The Clog’s power ranking of caffeinated beverages

Photo of a cup of coffee
Julius Schorzman/Creative Commons

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With school back in session, we need to prepare for late nights and deadlines. A self-proclaimed night owl, I wanted to rank the caffeine options we have for this upcoming year. Here are the drinks that will give you the ultimate jitters and energy to last you the entire day, from the early morning to the late night, as well as the ones that’ll give you the biggest crashes.

1. Cold brew

Variety: 5/5

Although at the beginning of the hype it was hard to find anything other than straight cold brew, now almost every coffee shop has its own version. Like regular coffee, cold brew can be customized to your liking, and shops are constantly coming out with new flavors. I love a vanilla sweet cream and have my eye on the new cinnamon cold brew at my local spot.

Energy: 5/5

Nothing gives me the jitters like cold brew does. I know that if I want to get that morning energy boost quick or stay awake during a nighttime cram session, I have to order myself a cold brew. No matter what I put in it, the power of the coffee kicks in almost instantly.

Longevity: 3/5

Cold brew can get you through a lot. I love starting my day with it so that I have that initial kick and the energy I need to keep me going. But beware … if you drink it too late, you will have trouble sleeping.

2. Red Bull

Variety: 5/5

Red Bull has almost any flavor you can name, from its signature flavor to every fruit flavor you could imagine. The variety is great, especially if you’re an avid energy drink drinker and you like to mix it up.

Energy: 4.5/5

I get my fair share of kicks and jitters from Red Bulls. The wide variety of flavor options means there’s something for every mood. The classic one usually does the trick enough for me.

Longevity: 3/5

After downing a Red Bull, I can last pretty much a whole school day or a few assignments, but I definitely feel sluggish toward the end of my energy boost. It also works great as a midday pick me up.

3. Yerba mate

Variety: 5/5

I was blind to the wide range of yerba mates until quite recently. There are the original flavors, along with options that are high energy, sparkling or sugar free. We love a good variety to keep us on our toes.

Energy: 4/5

Yerba mates make me feel pretty cool when I drink them. So maybe walking down Telegraph with that yellow can in itself makes me feel powerful. But I also feel the kick soon after I crack one open.

Longevity: 3/5

While most yerba mates taste bomb, I usually grab one on a less demanding day. They give me morning energy and a few hours of an extra boost, but with yerbas, I feel like I might need a bit extra later on.

4. Green tea

Variety: 3/5

Green tea in itself is a classic, and you don’t really mess with classics. Thus, I don’t find much variety in green teas, nor do I look for it. I’ll take one hot green tea, please.

Energy: 4/5

If there’s one thing about green tea, it’s that it really helps me focus. Something about it makes it easy for me to hone in on what I’m doing. While coffee and energy drinks can sometimes give me the jitters or make me feel like I’m bouncing all over the walls, green tea does the opposite while still providing me the energy I need to get things done.

Longevity: 1/5

The downside to green tea is that after I’m energized and focused, it starts to wear off. After that happens, I am immediately looking for my pillow. But this can also be a good thing if you’re studying late at night and don’t want your caffeine boost to last too long.

Happy fall semester! Stay caffeinated and good luck.

Contact Marissa Boling at [email protected].