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Stony Brook University hosts coffee sampling event to celebrate International Coffee Day

An SBU Eats worker ready to serve different coffee brews in the Students Activities Center for International Coffee Day. International Coffee Day was declared an official holiday in 2014 by the International Coffee Organization, and takes place on Oct. 1. STANLEY ZHENG/THE STATESMAN

Stony Brook University’s Faculty Student Association (FSA) celebrated International Coffee Day with its first-ever coffee sampling event on Sept. 29. International Coffee Day was declared an official holiday in 2014 by the International Coffee Organization, and takes place on Oct. 1.

Katrina Lovett, social media and communications manager at CulinArt, supervised the stand and displayed an assortment of tiny plastic cups — each containing one of two different types of coffee. The twist, however, was that students who were visiting the stand were not informed about whether Dunkin’ or Starbucks provided each type of blend. Instead, stand-goers had the opportunity to guess the origin of each blend through a survey offered by FSA on Google Forms, made available for mobile devices. 

At the red Stony Brook-themed stand, the coffee server offered customers a choice between the branded Liquid Energy or Morning Brew blends.

To kickstart my taste test, I first tried Liquid Energy, thinking that the coffee would invigorate my tired mind that recently left class and was still fighting morning grogginess. I assumed that the Liquid Energy was a variant distributed by Starbucks, having recalled similarly bitter tastes in black coffee drinks I’ve ordered from the chain previously. 

Upon indulgently sipping Morning Brew from the rounded cup, my presumption that the alternate blend of coffee was from the rivaling company, Dunkin’, had surfaced.

Over 250 coffee samples were distributed and nearly 50 students participated in the blind taste test. The results?

“78.2% of respondents favored Starbucks and 21.8% favored Dunkin’,” Angela Agnello, senior director of marketing and communications of FSA, said.

In addition to the taste test results, there was also a raffle held during the event. A Stony Brook student was randomly selected as a winner and won a Starbucks-themed gift basket.

While Dunkin’ holds 20 years of seniority over the establishment of its rivaling company, Starbucks claims more than half the coffee chain branches in the United States. Compared to Dunkin’, Starbucks owns over five times the amount of stores as Dunkin’ outside of the country. 

With a greater distribution of locations, Starbucks reels in an impressive global revenue that is 20 times greater than Dunkin’. Contrary to my original prediction, it seems that the favored Morning Brew blend may have been sold by Starbucks, after examining the publicized statistics of the lesser successes of competing brands. 

Now, the moment you have all been waiting for: which sample belonged to Starbucks and which belonged to Dunkin’? Morning Brew was a Starbucks blend whereas Liquid Energy was a coffee from Dunkin’. 

When asked which coffee offered the better taste, I thought that the Morning Brew selection was less bitter and carried a richer flavor compared to the Liquid Energy drink. I wasn’t alone in my preference; there was an overall consensus among my fellow coffee taste-testers that Morning Brew had a more delicate and nuanced flavor that warmed the soul, satisfying avid coffee drinkers such as myself. 

Through coffee taste tests and a raffle, International Coffee Day served as a celebration of the beloved beverage. Cheers to the magic of coffee, uniting us one cup at a time!

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