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  • Writer's pictureNATALIE WEBER '17

Coffee: The Cold, Hot Truth

With around 180 million cups being consumed every morning, coffee is America’s favorite drug. In fact, 54% of Americans age 18 or older drink coffee every day. This made me think. How much coffee does an SUA student consume in one school year? And what is the monetary equivalent?

Common side effects of coffee include:

  1. Anxiety and addiction

  2. Headaches during withdrawal

  3. Increased blood pressure

  4. Reduced control of motor movements

  5. Irregular sleep patterns

  6. Yellowed teeth

  7. Heartburn

Drinking coffee in moderation is completely acceptable, healthy even. But it seems like moderation is not a skill that SUA girls have mastered. The question must be asked- What is the average amount of coffee an Ursula girl consumes in one school year? To answer this question I interviewed the most avid coffee drinkers in each grade.

Junior Lauren Pagano can be seen running frantically through the halls of Saint Ursula Academy with a large plastic Dunkin Donuts cup in hand. She is among one of the most apparent coffee addicts in the class of 2017. I decided to have a chat with a Lauren at Panera and investigate further.

The interview:

The Light: What do you usually order from your preferred coffee destination?

Pagano: Well my favorite coffee destination would have to be Dunkin’ Donuts. There is one on Glenway, which is on my way to school. This temptation is extremely difficult to pass up most mornings, so I frequently give in. Most school mornings I get 1 large caramel iced coffee, no cream and no sugar.

The Light: How many times a week would you say you buy a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee? Pagano: Hmmm that’s a tough one. The amount I go to Dunkin’ is a bit excessive. I would say I get a coffee roughly 4 times a week. Some weeks its 5, particularly exam week, and some weeks it’s 3. But I would say the average is 4.

The Light: How much would you say that you spend on Dunkin Donuts a school year? Pagano: I would roughly estimate that I spend $300 on DD per school year.

Lauren Pagano drinks 1 large caramel ice coffee, no cream and no sugar 4 times a week. Each drink costs $2.82. If Lauren drinks this 4 times a week as she stated that would add to be $406.08 every school year on coffee alone. This is not too far off from her guess.

Next I began my search for a sophomore to interview. I was struggling in my quest so I decided t ask a friend, sophomore Katie Denoyer, who the most avid coffee drinker is in the class of ‘18. She replied within a matter of seconds, “Laura Wiedemann.”

I asked Laura the same questions and her answers greatly varied from Lauren's.

“Normally I order a grande Vanilla latte from Starbucks, but this only happens about once a week. I typically make my coffee at home in my Keurig with vanilla creamer added. I drink 3 of these homemade cups per day. And I probably spend about $75 on Starbucks every school year, maybe more. Also, my family normally buys the Keurig cups at Sam's Club in huge packages so it is not as expensive.

Lauren Wiedemann drinks a grande Vanilla Latte once a week from Starbucks. Then, on top of that, she drinks an average of 3 cups of vanilla Keurig coffee per day. Her school year cost for Starbucks is $106.20. One large bag of Olgers Gourment Selections Coffee, Lively Colombian (80 K-Cups) is $40.98. This is the equivalent to $0.51 per individual cup of coffee Laura would make. In one school year, with three of these Keurig coffee's being drank per day, she spends $275.40. Her grand total is $381.60.

Next, I continued my interview with Freshman Taylor Danko. Taylor, just like her sister Austin Danko (‘17) can be frequently seen with a white Starbucks cup in hand.

“I usually order a venti nonfat, no whip, white chocolate mocha. I would say I get Starbucks on average of 4 times every school week. And if I had to put a number on it, I would say I spend around $900 a year on coffee, give or take a hundred dollars.”

Taylor Danko drinks 1 venti nonfat no whip white chocolate mocha 4 times a week. Each costs $4.65. Her school year total would be a whopping $669.60 a year on coffee. Not quite as high as the $900 Taylor had expected, but still extremely high. For this cost one could go on an 11 night cruise to the Caribbean. This doesn’t even include the cost of her sister, Austin’s coffee. Combined they spend close to $2000.000.

Lastly, I interviewed senior Hallie Atwell to get her feedback. “Honestly, I was not an avid coffee until junior year. Once my harder classes began, I really needed that extra morning boost. On average I go to Starbucks three times a week and order a Venti iced caramel macchiato. And if I were to guess, I would say that I spend roughly $350 a school year at Starbucks.”

Hallie Atwell drinks 3 venti caramel macchiatos a week with each costing $4.75. Her school year total would be $513 even.

All in all, coffee has proved itself to be addictively delicious. It’s easy to spend hundreds, even thousands, on coffee a year without even realizing it. If you want to make your wallet happier, switch your daily Starbucks vists to weekly ones.

To find out how much you spend on coffee in one year go to

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