Caffeinated things I’ve drank lately, because I want coffee and I want you to drink good coffee


There is no caffeine in my system right now. 

It sucks. My arms feel tired. My neck feels like I slept on it wrong. My spine hurts. My eyes are watering because I’m yawning. I also might be crying because we talked about the economy in APUSH for 50 minutes straight, and it is a ram day, meaning we spent the entire class talking about the economy, and the reason I took APUSH instead of AP Micro is because I really hate talking about the economy. 

The point here is that I am tired, despite having a somewhat respectable and sufficient number of hours of sleep in my system, and more than tired, I want some sort of caffeine, because coffee makes me feel happy bubbly smiley optimistic full of joy sunshine rainbows blah blah blah. At some point, we should unpack why it is that I’m only a better person once I’ve passed the two-espresso-shot mark. But I don’t have coffee and you aren’t here for weird self-psychoanalysis, so instead, I am going to write a story about the caffeinated drinks I’ve had recently, what caffeine is worth your time and what very much isn’t, because a) I’m kind of an expert there, b) I want coffee and c) I don’t have any, so I might as well write about it.


1. Starbucks Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew: 4/5


I’m picky when it comes to caramel––hardly ever is there enough caramel flavoring in caramel coffee or food for me, and when there is, it’s much too sugary and not enough “actual caramel.” But the salted caramel cold foam topping this drink is everything the name promises and more: creamy, rich, soft, sweet and just the right amount of salt to offset a deliciously caramel-y experience. The cold brew, again, never misses. It’s smooth, the espresso doesn’t taste burnt nor watered down and it mixes perfectly with the cold foam. This would earn my 5/5, but I think this drink can easily be upgraded half a point by asking the barista to add caramel drizzle on top. Also, because I’m endlessly hopeful and happy when it comes to coffee, there has to be something out there that can beat even my favorite comfort drink. I am now crying not because I am yawning, but because I really want a salted caramel cream cold brew. 


2. Starbucks Medium Roast, 2% Milk, Two Pumps Caramel Syrup: 3.5/5


One half of the Panorama-managing-EIC-dynamic-duo Rhea Patney told me this week about her quest to make cold brew cheaper by ordering an Irish Cream Cold Brew and taking everything good in it out. Inspired, I wanted to see if I could get myself a caramel coffee for cheaper than my go-to order. Doing this wasn’t the best tasting coffee ever. The coffee itself was satisfactory but not mind-blowingly amazing, the caramel flavor was “just okay”… but the dollar-plus I saved tasted sweeter than any salted caramel cold foam one could buy. I added points simply because the caffeine content was so high––I didn’t even need my little (three hour) afternoon nap, which I’m totally okay with for sure because my friend (questionable if I still consider them one now) called me multiple times waking me up from the nap I was attempting to take, panicked that we switched laptops when really, we did not and he is just incapable of reading either of our names but again, totally fine all thanks to this very caffeinated coffee, not at all mad. But I’m getting off topic. This coffee is a solid option, great on a cold day, better for saving a dollar here and there and beyond perfect for a caffeine boost. But it’s not exactly caramel paradise or a culinary experience.


3. Alani Nu – Tropsicle: -52/5


Don’t drink this. It tastes like battery acid mixed with tropical cough syrup mixed with too much carbonation. I think I cried while drinking this. My heart rate never dipped once from the dangerously-high rate this pushed it to, yet I still felt uncaffeinated emotionally. The can is really pretty, so I don’t blame you for buying it to carry around. I do blame you for opening said can and trying to drink whatever it is that’s in this thing.


4. Celsius – Kiwi: 3/5


Celsius is what Alani Nu wanted to be but couldn’t––trendy, cute, healthy and caffeinated. I’m suspicious of the real health benefits of Celsius, but the biotin in this has to do something for my receding hairline, so three out of five for that. The taste isn’t perfect by any means, but it’s reminiscent of carbonated green tea mixed with kiwi flavoring. When I drank this, I walked to English Lit absolutely bonkers. I was cheerful, gleeful, happy and positively FILLED with positivity. My chest didn’t feel weird, but my emotional state certainly did. I couldn’t stop smiling. I think I giggled. If everyone drank Celsius, maybe we would have an extremely productive world, and possibly world peace too. Everyone would be nicer for sure. If you need something refreshing and a good, healthy dose of caffeine that wakes you up––and possibly makes you alarmingly optimistic––I’d recommend a Celsius. I, personally, am in Spanish Lit wishing I had one right now for the taste (also, I think I could stand to feel optimistic and kinder towards some of the people in this class right now.)