A study session is incomplete without caffeine, which probably explains why UF has seven (yes, seven) Starbucks on campus. As a chronically tired college student, I have spent a disheartening amount of money at the majority of these locations. After a while of ordering my signature drink — the Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso — I realized that it tastes shockingly different at each UF Starbucks location.

Curious about which Starbucks had the best rendition of the drink (and always looking for an excuse to consume copious shots of espresso), I decided to do a little experimenting. I went to three different UF Starbucks locations — Marston Science Library, Library West, and The Hub — and ordered the exact same drink.

It's important to mention that this is my experience at one point in time at each of the locations. A variety of factors like the time of day, the length of the line and the whims of the barista impact the final product, so this review is by no means exhaustive. Keeping that disclaimer in mind, let's get on with the results!

Starbucks #1: Library West

Gabriella Berardi

First, I headed to Lib West on a lovely Wednesday morning before class. The line was super quick, and the staff was, as usual, sweet and accommodating. Plus, the barista wrote my name using some impressive calligraphy skills (though this is not at all relevant to the ranking). 

First sip impressions: The drink had a nice foamy top, which is one of my favorite things about the Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso. However, the drink lacked its characteristic brown sugar flavor, which was a bit disappointing, because otherwise it just tastes like espresso and oat milk. Overall, I had expected more brown sugar and cinnamon, but the drink was good enough for me to leave no sips behind.

Starbucks #2: Marston Science Library

Gabriella Berardi

I usually run into a long line at Marston, but the stars aligned on this day for me to get in and out within 10 minutes. After such a pleasant ordering experience, I sat outside to record some data and munch on my egg sandwich.

First sip impressions: Different from the Lib West rendition, this drink screamed oat milk and cinnamon. After several minutes of mixing the distinct layers of this drink, I finally began to taste the warm brown sugar flavor I've come to know so well. The brown sugar and cinnamon added a nice contrast to the oat milk and weren't overpoweringly sweet. Though I had some difficulty mixing the drink, I was pleasantly surprised with the final flavor combination.

Starbucks 3: The Hub

Gabriella Berardi

The Hub is my typical go-to for Starbucks. Though it's usually busy, I always get my drink quickly and enjoy sitting outside to have breakfast. As with the other two Starbucks, the staff was welcoming, kind, and somehow gifted with unmatched calligraphy skills. 

First sip impressions: After a single sip, I knew that this drink tasted how the Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Espresso is meant to taste. Slightly discouraged by my lack of cinnamon at Lib West and my mixing troubles at Marston, I was relieved to find that this drink had the perfect dash of cinnamon and was easy to mix. The cinnamon, brown sugar, oat milk, and espresso were all ideally balanced to make for a consistently delicious coffee experience.

The Verdict

While I enjoyed all three of my Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espressos, the clear victor is The Hub Starbucks. My last destination, and certainly not the least, The Hub struck the perfect blend of brown sugar sweetness, cinnamon undertones, and oat milk nuttiness. While I'll still occasionally hit up Marston and Lib West when the caffeine craving strikes, I'll be keeping The Hub Starbucks as my first choice.

Now, about that Iced Toasted Vanilla Oatmilk Espresso...