Starbucks Prices Increase, but Columbia Drinkers Still Have Their Preferences

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COLUMBIA - Starbucks raised its prices by one percent Tuesday for the first time in two years. The increase affects lattes and brewed coffees, but some coffee drinkers are getting smart.

Starbucks drinker Drasha Simpson said she has been coming to Starbucks for the past four months while she studies for a physical training exam. She already knew the drinks were expensive, so she thought about ways to cheapen her drinks.

"I started looking for ways to tweak my drink and make it a little cheaper," Simpson said. "I get the Americano because I used to add espresso shots to my drinks and I found out the Americano has refills and it's a lot cheaper."

Simpson says she brings a small bottle of COFFEE-MATE® with her.

"This type of bottle will last a very long time versus just getting pumps and paying per day for each cup of coffee," Simpson said.

Coffee Zone drinker David Dollens said he prefers Coffee Zone's cheaper drinks.

"I'm worried about the price going up," Dollens said.

One Starbucks worker said the price increase affected the tall cup of coffee the most, which holds 12 oz. Here's a look at the prices for 12 oz. drinks across Columbia:



  • Starbucks- $1.75 for a tall brewed coffee, $3.15 for lattes 
  • Kaldi's- $2.25 for brewed, $3.50 for lattes
  • Dunn's Bros- $1.75 for brewed, $3.40 for lattes (chai latte costs $3.20) 
  • Coffee Zone- $1.40 for brewed ($3.75 for bottomless), $3.00 for lattes 
  • Lakota Coffee- $1.50 for brewed, $3.35 for regular latte


The cheapest cup of coffee is Coffee Zone, but Lakota is only 10 cents behind. The most expensive is Kaldi's, which is 55 cents more than Starbucks and Dunn's Bros, 85 cents more than Coffee Zone, and 75 cents more than Lakota.

For Simpson, she will continue drinking her coffee at Starbucks.

"I just really like the taste of Starbucks," Simpson said. "I haven't looked anywhere else."