Opinion

Cheaper, healthier versions of Starbucks drinks can be made at home

There is only one company so revered that college students overwhelmed with piles of work, never-ending classes and laundry lists of club activities are willing to wait for its products by standing in Disneyland-style lines that twist and turn out the door. You could say it is the star of campus (pun intended).

Students crave an intoxicatingly sweet sip from one of its hundreds of combinations. No matter morning, noon or night, its power is equally irresistible. But it also racks up big bucks on your credit card. That seductive siren is — the one and only — Starbucks.

College students are hooked on Starbucks. University of Miami was the first college to have a location on campus, and as of this semester, we now have two. But purchasing coffee from Starbucks can be expensive, time-consuming and unhealthy. To counteract this, consider making your own coffee drinks instead.

While the price of a Keurig or other machine is usually more than $100 — not including K-cups — the investment is well worth it for the many students who easily spend more than $30 a week on their coffee addiction.

Recreating a Frappuccino at home will save you an arm and a leg. Believe it or not, it only costs $0.32. That’s a 92 percent reduction. But you’ve also saved yourself something greater: time. It’ll help you avoid the long lines for ordering and the wait time required for the barista to make the drink.

You may not believe that your tall, half-skinny, half 1-percent, extra hot, split, quad shot latte, with whip can be recreated at home. Most students could easily fill a coffee pot with water, but many others may wonder how it is possible to recreate one of the fancy shmancy unpronounceable Starbucks drinks. If someone working at Starbucks can create this masterpiece, I guarantee an intelligent UM student is also capable.

Let’s break this order down. Tall loses meaning at home, where you can make yourself a Trenta for a fraction of the price. Half skinny just means that you drizzle a bit of sugar-free syrup – easily accessible at your local Publix. Make the water extra hot. Get some decaf and regular shots. Finally, spray a dab of whip cream on top.

Your Venti Java Chip Frap packs in a whopping 440 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 87 carbohydrates. Breakfast of a champion. You can easily save yourself from a painful sugar-induced death with your homemade version. Almond milk is an option that will save extra fat and calories, or you can add vanilla extract instead of syrup for equal sweetness. Plus, you can make your drink without the artificial caramel coloring, high fructose corn syrup and GMOs.

After spending a summer in Seattle, the hometown of Da Bux, and even visiting the original venue, I would never call myself a Starbucks hater. In fact, I drank Starbucks on a weekly basis throughout the summer.

But if I can use my mad science cooking skills to re-create a masterpiece for a fraction of a price, then as a college student on a budget, the option is too appealing to resist.

Treating yourself occasionally is always a viable option, but if you want to save time and money and improve your health, then a homemade coffee drink is your best bet. Just wait until your homemade pumpkin spice latte picture on Instagram get more likes than actual photos of yourself.

Alyssa Jacobson is a junior majoring in advertising and political science.

October 30, 2013

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Alyssa Jacobson


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