Editor's Note: In honor of National Coffee Day, we're re-posting this blog from earlier this year by a high school intern. Happy caffeinating. 

We’re a quarter of the way through 2015. Are you keeping up with your New Year’s resolutions? According to The Top Tens website, some popular goals include reading more books, exercising more frequently, saving money and eating healthier. Because of their popularity, I decided to look into a way to eat healthier and save money.

Many of us aren't fully functioning until we've had a good cup of coffee in the morning. If you’re like me, you rarely have time to make a pot at home in the morning. It’s easier to make a quick stop at a coffee shop where someone can make a specialty drink in a couple of minutes. Unfortunately, a few weeks of coffee stops puts quite the hole in your wallet and an unwanted pound or two on the scale.

Fear not, coffee lovers, there is a solution.

I recently conducted an experiment with the help of some peers and a school adviser. We traveled to several popular coffee shops in the Twin Falls area to find a solution. We started at Tianna’s Coffee House in Kimberly and ended five coffee shops later at Twin Beans Coffee on Blue Lakes Boulevard in Twin Falls. We were on the search for an inexpensive, less-fattening drink that still had the flavor that our taste buds crave.

At each stop we tested a 12-ounce fat-free vanilla latte with two shots of espresso. Our four other stops: Java, Moxie Java Tuscany, Starbucks and Java Express. Each drink was judged by its flavor, heat and strength. Each shop gave us great results, and the final decision was difficult to come by. After careful judgments, my taste team and I arrived at our conclusion:

The best place to get a fat-free vanilla latte in Twin Falls is Java on Blue Lakes. In addition to the drink’s great flavor and aroma, it was also fairly inexpensive at $3.45. This drink placed highest on our list because we were overwhelmed by its pleasant smell. Not only did the latte smell terrific, but its flavor made us shiver in delight. It’s important for the drink to maintain a strong coffee taste but not so overpowering that you can’t appreciate the other flavors. Java’s fat-free creation received an A+ in that department. The latte was sweet, but not too sweet, with a bold coffee flavor. When we took our first sips, the drink was not so hot that it burned us. It was at the perfect temperature so we could sip it immediately. The icing on the cake was the fact that we could not tell it was fat free.

Two of the locations we visited, Java Express and Tianna’s, were drive-throughs. At every shop, the baristas were extra cheery as well as helpful in figuring out the ultimate non-fat latte. Closely behind Java was Moxie Java Tuscany's latte. It fell short to Java’s creation only because it was a bit sweeter and very hot. Don’t get me wrong; sweet coffee has its place, but it seemed to overpower the espresso just a tad. Starbucks, Java Express and Twin Beans were very similar in taste, consistency and heat. All were good tasting for the most part besides a slight burnt or watery taste. Twin Beans and Tianna’s Coffee House placed last as the coffee was either very sweet or very watery. Cups of coffee can vary as there are several things baristas can do to change the flavor, so don’t just take my word for it; go try it out for yourself.

So there you have it: Tasty, inexpensive, fat-free coffee does exist. Next time you’re craving a coffee, let your New Year’s resolutions hold you back no longer. Now, you can stick with your goals while also satisfying your morning craving for a sweet caffeine fix. You got this!

Coffee Shop Price CommentsGrade 
Java$3.45Good, strong coffee taste. Perfect sweetness. Can't taste that it's fat-free. Perfect heat.5/5
Moxie Java Tuscany$3.66Tasty but pretty sweet. Definite espresso taste. Very hot.4/5
Starbucks$4.19 Sweet but tasted a bit like burnt espresso. Good heat.4/5
Java Express$3.60 

Great sweetness-to-bitterness ratio. Perfect mix of vanilla and espresso. Good heat.

Twin Beans $3.71

Very similar tasting to Starbucks but less sweet and a bit watery. Good heat. 

Tianna's Coffee House$3.38 

Good but weak tasting. Maybe a little too sweet and a tad watery. Pretty hot.


Editor's note: Taylan Beymer works at Moxie Java Tuscany.


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