28 March 2016

High Street Coffee Foodstuff Fight (Greggs vs Costa vs Starbucks)

The lovely folks at Greggs asked if I wanted to try out their coffee and see how it compares to their rivals. They wanted a fair review and comparison. This meant I had to go and get caffeinated, and had Lattes from Greggs, Costa and Starbucks.
I do like Lattes and often have them a treat at the weekend, so I thought it would interesting to do this direct comparison.

First up I went to Costa and ordered a “medium” Latte. I know size varies, but I thought I’d ask for medium and just see what I got. The coffee was made freshly in front of me, with a fresh espresso being stacked into the machine. I noticed that the lady who went on to make it used the heated milk from the previous customer without re-heating it for me. Consequentially my Latte was not hot. I asked for take-out which I think needs special consideration for temperature, if any drink should be hot it is this, the customer intends to walk somewhere with it. A warm latte is such a disappointing thing and I have to say it isn’t the first time this has happened to me in Costa.
On a more pleasant note the drink had a nice flavour, it was very smooth and creamy and quite mild in terms of the coffee. I’d have preferred a stronger flavour, but the coffee was fresh. The takeout cup was good, it was deeply coloured, and had corrugated wrinkles to keep the heat. To be honest the drink needed all the help it could get with this.

Cost for a medium: £2.55 2 / 5
Temperature: Warm 1 / 5
Taste: Mild 4 / 5
Fresh: 5 / 5
Smell: 3 / 5
Aesthetics: 4 / 5

Next up I went to Starbucks, and ordered a medium Latte and waited for my drink. As I was standing in line I noticed that the tables weren’t cleared and that people sitting down had stacked up mugs and plates on the one remaining empty table. It is such a simple thing to keep the tables clean and it makes the experience when it comes to having a drink out on a Saturday afternoon.
The drink came quickly enough and felt nice and hot. Again it was made with a fresh espresso and in a traditional machine, the milk being heated separately, but this time it was good and hot.
The paper cup wasn’t corrugated, so it actually had the opposite problem to Costa’s, it was hot to handle. The cup was just thin card but had the Starbucks logo on it.
I very much enjoyed the drink. The coffee was stronger, and the milk made the drink smooth, so again a very good Latte.

Cost for a medium: £2.60 1 / 5
Temperature: Hot 5 / 5
Taste: Rich 5 / 5
Fresh: 5 / 5
Smell: 3 / 5
Aesthetics: 2 / 5

Greggs was up next. When I saw the prices of Lattes I opted for a large, but have noted the price below for a medium, it is significantly cheaper than the other two shops. My latte was made in a machine, which seemed to add the milk itself via the button. The coffee is fresh though as there was a sign saying it used fresh coffee.
The cup it came in was just thin card, with the logo neatly on it, and the coffee (and therefore cup) was good and hot. The flavour was good, the coffee was strong and the milk plentiful. I think the coffee was of good quality but the hot milk aspect wasn’t quite as frothy as in the other drinks. It was a good Latte though, and the coffee did stand up to its competitors.

Cost for a medium: £1.75 4 / 5 (I went for a large as it was only £2)
Temperature: Hot 5 / 5
Taste: Flavoursome 4 / 5
Fresh: 4 / 5
Smell: 3 / 5
Aesthetics: 2 / 5

On a side note I was asked to rate the drink on aroma too, which as you can see I have done. I think with Lattes their aroma isn’t very strong and as such none of the drinks received high points. I think it is a Latte thing, I’m guessing Espresso or Americanos would have a far more aromatic smell.

So the winner then was Greggs. I think this stems from the fact that the drinks were all quite similar in taste, there wasn’t much in it at all. Don’t get me wrong I think I’ve learnt to ask for ‘extra hot’ in Costa, but taste wise it was all good. The major difference was price, and these days when we are all watching the pennies it is a significant factor.
By Cinabar

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