November 18, 2014, by Tilly Potter

Caffeine on campus

Although I’m the only one in my student house who revels in the delights of a hot beverage (I know, ridiculous!), the queues on campus at various outlets indicate I’m not alone. This week I’m balancing all the elements of a student coffee experience (well, mainly whether it’s cheap and if it tastes nice) to give you my completely subjective rankings of the good, the bad and the bitter, from worst to best.

7. Costa ‘express’ machine, Student’s Union shop


The couple of times I’ve tried lattes from here I’m convinced it’s forgotten to put the coffee in – instead, I’m left with slightly sweetened hot milk. Only marginally cheaper than the proper Costa upstairs, you’re better off there.

6. THESE drinks vendors (various locations)


But they’re cheap! I hear you cry. Yes, but you get just as nice, if not nicer, drinks from the cheaper vending machines (see below). The fact they’ve put the prices up in the last year also knocks this option down the list.

5. Starbucks, Portland building


Unfortunately, articles and reviews such as this suggest Starbucks coffee is about the worst tasting on the market. However, it’s alright if you fancy treating yourself with something rich and creamy (salted caramel hot chocolate, anyone?), if you don’t mind spending most of your student loan on one. The queues also get a bit crazy around lunchtime.

4. Costa, Portland building


With Costa you know what you get, which is generally a decent-tasting coffee. But not being able to use your student card here if you’re a fresher (unlike Starbucks) is a definite negative. Being surrounded by books in Blackwell’s lulls you into a false sense of studiousness.

3. Trent cafe, Trent building

Trent cafe has a great atmosphere and is perfect if you want to escape the bustle of the Portland building – it almost feels like a fancy treat. It would be a good place to take your mum.

2. The trusty 90p vending machines


These are a bit of a gem if you’ve got a break in a lecture and need something to keep you alert. The mochas and hot chocolate are surprisingly nice. But on occasion they can fail, leaving you with brown water and no refund.

1. Hallward library cafe


This may seem an unusual position on the list due to their serving of Starbucks coffee. But it’s much cheaper than Starbucks, has longer opening hours, and is the one place you can get coffees big enough to swim in without breaking into your overdraft. And you never have to leave the confines of Hallward library and your essays. That’s a good thing, right…?

Posted in Tilly