Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Tuesday, September 25, 2018


National Coffee Day: A review of coffee options on campus




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On National Coffee Day, The Scene tested five different cups of coffee across campus. What follows is our thoughts on five black small cups of joe. Also, click here for The Eagle's coffee day gallery.

Eagle's Nest

(Owain James/The Eagle)

This one began encouraging. Coffee in Eagle’s Nest is supplied from the company ecoGrounds, whose tagline vows it makes “consciously great coffee.” There was an array of options; we went with Colombia Café Del Alma, a medium roast. The description seemed to most closely match the the rest of the coffee we tested.

That promise ended after paying $1.65 and finally taking a sip. First, the drink was way too hot. Nearly scalding. Then we noticed the watery taste, and then the sourness, and by the time three minutes passed, we gave up.

Conclusion: probably reheated. Whatever ecoGrounds’ website promised, this was not it.

Rating: 2 out of 5.


The Davenport Coffee Lounge 

The Dav has all the aesthetic makings of a whimsical, yet seriously good coffee shop. Does its coffee deliver? The short answer is, yes. Our verdict is based off of a $1.50 cup of their “Peruvian Fair Trade Organic.”

Unlike other cups of coffee on this list, this one actually hit all the marks solidly. The drink had a pretty strong taste, despite being a little on the watery side (gasp). One whiff, and you could smell its richness, subtlety smokey taste and berry undertone. The aftertaste actually made you want to drink more, leaving a hint of cocolate on your tongue.

The coffee wasn’t bitter, and it wasn’t harsh. The only drawback was the weak body. The Dav is there for you when you need a tasty, warm pick-me-up on campus.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

(Taameen Mohammad/The Eagle)


Mudbox

The Mudbox, a.k.a. the (nearly) 24/7 open basement for those who don’t feel comfortable in a silent library room yet insist on working inside of the concrete Brutalist box that is the AU Bender Library. At least the little cafe can help you keep on keepin’ on as you plow through an all-nighter. The coffee, though, should be avoided if it’s anytime other than 2 a.m.

(Owain James/The Eagle)

Watery. Weak. Meh. You don’t get much of a fresh coffee scent out of this cup, priced at $1.93. The lady behind the counter told us their coffee is from Starbucks-brand beans, but you’re better off going to the actual Starbucks on campus. Unless you enjoy your java with an undertone of ash tray.

Rating: 1 out of 5.


Einstein Bros Bagels

(Owain James/The Eagle)

This one was a surprise. Out of its strangely wide selection of two flavored coffees and one decaf type, we went with the fourth option: the neighborhood blend. The label read, “Smooth, rich, medium-roasted blend of South & Central American coffees.”

Of its geographical origin, we’re not certain. The coffee was surprisingly smooth, though, and somewhat rich. The drink had a more pleasant scent than some of the other cups of joe. At $2.09, it was a more expensive cup, although Einstein Coffee comes in a standard medium size. Its drawback, though, is the coffee’s body was a bit watery.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

  AU Dining offered free samples (Owain James/The Eagle).


Starbucks 

The typical taste of Starbucks’ Pike Place Roast is what you get out of this cup. A tall runs $1.95, although the store was giving away free samples today, which is what we tried. (A note: the free samples we tried were definitely cold. Not iced coffee cold, just not anywhere near the optimal 195-200 fahrenheit range.)

The coffee wasn’t watery, the aftertaste was solid and the smell was rich. Look, we’re saying it was a cup of Starbucks coffee. If you like Starbucks, it fulfills. You’re probably better off running to The Davenport, though.

Rating: 3 out of 5.



AU has many places to grab a cup of coffee—some good, some pretty awful. But if you really want a fantastic coffee drink, head to Coffee Nature, which is between Friendship Heights and Tenleytown.

cdil@theeagleonline.com