“If I didn’t have coffee every morning … well I don’t know if I’d survive,” Izzy Osbourne, sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, said.
Every morning Osbourne hits her alarm only to get dressed and head straight to the Brew in the Alumni Memorial Union. There she gets an iced cold brew, or if it’s wintertime, a warm americano.
Osbourne’s caffeine addiction began when she was 16 and it has grown ever since. In college, she drinks around two to three cups a day.
“It just makes me feel energized and ready for the day,” Osbourne said. “It’s definitely a staple in my college life.”
However, Osbourne’s addiction to the beverage is not uncommon, as around 92% of college students drink caffeinated beverages, the most popular being coffee.
For daily drinkers like Osbourne, the price of multiple coffees per day can “stack up.”
“I have a meal swipe, but sometimes that only covers one of my coffees depending on my meal swipe times,” Osbourne said. “So this stuff can get pretty expensive.”
The average college coffee drinker spends anywhere between $20 to $93 per month on coffee, which evens out to around $240 to $1,116 per year.
When spending money on coffee, Colin Whitcomb, owner of Canary Coffee Bar on 3rd Street, said people should buy local.
“For every $1 you spend at a local business, around 70 cents stays in the community,” Whitcomb said. “At a corporation, it’s more like 30 cents.”
Although Canary Coffee doesn’t have all the drinks larger coffee companies like Starbucks offer, he said his bar has authenticity.
“We’re real people working with really good ingredients,” Whitcomb said. “We’re comfy but modern with plants, light, color, big windows, and we play music a little louder, it’s a vibe.”
The coffee bar also doesn’t operate like the conventional coffee shop, as there are no lines when stepping foot into the modern ambiance of Canary.
“There’s no line- people should grab a seat and we want to serve you at your table,” Whitcomb said. “Let us bring you things.”
The most popular drink among students at Canary is seasonal lattes, hot or iced vanilla/caramel lattes, house coffee and chai.
“Canary’s iced vanilla lattes are heaven,” Osbourne said. “Although it’s more convenient to go to the Brew, I love going to local shops that support fair trade coffee.”
According to Grounds for Change, fair trade coffee is important because it “directly supports a better life for farming families in the developing world through fair prices, community development and environmental stewardship.”
“Although there are big corporations, like Starbucks, say that they are large purchasers of free trade certified coffee, I feel like I’m making more of a difference when I’m buying local,” Osbourne said. “Like I’m giving back to the community while also feeding my caffeine addiction.”
However, for Kristen Almazan, a first-year student in the College of Arts & Sciences, buying local is not always the most efficient option.
“I like to try local coffee shops when I have extra time but I usually just go to Starbucks,” Almazan said.
Almazan’s go-to at Starbucks is either a chai tea latte or a vanilla sweet cold brew with cold foam and an extra pump of vanilla.
“My go-tos are pretty specific, but at the end of the day I surprisingly don’t depend on coffee,” Almazan said.
Students looking to feed their caffeine cravings can also stop by the Milwaukee-based coffee shop, Colectivo Coffee, as one of its locations reside in the Third Ward. Alderaan Coffee is also a local shop centered on Water street with “gourmet coffee topped with homemade milks & syrups, plus craft beer in stylish digs.”
This story was written by Claire Driscol. She can be reached at email@example.com