Coffee Wars: Starbucks versus BCB Company

by Mackenzie Boss, Staff Columnist

With the need for caffeine appearing to be increasingly high for college students these days, it’s no surprise that SDSU has so many on-campus sources for coffee.

But which coffee place ranks the best overall: Starbucks or BCB (Big City Bagels)?

SDSU currently has two Starbucks locations on campus located in the student union and directly outside Storm Hall. SDSU also has one off-campus Starbucks on College Avenue, although it has recently been closed for construction.

The new Starbucks, just a few years old, located in the student union is the largest store in California, measuring at 2,200 square feet.

BCB Coffee Cart has five kiosks on campus including Peterson Gym, Campanile Walkway, extended studies, business and inside the Love Library 24/7 section. BCB also has a location in Hillcrest, San Diego and at the San Diego airport.

The ongoing battle between Starbucks and BCB Coffee Cart has been fueled by student opinion, as every student has their own preference as to what their go-to coffee spot on campus is.

However, when I asked various students which on-campus coffee spot they preferred, they all answered Starbucks.

Junior Maria Marin said she preferred Starbucks and admitted that she was not familiar with BCB.

As Starbucks is such a large corporation, it certainly has more name recognition and the familiar branding allows it to stir up more business than BCB.

Looking at location alone, BCB ranks above Starbucks as it has more carts on campus.

Personally, I prefer Starbucks because overall it has a better ambiance as there is a wide variety of seating inside and it makes for a great coffee spot. I love being able to use my Starbucks phone application and earn stars to receive a free drink reward every 12 drinks. Also, the drinks at Starbucks are familiar to many students.

BCB coffee carts (besides the Love Library location) are all located outside so they do not have inside seating. However, the locations do have outside seating available surrounding the cart.

Throughout my time at SDSU multiple students have said that BCB has better coffee than Starbucks does.

Starbucks and BCB both offer food options, however Starbucks seems to offer more variety. Starbucks has anything from bistro boxes, to breakfast sandwiches, pastries and more. BCB has bagels, sandwiches and other various snack-type items.

While the pricing varies a little between the two, it is not enough to sway opinions one way or another.

One downside to Starbucks is the long lines which are sometimes wrapped all the way around the door. However, Starbucks is always staffed heavily which helps move the line along in an efficient manner.

BCB lines are typically not as long as the lines at Starbucks, but each cart has less staff than Starbucks does. Both coffee locations seem to be efficient in moving the lines through quickly.

Regardless of which on campus coffee location you prefer, I think something that everyone can agree on is that coffee is crucial when trying to survive college.