Drink Review: Which Coffee Takes The Crown?


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Junior Ellen Rosson and Sophomore Savannah Bragg took a trip around Central Virginia to taste an Iced Vanilla Latte at five different coffee shops.

  When life starts to speed up and tiredness creeps in everyone needs a good cup of coffee. To staffers Savannah Bragg and Ellen Rosson, the perfect cup of coffee means it presents a light and sweet flavor, a price range of $4 and under, and it’s produced in under a minute and a half. To determine which location is the prime coffee stop within surrounding areas, Wawa, Dunkin, Starbucks, Capital One Cafe and East of Maui were put to the test. In order to make sure that the same drink was tested at each spot, small Iced Vanilla Lattes were critiqued at each location.

  The first stop made was Wawa. In Wawa, they have multiple canisters of different types of coffee to use to prepare any drink. They also have a table full of items that can be added to spice up the standard coffee like sugar or creamers, no additional things were added to the vanilla latte that came straight out of the canister. The preparation time took about 1 minute, and it cost $2.55. The taste of the coffee was sweet, but the coffee flavor was still detectable. Overall, Wawa coffee scored a “perfect” because it is cheap, convenient, and possesses a pretty good taste. However, if an individual enjoys a more strong coffee flavor, it may not rank as high.

  The next stop was Dunkin. The vanilla latte at Dunkin cost $2.69, and the preparation time was about 1 minute and 50 seconds. Dunkin scored a “mid” on the scale because it was under $4, it was efficient, but it tasted burnt. Depending on which Dunkin consumers choose, the outcome may be better, but, for now, we were left disappointed.

  Located in Short Pump Town Center, Capital One Cafe was the next place visited. The price was more on the expensive side, with a cost of $4.30. It took about 1 minute and 40 seconds for them to prepare. The coffee had too much espresso in it, and the vanilla flavoring couldn’t be tasted. Thus, it received a rating of “never again” on our scale because it was too bitter to be enjoyed.

  Starbucks was the next location reviewed. Starbucks had a good preparation time of about 1 minute and 20 seconds, but is the priciest location we tried with a cost of $4.75. On our scale, it ranks with a “perfect” in flavor due to the balance within the drink. It contains just the right amount of coffee flavor, decadent cream, and a sweet hint of vanilla. However, it ultimately falls under Wawa because of its price point and the unrealistic idea that most high school students would be able to consume it on a daily basis.

  East of Maui, located in Gordonsville, was the last place visited and scored a “perfect” on the scale. The coffee had a great taste. It was light and sweet in flavor, and the vanilla flavoring was detectable. It took about 1 minute and 50 seconds to prepare but was certainly worth the wait. However, again similar to Starbucks, buying coffee daily could get pricey fast with a cost of $4.25.

  Overall, due to its flavor and price point, Wawa ranked the highest with a close second place tie between East of Maui and Starbucks. Determining the best coffee depends on what the consumer is looking for. We encourage all coffee lovers to give them all a try.