Cheaper and Tastier Substitutes for Starbucks


Nicole Ruopp

Starbucks is the go-to coffee and tea stop for most because of the popular and well-known drinks. But when one steps up to the cash register to pay, they may realize that they are ordering a basic beverage for a high price. There are plenty of tasty and cheap drinks out there in Katy; one just needs to know where to look.

One of the most popular drinks at Starbucks is the iconic Caramel Frappuccino, but the smallest size costs almost $5. At First Cup Cafe, though it isn’t exactly a frappuccino, an Iced Latte is $3.25 for a 12 oz drink. The iced latte has a different flavor than a Starbucks Frappuccino, but for a cheaper price this iced drink is a win. The benefits of trading Starbucks for First Cup is not only the drinks or the prices, but the location and experience. First Cup Cafe is located by Cross Creek, in Fulshear; 15 minutes from school. For students who want to sit, drink coffee and do homework, First Cup Cafe has bar stools and a counter with plugs for a computer.

A favorite tea at Starbucks is the Passion Fruit Tea. Leafology, a new tea place in Cinco Ranch, specializes in tea. If what one craves on a cold winter day is some hot tea inside of a modern hipster restaurant, go visit Leafology. Cold teas are also popular there on hot, summer days. Leafology has over 20 teas, over ten slushy fresh fruit blends and 15 fizzy fruit drinks. Leafology has a fantastic and tasty blend of every fruit one could think of, whether it is bubbly, a classic cold or hot tea or a fruit smoothie.

What the other coffee and tea places usually lack, `that Starbucks has an abundance of, is seasonal drinks. Small shops tend to stay consistent with their menu while a huge corporate business like Starbucks has the power to experiment with different holiday drinks such as the Peppermint Mocha or the Pumpkin Spice Mocha.

McDonald’s menu now has an abundance of specialty drinks that are competing at the same level that Starbucks is. Mcdonald’s has Mochas both cold and hot, Frappuccinos, Latte’s and of course regular iced coffees and an original hot coffee. McDonald’s now even has specialty coffees. For a limited time, only they have a holiday themed Peppermint mocha. McDonald’s is staying consistent in their appeal as a place with low prices as a caramel frappuccino is between $2 and $4, depending on toppings and the size of the drink.

Katy is also home to Sertinos Cafe, a coffee house that has over 30 different types of coffees, cold and hot. The most unique aspect of this cafe is that it’s menu consists of many coffees that originate from different countries. There are Peruvian, Colombian, Costa Rican, Guatemalan and more. Sertinos also has cold coffees such as mochas, cappuccinos and lattes. It is located on Westheimer and Greenbusch in Katy and if students want a comfy place to sit and drink coffee, this is the place to go.