Need a caffeine pick-up but can’t stand the taste of coffee? Try one of these drinks

During the fifth annual Ky-Tn Latte Art Throwdown, judges decide which contestant’s latte art will go to the next round in the competition. The lattes were judged based on the difficulty of pour, contrast, symmetry, aesthetic beauty and color infusion. The event was held on Thursday at Spencer’s Coffee.

Julie Sisler

We all need caffeine. The amount of college students which rely more heavily on coffee than sleep is astounding. But for those of us who don’t like the taste of coffee and aren’t keen on throwing back energy drinks every day, it can be a struggle to find options on campus that give us a kick of energy without a kick of bitter coffee taste. Here are my top (non-coffee-tasting) caffeinated drinks on campus.

  1. Salted caramel hot chocolate with a shot of espresso at Starbucks. The salted caramel hot chocolate is one of my favorite warm drinks and one I look forward to each fall. Starbucks’ hot chocolate alone isn’t a strong enough flavor to counter the strong espresso taste, but add some caramel and salt, and you’ve got a perfect fall flavor. The warm flavors mix together for a comforting treat that’s sure to warm and wake you up. 

  2. Vanilla Javalanche at Java City. This cool treat is like a coffee-infused milkshake, but the strong vanilla leaves you without a bitter aftertaste. If you’re feeling adventurous, mix things up with the caramel Javalanche! 

  3. Strawberry Acai Refresher at Starbucks. While this fruity drink doesn’t have coffee, its green tea is sure to give a refreshing kick. If strawberry acai doesn’t strike your fancy, try one of the multiple other refreshers Starbucks has on the menu. If you’re desiring something a little smoother, get the “Pink Drink,” which includes coconut milk! 

  4. Hot chocolate with a shot of espresso and two pumps of vanilla syrup at Java City. My sweet tooth loves a good hot chocolate, so adding a shot of caffeine to it makes it all the better! Similarly to the Starbucks hot chocolate, Java City’s isn’t quite strong enough to fully mask an espresso taste, but adding at least two pumps of syrup, such as vanilla, will mask the taste just enough. 

  5. Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte at Starbucks. It wouldn’t be a coffee-themed piece in the fall without a mention of the beloved pumpkin spice! While I’m not usually a fan of anything pumpkin flavored, I’m glad I took a chance on this festive drink. The pumpkin and chai balance each other out, and you can practically taste the falling leaves and spooky season vibes. 

Features reporter Julie Sisler can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Julie on social media at @julie_sisler.