Waking up for a morning class after staying up till 3 a.m. has always been a constant struggle. Grogginess takes no prisoner alive. But drinking coffee has never been my go to. Besides coffee ice cream, I have avoided coffee anything like the plague. But in times of need, I think that a quick fix isn't too bad. As a non-coffee drinker, I tried 3 different coffee brands to see which one will turn me into a believer.

Dunkin' Donuts

Laura Quinting

Going to Dunkin donuts as a kid has always satisfied my morning glazed donut cravings, but iced coffee is primarily a drink that uses intense coffee to counteract the dilution from the water(ice). It is usually served with cream and sugar in it, and rarely does someone get black.

The coffee drink was very smooth down the throat, and didn't taste bitter at all. The sweetness and creaminess from the milk and sugar were the key players while the coffee bean notes were subtler. After looking at the back of the ingredient list I noticed that skim milk and sugar were the first two to be listed with coffee as the third listed.

The ingredients listed first are the most active/highest percentage of an ingredient in what the product is. I also noticed that the bottle contained 45% of calcium. Overall the taste was decent but the vanilla and cream took away from the coffee taste, but if you’re trying to find something that you don't taste much coffee in, this is your ticket. 

High Brew Coffee

stout, ale, liquor, alcohol, wine, beer
Laura Quinting

I've tried salted caramel in Frappes before so I thought this would taste pretty good. Boy was I in for a reality check. The coffee itself is the prominent flavor. It was strong and bitter and I would not recommend as a starter drink for someone who normally doesn't drink coffee. The sweetness of the caramel is overshadowed by the acidity and the saltiness kicks in as almost an after taste.

If you are used to drinking coffee either straight up or without much cream/sugar, the brand would be a good one to go with. As a coffee vet, the real high points of this coffee are that it is not only fair-trade coffee beans, but also it is low calorie and gluten free. This coffee was only 60 calories and contained two times less sugar than the competition. If strong authentic taste and better for your options are your niches then Cold Brew High Brew might be your winner.


alcohol, beer, wine
Laura Quinting

 Picking out these coffee brands I tried to face my fear head on. When choosing a double shot or even if your fearless enough a triple shot of espresso, this usually means that you need everything you can get to stay awake. Espresso is more of a darker roast blend, which means that the coffee beans are brewed in such a way that the coffee notes are more intense. I chose the salted caramel and cream thinking that the flavor would offset the bitterness from the coffee.

I was right. Not only did the creaminess from the milk and the sugar help create a smoother taste than the high brew but it also brought to light more of the caramel taste. The espresso was still the center of attention but it wasn't overbearing. The taste wasn't bad and not nearly as rich as the Dunkin' Donuts.

#SpoonTip: Before buying the coffee look at the back on sugar content and active ingredients, this will give you good idea on how sweet or bitter the coffee is.

Overall my winner would have to be the Starbucks double shot espresso. Now before you start calling me a basic person, hear me out. Not only was the double shot a good medium of too sweet and too bitter but sugar wise it was not nearly as much as the Dunkin' Donuts was. While the Cold Brew was the healthier option of the three, Star Bucks has the smoothest balance of all.