Here\u2019s an urgent, existential question to ponder: Is it faster to get Amazon\u2019s Alexa virtual assistant to kickstart your favorite Starbucks caffeine fix? Or is the Seattle coffee giant\u2019s mobile app still the way to go for a quick cup of joe?\nSince java diehards everywhere are awaiting the answer with bated coffee breath, here it is: The mobile app is faster. But Alexa is easier.\nLet\u2019s break it down.\nAlexa, I need coffee. And step on it. \u00a0\nFirst, the back story. Earlier this year, Alexa got a new Starbucks reordering skill. After initial set up (more on that in a second), those with an Alexa device can say \u201cAlexa, tell Starbucks to start my order,\u201d or a variation thereof, such as \u201cAlexa, ask Starbucks to order my coffee.\u201d\n[ Related: Amazon.com's Alexa now lets you order wings ]\nAlexa will then begin the process of ordering your preferred drink from your preferred Starbucks. Alexa repeats the order details, confirms the Starbucks location and the price, tells you the price, and asks if you want to place the order.\nTotal time to order: about 36 seconds. Effort involved: Practically none.\nSetting up your favorite Starbucks fix\nThere are prerequisites and setup required to get to this point, however. For starters, you\u2019ll need to open the Alexa mobile app and link your Starbucks account. You\u2019ll also need to have previously used mobile ordering via the Starbucks app. That\u2019s because you must designate a previously ordered drink as your Alexa favorite, as well as choose the Starbucks you want to make your drinks. The setup is also done via the Alexa mobile app, and you can change your favorites later in the app, too.\nOrdering via the Starbucks app\nPlacing a mobile order in the Starbucks app took me less time than via Alexa, about 27 seconds. The main reason is I didn't have to wait for Alexa to read back the details of my order.\n[ Related: Starbucks can now take your order via a voice-controlled iOS bot ]\nBut more effort is involved. Open the Starbucks app, tap on your previous order (assuming that\u2019s what you want), confirm that the Starbucks you want is selected and if not, locate it; hit \u2018Continue\u2019; then tap \u2018Order.\u2019 Are we talking Herculean effort here? No. But it's more steps than voice ordering requires.\u00a0\nOrdering on the go\nAt the moment, voice ordering for Starbucks customers is primarily limited to Alexa. And most Alexa users access the virtual assistant on an Echo device, which is plugged in at home or the office. So you probably can\u2019t get Alexa to order your coffee while you\u2019re out and about.\n Michael Brown\nThat\u2019s going to change soon, however. Starbucks is currently beta-testing voice ordering for 1,000 of its iOS app users. The AI-assisted feature will enable you to speak your drink or food order into the app as if you were \u201ctalking to a barista in-store,\u201d according to Starbucks. The company will do a phased rollout of the feature through the summer, with an Android version coming later this year.