Best campus coffee: Starbucks vs. Einstein’s

Almost 70 percent of students who responded to The Panther’s poll said they preferred Starbucks over Einstein’s Bagel Bros. KENTO KOMATSU Staff Photographer

Caffeine is the one drug that has traveled into mainstream culture so much so that we have shops dedicated to satiating the addiction. Coffee shops on college campuses are the perfect study spots and places to catch up with friends. The two places on campus dedicated to supplementing students’ daily dose of caffeine are Einstein’s Bros. Bagels and Starbucks – but which is superior?

The Panther polled 54 students and found that 69 percent preferred Starbucks over Einstein’s Bros. Bagels. Running from Einstein’s and Starbucks to assess their lines is exhausting, but I always end up going to Einstein’s or going home for the best cup of coffee. But sometimes, nothing compares to a peppermint mocha on a cold rainy morning. That is, if you have a good 30 minutes or more of time.

Although I am a sucker for a Starbucks vanilla latte, I do find myself going to Einsteins far more frequently. The greatest barrier to overcome when it comes to the Starbucks is not only the line, but also the fact that it takes years to receive my drink after I purchased it. I have often left without all the items I ordered because I felt too guilty to ask for my order’s whereabouts, given how busy the baristas were.

Einstein’s is perfect when you need a cup of drip coffee with a splash of creamer and a sachet of sugar; I haven’t tried their handmade drinks, but the bagels are the perfect meal to keep you satisfied between meetings or study sessions. Also, I feel like this never happened in previous years, but the Einstein’s line will extend out the door at around midday – making me regret not bringing coffee from home, or packing a snack before rushing out the door minutes before my class is about to start.

My schedule this semester allows for an hour break between my 50-minute 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. classes, where I spend the entirety of my break standing in line at Starbucks and awaiting the items I ordered. By the time I get my drink and consume some food to hold me over, I have roughly 15 minutes to relax prior to class. I am a creature of habit: I usually get a grande iced cold brew with a splash of almond milk. Not for the taste but purely for the caffeine. But to be completely honest, I prefer this drink to the Einstein’s drip coffee because I like the sweet, non-dairy option at Starbucks.

Einstein’s is affordable and fast; as campus gets more and more crowded, the food options diminish and the lines for coffee and food get longer and longer. After waiting for what feels like hours, it can be heartbreaking when the person in front of you takes the last everything bagel or blueberry muffin. My desire for cheap, accessible coffee is sustained by this bagel joint, but the coffee-lover in me longs for the crisp, strong cold brew at Starbucks. All I can do is hope that Philz Coffee isn’t as crowded as the on-campus options tend to be. I am already preparing myself for their Mint Mojito iced coffee and most likely will walk the extra couple minutes from campus to get it.