EC Eats: New On-Campus Starbucks

The inside scoop on how students like the change from Caribou to Starbucks

More stories from Samantha Geiger

Wonder Women
December 15, 2021

When Riverview Cafe doesn’t sound appealing, Midwest Meals prides itself on being a healthy alternative.

The Fall 2020 semester brings a lot more than just a global pandemic, but also a new on-campus Starbucks at UW-Eau Claire.

For those who don’t know or haven’t visited it yet, The Cabin is an on-campus coffee house that — up until this recent school year — served Caribou coffee. Over the Spring 2020 semester, Caribou turned into another fan favorite: Starbucks.

The baristas at the new on-campus Starbucks were unable to comment. 

“I do think they could improve,” Sarah Garibaldi, a third-year elementary education student, said. “I feel like some of the drinks are bland then what a regular store Starbucks would have.”

Garibaldi said she had a hot Pumpkin Spice Latte and wasn’t impressed with the flavor. Garibaldi said her Pumpkin Spice Latte was more hot milk than coffee, rather than a perfect mix of both.

Garibaldi said she preferred the Caribou over the new Starbucks, feeling disappointed about her Starbucks experience.

“It’s not horrible, but it could use some work,” Brittany Lenning, a third-year special education student, said. “I have had a semi-decent experience. They’ve had what I needed, but I’ve gone with friends and they were out of a lot of things and my friends weren’t able to get the drinks that they requested, which made it difficult.”

Lenning said the baristas in The Cabin could have used more training before the school year started so they were more prepared for when students were welcomed back onto campus since “starbucks drinks, to my knowledge, are harder to make than Caribou,” Lenning said. 

“They have a more limited menu than a regular Starbucks,” Lenning said. “But I like having the option of having both Starbucks and Caribou on campus.” 

“I think the drinks measure up to a normal Starbucks, but I do think they could expand their menu,” Dominic Draghicchio, fourth-year information systems student, said. 

Draghicchio said he had an iced Chai Tea Latte with an extra shot of espresso. He used the recurring word, “bland,” when describing the Starbucks drinks. He said he felt as though his drink was watered down and didn’t have the spice that a regular Chai Tea Latte would have. 

Draghicchio said he left the new Starbucks feeling “disappointed” about his experience. Like Garibaldi, Draghicchio said he preferred the Caribou over the new Starbucks.

The new Starbucks on campus still allows students to pay using their Blugold meal plan, as well as cash or a credit or debit card.

New on the menu for fall, Starbucks has everything pumpkin spice to conquer your craving. So, go order yourself a hot (or iced) Pumpkin Spice Latte before they go away.

Geiger can be reached at [email protected]