Finding the Best Coffee on Campus


Photo courtesy of Flickr user randomretail: Dunkin Donuts was the brand that most students in a focus group preferred to come to campus, should the opportunity arise.

Hanna Frank, Contributor and Stephanie Lipinski, Health Editor

With so many avid caffeine drinkers, the variety of three different types of coffee on campus may seem appealing, but it turns out many students aren’t satisfied with the coffee options Lewis has to offer.

From one end of campus to the other, students, faculty and visitors can find three different brands of coffee to fuel their early morning boost, midday rejuvenation or, the classic, college “all-nighter.”

There’s Sodexo’s brand, “Aspretto,” at Charlie’s Place, Seattle’s Best at the C-store and Douwe Egberts at the Courtyard.

During an in-class focus group, students, all of whom are daily coffee drinkers, tried the three different coffee brands and compared the tastes. The coffees were disguised in plain white cups to remove any bias toward a particular brand.

Many of the participants commented that Aspretto wasn’t bitter and didn’t leave an aftertaste. However, some said it wasn’t strong and tasted watered down.

Others commented that Seattle’s Best, currently sold in the C-store, was smoother and stronger than Sodexo’s brand, but had a slight aftertaste.

As for the Courtyard’s brew of Douwe Egberts, the group was unanimous in their dislike for the brand.  After a few chokes, muffled gags and abrupt “blahs,” everyone shared that the brew was bitter, smelled funny and left a bad aftertaste. One participant even compared the Courtyard’s coffee to motor oil.

“I drink quality coffee and Lewis is not quality. It’s weak and watered down. In the C-store I don’t even know how long it has been sitting, so I avoid it all together. In the Courtyard it comes from a machine, so I avoid that completely,” said Mary Bradley, a junior psychology major.

Most students wouldn’t be able to count the amount of coffee they’ve consumed over the course of the years, especially since some are sipping java by the gallons, but they certainly all have a preference when it comes to their caffeine fix, some more simple than others.

“I am a huge half and half fan, but I think more people would buy the coffee if they had flavored creamers,” said Chris Hueg, graduate assistant.

After having tasted all of Lewis coffee options, 57 percent of the participants were overall dissatisfied with all the brands Lewis is serving and would prefer to have a new brand of coffee brought on campus, even if it cost more money per cup. Forty-three percent stated they would prefer to pay less money and drink the brands Lewis currently offers.

However, 100 percent said they would go out of their way each morning to get coffee off campus if the Douwe Egberts brew, aka “the motor oil,” was the only option available.

While it doesn’t seem certain that Lewis will be introducing Dunkin’ Donuts coffee anytime soon, the brand the majority of the focus group would like to have on campus, many students would be satisfied with the sale of the Sodexo’s brand, Aspretto, campus wide. Starbucks came in at second.

The majority of the group, 71 percent, said they liked the Aspretto brand the best. Twenty-nine percent preferred Seattle’s Best and no one raised a hand for Douwe Egberts.

Hanna Frank

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