speaks to Bwog on a spiritual level

speaks to Bwog on a spiritual level

We at Columbia gain a sense of community in part from our shared experience of two common problems:

  • Staying awake while studying
  • Surviving with money as broke college students in New York City

These objectives, when combined, can wreck any Columbia student’s wallet quickly if he/she doesn’t own a coffee machine. Energy drinks and coffee can add up, but don’t fret: Bwog is here for you.

We set out to investigate the following question: Where, excluding free offers, can one find the cheapest caffeine available in Morningside Heights?

We went to some of the better known caffeine sources around campus and the neighborhood to find out where caffeine is cheapest. We only checked for the largest sizes because we’re looking for the best deal possible. Here are our results:

Location Product Quantity (mL or mg) Caffeine (mg) Price Caffeine Concentration (mg/mL or mg/mg) Price/mg of caffeine
West Side Coffee 591.5 240 $1.75 0.406 $0.007
Alice’s (IAB) Coffee 473 192 $1.75 0.406 $0.009
Uris Coffee Shop Coffee 591.5 240 $2.30 0.406 $0.010
Starbucks Coffee 591.5 240 $2.35 0.406 $0.010
UNI Cafe Coffee 591.5 240 $2.50 0.406 $0.010
Oren’s Coffee 591.5 240 $2.60 0.406 $0.011
Butler Cafe Coffee 591.5 240 $2.70 0.406 $0.011
Nussbaum Coffee 591.5 240 $2.75 0.406 $0.011
Morton Illy Issimo 201 155 $2.59 0.771 $0.017
M2M Monster 591.5 140 $2.49 0.237 $0.018
Joe Coffee 591.5 240 $4.75 0.406 $0.020
Butler Cafe Awake 44 105 $2.99 2.386 $0.028
Morton Red Bull Can 591.5 189 $5.49 0.320 $0.029
West Side Red Bull Can 591.5 189 $5.49 0.320 $0.029
Milano Red Bull Can 591.5 189 $5.75 0.320 $0.030
Morton Red Bull 4-pack 993.7 240 $7.99 0.242 $0.033
West Side Red Bull 4-pack 993.7 240 $8.99 0.242 $0.037
Butler Cafe Red Bull 248.5 80 $3.30 0.322 $0.041
Milano Red Bull 4-pack 993.7 240 $11.99 0.242 $0.050

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  • Generally, go for coffee over energy drinks. It usually costs less than half what energy drinks cost per gram of caffeine, and is probably better for you anyways since they lack the sugar/taurine/crystal meth that’s typically in energy drinks.
  • The most expensive gram of caffeine on campus is a can of Red Bull at Butler Café, which costs nearly 8 times as much per gram of caffeine as our cheapest source, the coffee at West Side.
  • ButCaf’s Red Bull only loses to Milano’s, which for some reason sells its 4-packs of Red Bull at nearly twice the per-quantity price of a single can.
  • Joe is crazy expensive, at nearly twice the price of most other coffee sources in the area.
  • The only solid option we found, the Awake caffeinated chocolate sold at Butler Cafe, is about at the middle of our chart; it might be worth it if you want something tasty.
  • The Morton vs. West Side battle is inconclusive—for now.

However, if you’re worried enough about how much money you’re spending on caffeine that you’re calculating its unit cost to the thousandth-dollars, it might be time for you to get a coffee machine.

Bwog always get a solid eight hours of sleep via Shutterstock