The battle of campus coffee: Costa vs Starbucks

There’s literally nowhere else

better campus coffee costa hate love starbucks worse

When you want to escape the library, there’s nowhere better than an on-campus café to drown your sorrows in coffee and cake.

But in that desperate moment of need, do you go to Costa or Starbucks? Is one really better than the other?

Which is best?


Second year Law student Christina says she prefers cold drinks from Costa over Starbucks, but for third year English student Lily, it’s definitely “frappuccinos all day every day”.

As for the hot drinks, Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte is possibly the single best thing about autumn, but can this be beaten by Costa’s hot chocolate and the year-round Gingerbread Latte? Third year Geography student Bethan thinks so: “For me, Costa’s hot chocolate wins every time.”

Costa – 1 Starbucks – 0

Best drink ever, but not enough for it to win


Price-wise the two are similar, although Starbucks charges an extortionate £3.25 for their Pumpkin Spice Latte – although we reckon it’s worth every penny. Costa has one up on Starbs though, as it gives you the chance to collect points on your coffee card, easing some of the guilt of spending most of your student loan on coffee.

Costa – 2  Starbucks – 0

Christmas range

Costa offers a more extensive range but that being said, Starbucks have just brought out their hot mulled fruit drinks in grape and apple flavour. The Tab went to test them out and, quite simply, they’re Christmas in a cup – Starbucks are onto a winner there.

But the Costa Christmas cups do become quite a spectacle on campus over Christmas. Third year student Emily says “they are the perfect winter accessory”.

Costa – 3 Starbucks – 0

Love a bit of Costa?


Whether you forgot to pack your lunch, you’re on meal plan, or just fancy a treat, Costa and Starbucks offer a range of tasty snacks to feast on. Two third years, Gina and Bethan, agree “Costa’s chocolate tiffin is the one”. While Starbucks’ toastie selection is not quite as ambitious, their delicious savoury croissants make up for that.

But as variety is the spice of life, we have to award this one to Costa.

Costa – 4  Starbucks – 0


Between 12 and three, a “quick coffee” is impossible. Costa at University Square is the worst for lunchtime queues due to its central position on campus, and although Starbucks also draws in quite the crowd at peak times, you’re never left waiting as long for your latte.

They give you speedy service

Costa – 4  Starbucks – 1

What if you don’t like coffee?

For the non-coffee lovers out there, Costa seems to be the most popular choice. Third year student Rachel said Costa offers “nicer alternatives to coffee like the fruit coolers”, but Law student Cait said: “Anyone who chooses Costa needs to re-evaluate their life. This is based on the hot chocolates though.”

Way too good

Sorry Costa, this one is going to Starbucks.

Costa – 4  Starbucks – 2

Who’s the winner?

While most of us would happily drink both all day, Costa has emerged victorious, winning with an impressive 4-2.

Sorry Starbucks – you do offer some irreplaceable favourites, but it seems Costa has more loyal fans, especially in the lead up to the highly anticipated Costa Christmas season. Bring on the sticky toffee lattes.