Battle of the Baristas

Ashna Satpathy Being in high school means hours of homework, coupled with late nights of studying and very little sleep. Coffee, therefore, is essential for Latin students. But when it comes down to it, which do you choose? Going downstairs and getting simple coffee and maybe a coffee cake muffin from the Roman kiosk, or walking all the way across the street to Starbucks and getting a grande cup of coffee for a good $3.25 and maybe a cake pop as well? I’d say it’s pretty divided. I interviewed a barista from both places to see what each of think about the competition. The barista at the Roman Kiosk, Nathan, did not really seem to mind students going to both Starbucks and the kiosk. He stated, “I think it’s fine, whatever works in the moment. This is a little more convenient because you don’t always have to cross the street so this usually makes the most sense. I doesn’t really bother me.” When I asked Nathan if he thought his coffee is better than Starbucks he informed me that “[the kiosk uses] Collectivo which is sourced from Milwaukee so it’s more of a local brand. It’s also higher quality because it’s a smaller company so they have more control over how their beans are roasted. But once again, it’s up to personal preference.” I also interviewed a barista at Starbucks named Lily, who was not informed of the existence of the Roman Kiosk. I gave her the gist on what the kiosk was, and she shared her thoughts. “It’s definitely some competition for us. It makes me wonder if they have any of the style that we have as far as tricks and different designs that we do, like for Halloween we have a new zombie frappuccino coming out.” I asked her if she noticed any kind of decrease in Latin students coming to Starbucks, and she stated, “Well, I’ve only worked here for two months so I’m not entirely familiar with the student clientele, but I haven’t heard anything about it. We have a really heavy client base outside of the students as well. There’s a lot of businesses and residences around here. But we like having the students here because we like that afternoon rush after school.” Rachel Schofield, a freshman, explained her thoughts on the issue. “I like Starbucks better because there are a lot more options and the coffee is a lot better.” Freshman Lily Prostic also shared her view—, “I think the service at the kiosk can vary; often they have only one barista working which can slow down the line. Starbucks obviously has multiple baristas working. As far as the drinks themselves, the kiosk is sweeter while Starbucks is slightly more bitter.”]]>