A couple of Saturdays ago, my dad and I decided to go to Chick-Fil-A for breakfast. I was really excited about this because I love Chick-Fil-A. I ordered a chicken biscuit and a vanilla iced coffee. I expected this to be the most bomb breakfast of the century. The presentation was perfect, my coffee looked like a goddess, so majestic and beautiful. I was in love.
After looking at it for a good minute, I eventually decided I wanted to actually try it. Okay, let me repeat what I just said because I want it to be 100% clear. I said I wanted to actually TRY IT. Yes, I am implying that I’ve never had Chick-Fil-A coffee before this particular Saturday.
I took a sip of the coffee and what I swallowed felt like sadness and disappointment going down my throat. It was not coffee. It was literally coffee-flavored milk with a bare hint of vanilla. I didn’t drink the whole thing and that one coffee bothered me for the whole day.
I wished that someone would have stopped me from drinking that cup of coffee. If I had someone or something to tell me if a coffee was good or not, I could have probably avoided drinking that monstrosity of a coffee.
So that’s what I’m here for today, to teach you as a teen, how to drink coffee the right way.
According to the National Council on Strength and Fitness, coffee consumption among teens and young adults has grown by 70% in the last 30-40 years. If America drinks tons of coffee every day, imagine what the numbers are like for Atlanta alone. Plus, coffee has become a part of teen culture. From shirts and cups that quote sayings like “But First Coffee” and “Coffee Is a Hug In a Mug,” to Youtubers like Alisha Marie, raving about coffee 24/7. It’s everywhere.
So, if you are new to the coffee world, I would not only like to say welcome, but also tell you that this article is specifically designed for you. I tested coffee at four places in downtown Atlanta (Starbucks, Chick-Fil-A, Jittery Joe’s and Coffee @ 200 Peachtree) in search of finding the true cups of coffee and the fakes.
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So, let’s get started with finally finding out what’s coffee is really worth your time and which you should leave in the dust.
So, when I got this coffee, I was a bit skeptical because of my experience from before. But this time it was amazing. The taste was great and the sweetness balanced so well. There wasn’t a lot of ice in the cup so it’s pretty much actual coffee with ice instead of ice with coffee. The look of the cup was clean, no extra stickiness or residue. The price was an affordable $2.50. The size is true to fit. I ordered a small and got a small. However, their coffee drink varieties are limited to only original and vanilla. I think Chick-Fil-A is a pretty good place to get coffee, but they might not always get it right, so that’s kind of a risk.
Final Rating: 4 out of 5 Beans
Okay, so this was my first time trying this brand of coffee and I was excited because I love trying new things. But this was strong, like extremely strong. I was shocked because I wasn’t expecting such strength from this one little coffee. Since Jittery Joe’s specializes in coffee, they had tons of options and teas as well. There wasn’t any creamer, so I thought that was really unfortunate. The price was hitting a good $5. This made me a little skeptical because if a small coffee is about $5, how much is a medium or large? The cup was 12 oz. and that was their smallest, so I think it’s pretty true to size. The ice in this coffee was a bit bigger than the other coffees and that filled the cup a bit more. I thought the minimalist presentation was nice and the environment was great. The lady was super nice and she had a smile the whole time and I felt like I wasn’t wasting her time. Also, the Jittery Joe’s I went to was at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, which is fancy and quiet. It felt expensive even being there. I liked the coffee but I don’t think this is the best coffee for teens due to the fact that it’s super strong, and a little bit on the more expensive side. I personally wouldn’t recommend this coffee but if you need to get through like an all-nighter type situation, this would be great.
Final Rating: 2 out of 5 Beans
Starbucks is the “holy grail” of coffee, everyone’s immediate go-to. This was also my first time trying Starbucks coffee. I know, that’s insane. I usually only drink their teas, but not their coffee. With the flavor, it most definitely tastes like quality coffee but I expected a lot more vanilla. It was also a $2.50, so it was definitely affordable. But one downfall was the size, a small is seriously small. This makes you wonder if you’re really getting what you paid for. Compared to Chick-Fil-A, the size is a lot smaller even though the price is pretty much similar. Thankfully, there was actual product instead of extra ice. I think that the environment of Starbucks was the saving grace to the coffee. The feel and the smells made you feel nice and cozy, especially in a city like Atlanta, where it feels so big. Another saving factor is the different type of drinks they offer. It’s a good place for experimenting.
Final Rating: 3 out of 5 beans
Coffee @ 200 Peachtree
I chose this local Atlanta option because I support small businesses. When you walked in, it was the cutest sight, oh my gosh. It was so comfy and I loved it. I also loved the taste of the coffee. It had a good balance of flavor and strength. For the look of the coffee, it came without cream or milk but there was a station where you could add it yourself so that was good because you could balance it to what you wanted. The actual cup it came in was plain, with no logo, so I was a little disappointed because the product didn’t necessarily feel that exclusive or anything. It looked like I could have made it myself personally. It was also kind of small for 12 oz., considering that I paid $2.50 for it. There were also a lot of other drink varieties that you could have ordered as well. There wasn’t a lot of ice, but just enough to be an iced coffee. The girl at the counter was super nice as well so I really liked that aspect of friendliness. This was the perfect strong coffee and I was really surprised that this coffee was better than the more common bigger brands, yet still, the presentation was a little basic. If they made their product more official with a logo, this would be a perfect five.
Final Rating: 4 of 5 Beans
These are just some of the many places where you can get coffee in Atlanta. Don’t limit yourself to places just because you’re comfortable with them. Branching out and trying new things is healthy as well. So, go and have a coffee adventure on your own because you could find something that’s especially just for you. You might not even like any of these coffees that I recommended to you, and that’s okay. But you can now be more informed about what to look for in a coffee place and in a coffee.
Jasmine, 16, attends DeKalb Early College Academy.