As a hard-working, tired, and procrastinating student, I run on coffee. It is what supports me throughout my day and gives me my energy. That being said, I try a lot of coffee, seeking to find the best of the best.
I went out and tried seven different coffees while hunting for the best coffee near my home town of Channahon, as we have no coffee shops. Five of those were actual coffee shops or chains, and the other two were at-home coffees.
I tried coffee at Dunkin Donuts, Kafe De Kasa, Home Cut Donuts, Alpine, and Krema Coffee House. At home, I tried the Dunkin Donuts K-Cups and the Starbucks mocha coffee bottles.
My favorite out of all of these options was by far the Starbucks mocha coffee bottles. They’re quite affordable if you buy the large cases of 12 rather than the small packs of four, which I pick up at the Jewel-Osco one town over in Minooka. They are recyclable glass bottles, too, which is a major plus. The only downside to these bottles is that they are small and quickly finish off. I can drink three to four of these bottles in a day. Overall, the Starbucks mocha coffee bottles get an 8/10 for being recyclable, tasty, affordable, and easily accessible, but for also being too small.
Krema Coffee House was a solid coffee too. I ordered a cold brew with cream and sugar and a shot of mocha and a shot of caramel. They didn’t have iced coffee on their menu, which is my go-to drink, but they were very nice and offered me a cold brew, even though it wasn’t on the menu. They’re located in downtown Plainfield, which is a bit of a drive for me, but it was worth it. Because they are in downtown Plainfield, they do not have a drive-thru. It was a good price, coming out at about $11.00 for two medium coffees. Their cups and straws were both recyclable, as well, which was super helpful. Krema Coffee House gets a 9/10 for being delicious, nice, considerate, and helpful, but for being too far.
Alpine Coffee Bar has decent coffee but is in Morris so it is a little far as well. The overall atmosphere of the shop was amazing, and all the employees were very nice. I ordered a medium mocha iced coffee with cream and sugar. Their mocha syrup did not mix in too well with the coffee base, which was a little odd and resulted in a really chocolatey taste because my straw was stuck in the syrup at the bottom of the cup. However, it was $11.00 for three medium drinks, which is great. Their cups and straws are recyclable, too, meaning they get extra points. All in all, Alpine Coffee Bar gets a 5/10 because they have too chocolate-y of a mocha coffee.
Home Cut Donuts is a staple in Joliet and will forever be a love of mine. My brother, who came with me to get a donut, agreed with me that their donuts are amazing. Their coffee, however, was basic. I got a normal coffee with cream and sugar, and I had to wait the whole drive home to drink the coffee because it was too hot, which upset me. In the end, Home Cut Donuts gets a 7/10 because their coffee was really good, as were their donuts, but I do not like hot coffee, so they had to be knocked down a few points.
The Dunkin Donuts K-Cups are my least favorite type of coffee. We pick our K-Cups up at the Walmart in Morris, so they are pretty easy to come by. This coffee, though, is what started my coffee addiction as it was the only coffee in the house when I started drinking coffee. I usually make a normal cup of coffee and add milk and sugar. The cups themselves are recyclable, which is amazing, but the coffee grounds inside the cups obviously are not recyclable, meaning I have to dump out the coffee grounds and wash the cup every time I make coffee. Also, as I stated before, hot coffee is not my favorite. The Dunkin Donuts K-Cups get a 4/10 for being easily accessible, easy to make, and semi-tasty, but also for being a hassle to recycle and for being hot coffee.
Kafe De Kasa, which is a family-owned coffee shop next to some bookstores up in Joliet that was recommended to me by one of my coffee-loving friends, has some pretty good coffee. I ordered, just like always, a mocha iced coffee with cream and sugar. The coffee, which cost about $13.00 for a medium and a small, tasted really good with the first sip. However, the ice melted and made the coffee taste super unappealing, which usually doesn’t happen to me. Kafe De Kasa gets a 6/10 for being family-owned, having good coffee, and being near book shops, but also for being far away.
Last but not least is Dunkin Donuts itself. Dunkin Donuts is affordable only if you want to drink coffee one day a week and struggle without coffee every other day of the week. However, their coffee never fails. I order either a Charli or a mocha iced coffee with cream and sugar. I like Dunkin Donuts’s coffee because it stays good overnight when I put it in the fridge, and it tastes the same the next day. I have yet to find the perfect order for me because my mocha iced coffee always seems too sweet, and the Charli never seems sweet enough. Dunkin Donuts, though, is not a favorite of mine because I try to support more family-owned businesses rather than big chains. Dunkin gets a 6/10 for good coffee and a close distance, but also because they are a giant chain.
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