino from Starbucks or a frozen hazelnut mocha at Einstein’s, they all have one thing in common: iced coffee.

Price per ounce will be used to determine the cheapest coffee on campus because a cheaper price per ounce means cheaper coffee overall.

It’s not surprising that the large coffees had the best value and possessed the smallest price per ounce. 

As you can see from the results below, it’s clear that the winner of cheapest coffee on campus goes to Einstein’s, although Burger King is not all that far behind. Comparing medium sizes, Einstein’s cost $0.13 per ounce, $0.14 per ounce at Burger King, and $0.18 per ounce at Starbucks and CC’s Coffee House. For those with spare money to burn, Starbucks and CC’s Coffee House remain the most expensive across all sizes. 

Next time you’re craving coffee and you want to head to Starbucks, maybe think twice and go to Einstein’s to save the strain on your wallet.

Einstein Bros. Bagels: Iced Coffee

Medium – 16 fluid ounce, $2.09 = $0.13 per ounce

Large – 24 fluid ounce, $2.59 = $0.11 per ounce

Starbucks: Iced Coffee

Tall – 12 fluid ounce, $2.45 = $0.20 per ounce

Grande – 16 fluid ounce, $2.85 = $0.18 per ounce

Venti – 24 fluid ounce, $3.25 = $0.14 per ounce

Burger King: Smooth Roast Iced Coffee

Small – 12 fluid ounce, $1.79 = $0.15 per ounce

Medium – 16 fluid ounce, $2.29 = $0.14 per ounce

Large – 20 fluid ounce, $2.79 = $0.14 per ounce

CC’s Coffee House: Iced Coffee

Tall – 12 fluid ounce, $2.55 = $0.21 per ounce

Grande – 16 fluid ounce, $2.85 = $0.18 per ounce

Super Grande – 24 fluid ounce, $3.25 = $0.14 per ounce

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