Who Brews the Best Cup of Joe?

If you are a college student reading this, I can safely bet you’ve probably had your fair share of coffee throughout the semester. But, the real question is, who makes it the best? As a certified coffee-addict, I decided to try multiple iced coffees all made the same way (with milk and whatever “classic” sweetener offered) and rank them according to best flavor and price. While you can never go wrong with a cup of coffee, some cups are obviously better than others, and you should never settle for anything less than the best! So without further ado, here’s how the coffees ranked up:

Starbucks: Starbucks is a staple in many people’s lives, including my own, and are usually plastered on every other street corner, making for quick and easy access! While most drinks seemed to be on the more expensive side, their classic coffees were actually very reasonably priced! At only $2.65, their grande iced coffee is a cheap and tasty option on the menu, and had a pretty classic taste. The coffee, however, did not have a “full-bodied” taste and was a very thin consistency. As the hour went on, my coffee even began to taste watered-down and lacked a rich taste. Despite those factors, it was not too bitter nor too sweet, and got the job done and woke me up! Overall, we’ll give it 7 coffee beans out of 10.  

Coffee Bean: Coffee Bean, the rival of Starbucks. Some may say you’re either for Coffee Bean or for Starbucks, and you can never be in between. To put this myth to rest, I sampled their regular-sized iced coffee, which was also priced at $2.65, the same as Starbucks. The flavor, while richer, was sweeter than Starbucks and tasted more like sugar than coffee. Overall, the drink was well-made, and had a lingering aftertaste. Although I am not one to like my coffee sweet, it tasted pretty good, and everyone seemed satisfied with their drinks. We’ll award this one 8 coffee beans out of 10.

Peet’s Coffee: Peet’s Coffee, although perhaps lesser known, has a fairly loyal following. A sample of their medium-sized cold-brew was priced at $3.15 and had a deep roasted taste, with little bitterness after. The coffee was not too bland, but had a stronger taste. This coffee is more “mature” so to speak, and is less sugary than most other drinks out there. Although a tad more expensive, this coffee was surprisingly good for those who like their coffee strong. I will give it 6 coffee beans out of ten.

McDonald’s: McDonald’s is quick and easy, and a drive-through option can always help make busy days a little bit easier. The iced coffee at McDonald’s was the cheapest option, and a medium size was a mere $1.79, almost a full dollar less than that of Starbucks and Coffee Bean. The coffee I tasted at McDonald’s had a decent roast, though it was an iced drink, and wasn’t too sweet or too bitter. To me, this coffee had a nice full flavor, and tasted more like a coffee than a dessert item. I ranked this one a surprising 7 coffee beans out of 10.

I was generally surprised at the consistency in ranking, although each coffee had a separate distinct taste. Based on personal tastes, Coffee Bean may take the cake for this one, but McDonald’s was the cheapest! However, as there are millions of ways to make a good cup of joe, there are probably a million different opinions on each place! Get out there and try them all!

*all photos, inclduing thumbnail, provided by myself