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Starbucks vs Peet’s vs Peet’s: A Review of UNCC’s Premier Coffee Shops


If you ask a complete stranger what UNC Charlotte is best known for, they’ll always tell you the same two things: the first being how classy and sophisticated all the students are, and the second being the unmatched variety of coffee shops that there are on campus. Since there are so many of these coffee shops around campus, an indecisive student such as yourself may wonder which of these caffeinated beverage dispensaries best suits your needs. Here to help you decide which coffee shop deserves your money, The Black Sheep took to campus to put our money where our mouth is to produce some trustworthy reviews (ranked in no particular order):


Starbucks  The Student Union:
Starbucks, otherwise known as “The White Girl’s Stomping Grounds,” is a semi-well known coffee shop chain that offers customers the experience of what it would be like to try and order coffee from disaster relief tent. Upon entering this coffee shop, it seemed to be customary to speak as loud and obnoxiously as possible to ensure that there is enough distraction for the barista to get someone’s order wrong. This appeared to be accomplished by calling a companion on a cellphone and talking to them loudly on speakerphone while you wait. 


Once you have finally been granted the privilege of ordering, you have a seemingly endless selection of hot or cold beverages to choose from, mostly consisting of coffees and teas that have the most delectably underwhelming flavors. On this particular visit we tried a caramel Frappuccino. It was a bit dense, but overall had a satisfying and rich flavor. To any readers who are unfamiliar with what a “Frappuccino” is, it is an Italian word that means “chunky milkshake.” You can’t get delicious drinks and treats like the ones at Starbucks anywhere else. This coffee shop is for student who wants to spend all their DB in the first half of the semester. 


But what makes it so special?
Going to Starbucks means bringing at least three companions to wait on a drink with you and consistently keep the line going out of the door (in addition to, NOT in place of, talking on the phone). Consumers play an active role in keeping the atmosphere as loud and unapproachable as possible. This is supplemented physically by your choice of three barstools to sit at while you wait.


Peet’s Coffee and Tea  The Fretwell Building:
Known mostly by the protective liberal arts hipsters as the “Fretwell Café” and to the commoners as a Peet’s Coffee and Tea shop located on the ground floor of Fretwell, this location offers an entirely different vibe than any other coffee place on campus. They switch up the loud and talkative setting to a much quieter and reserved one. Nobody really has time to say anything, seeing as the baristas rush through orders as quickly as they can manage. Peet’s offers a smaller selection of coffees and teas that bring all sorts of underwhelming flavors of their own. On this visit, we tried their “famous” cold brew. It tasted like liquid garbage with a hint of vanilla. This coffee shop is for the student on the go who doesn’t care what their coffee or tea tastes like, as long as it’s fast and without interaction.


But what makes it so special?:
If you go a reasonable time before a class change (say 10 minutes), the Fretwell baristas will put forward a great deal of time to make your beverages without any extra quality! In this case, you get to watch the baristas chat to one another and idle before preparing your coffee exactly five minutes into the next class period. The adrenaline and frustration pair really nicely with the subpar caffeine you’re about to consume.


Peet’s Coffee and Tea — Atkins Library:

What’s that you say? We’ve already done this one? That’s nonsense! This is an entirely different coffee house. It even has a banner out front that clearly states: “Unlike any coffee you’ve ever tasted before.” This place is totally different from the rest. They may have the same name, sticky floors, and baristas that give you the hundred yard stare as the one in Fretwell and Starbucks, but trust us, this one is way different. Plus they have computers available to customers, so you don’t have to bring your own to pretend to look like you’re being productive. This coffee shop is for the student who wants to walk all the way through the library to get something to drink.    


But what makes it so special?:
Peet’s coffee here doesn’t taste like the barista put her cigarette out in it.



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