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Which Coffee is Stronger Costa or Starbucks?

costa vs starbucks

Coffee isn’t just a beverage, it’s an experience, a culture, and for some, a way of life. From the rich aroma that fills the air to the bold flavors that awaken our senses, coffee is a cherished daily ritual. But the question is, which coffee is stronger – Costa or Starbucks?

The strength of coffee depends on various factors such as the type of beans, roast level, brewing technique, and serving size. In this article, we’ll explore the strength, popularity, and the distinctive factors that set Costa Coffee and Starbucks apart.

Costa vs. Starbucks: Which Coffee is Stronger?

Both Costa and Starbucks serve a variety of coffee drinks, from classic espressos and lattes to signature creations. It’s hard to say definitively which one is stronger as it largely depends on the specific drink and how it’s prepared.

STARBUCKS House Blend, Medium Roast, Ground Coffee 200g
STARBUCKS House Blend, Medium Roast, Ground Coffee 200g

STARBUCKS offers a ground coffee enriched with toffee notes, perfectly balancing aroma, body, and flavours of nuts and cocoa. Brewed from fine Latin American beans roasted to a dark chestnut shade, this Medium Roast coffee promises a smooth experience. Enjoy the beloved STARBUCKS taste at home, and support their commitment to 100% ethical coffee sourcing in collaboration with Conservation International.

However, if we compare a standard espresso from both chains, the caffeine content is typically higher in Starbucks’ espresso. A shot of espresso from Starbucks typically contains around 75mg of caffeine, compared to approximately 65mg in a Costa espresso. This difference can mainly be attributed to the type of beans, their origin, and the roasting process.

“Coffee is the best thing to douse the sunrise with.” – Drew Sirtors

In the UK, Costa Coffee holds the crown in terms of the number of stores and market share. As of 2022, Costa had more than 2,400 outlets across the UK, while Starbucks had around 1,000.

Popularity by the Numbers

BrandNumber of Outlets (UK)
Costa Coffee2,400+

How is Costa Coffee Different from Starbucks?

Costa Coffee and Starbucks have distinct approaches to their coffee, branding, and overall customer experience.

Tassimo Costa Latte Coffee Pods
Tassimo Costa Latte Coffee Pods

Enjoy a perfect Costa Latte at home with TASSIMO, topped with silky milk foam. Use two pods to craft your latte: first the milk pod, followed by the espresso pod. TASSIMO offers a vast range of brews, from creamy lattes to intense espressos, all brewed perfectly with a touch of a button. TASSIMO’s commitment to quality ensures consistency in every cup, from bean to brew, with INTELLIBREW BARCODE TECHNOLOGY ensuring precision in brewing every single time.


Costa Coffee uses a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans for their espresso, resulting in a strong and rich flavor profile. Starbucks, on the other hand, primarily uses Arabica beans which gives their coffee a smoother taste.

Brand Philosophy

While Starbucks focuses on providing a consistent experience across all its outlets, Costa tends to be more localized, adjusting its offerings to cater to local tastes and preferences.

Food Offerings

Costa’s food menu is tailored more towards British tastes, with items like sausage rolls and Victoria sponge cake, while Starbucks’ menu reflects more American preferences.

Why Do People Love Costa Coffee?

Costa Coffee has built its reputation on its commitment to the craft of coffee making and providing a comfortable, local coffee shop experience.

A Taste of Home

With its wide range of British food offerings and homely atmosphere, Costa provides a sense of familiarity and comfort that resonates with its customers.

Quality Coffee

Costa prides itself on its Mocha Italia blend – a combination of Arabica and Robusta beans, giving their coffee a distinctive flavor that is both strong and smooth.

Community Engagement

Costa often engages with local communities through various initiatives and sponsorships, further cementing its position as the neighbourhood’s favourite coffee shop.

Conclusion: The Choice is Yours

The choice between Costa and Starbucks ultimately boils down to personal preference. If you prefer a stronger, bolder coffee with a more international atmosphere, you might lean towards Starbucks. Conversely, if you enjoy a smoother, richly flavored coffee and a homely environment with a British touch, Costa Coffee might be your cup of tea – or coffee, in this case.

“Coffee is a hug in a mug.”

Despite their differences, both Costa Coffee and Starbucks share a common mission – to serve high-quality coffee while providing a pleasant and convenient experience for their customers. In the end, the ‘best’ choice is purely subjective and might require a fair bit of caffeine-fueled exploration.

So, next time you find yourself pondering over Costa or Starbucks, remember that whether it’s a caffeine jolt you’re after or a cozy corner to unwind in, both coffee chains have plenty to offer. It’s not just about the coffee, but the experience that comes with it. After all, each coffee journey is unique, just like every coffee bean.

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