Sadie’s Coffee Science: The Best Coffee Shops on Campus

Coffee. The lifeblood of university students since the dawn of midterms. Personally, I won’t go about my day without a minimum of 3 cups  (don’t @ me I know it’s an addiction), and I know many of my peers feel the same way. Although I typically make my first cup from home, it’s not always possible to get through the day without visiting a campus coffee shop.

So, for all of you coffee beans and caffeine fanatics, I have compiled a list of all things java.

Each coffee shop will be rated in individual categories out of 5. The categories are as follows:

  • Beverage quality
  • Price point
  • Location
  • Atmosphere

Each shop will also receive a grade out of 20 based on the four categories, plus room for bonus points.

Without further ado, let’s begin!

  1. POP Coffee Shop – POP Coffee is located at 190 Jarvis Street, steps outside of the HOEM on Jarvis residence. POP offers speciality coffee and handcrafted beverages that would make any barista melt. Their top-notch beverage quality, combined with an industrial-chic and quiet atmosphere, makes POP my absolute favourite coffee shop on this list. You might be pinching pennies the rest of the day, though.

via Zomato

Beverage quality: 5/5

Price point: 2.5/5

Location: 2/5

Atmosphere: 5/5

Overall: 14.5/20, +2 bonus points for being closest to HOEM residence

2. Balzac’s Coffee Roasters – Balzac’s is Ryerson’s central coffee shop, known for its spacious study area and extensive beverage menu. Without a doubt, you’ll run into at least five students on campus holding one of Balzac’s cute yellow to-go cups. While I think their coffee is good, I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s the best I’ve ever had. IMO, some of their speciality drinks could use a little tweaking. But it is the most central location on campus, and there’s a great patio.

Beverage quality: 3.5/5

Price point: 2/5

Location: 5/5

Atmosphere: 4/5

Overall: 14.5/20

3. Starbucks – Starbucks has REALLY got to step back into their lane. A week ago I bought a grande latte with almond milk… It was MORE THAN $6! Listen up, if I’m going to be paying that much for a coffee that’s going to last less than half an hour, it better write my exams, finish my assignments, AND suck up to my professors. Also, I gave it a 4 for location due to the fact that it’s in the SLC, and constantly crowded. But I’ll do anything for a Peppermint Mocha…

Beverage quality: 3.5/5

Price point: 1/5

Location: 4/5

Atmosphere: 2.5/5

Overall: 10.5/20, + 1 for holiday drinks

4. Tim Hortons – Always fresh? Maybe not. Always available? Yes. Always cheap? Okay… I can make an exception. But only because I’m desperate! Since all of the Tim Hortons locations at Ryerson were replaced by Ryerson’s Reunion Island Coffee (mentioned below), it might not be as convenient as it used to be, but I’m not complaining! Although I might be if I didn’t have an iced capp in my hand right now.

Beverage quality: 2/5

Price point: 5/5

Location: 4/5

Atmosphere: 2/5

Overall: 13/20

5. Ryerson’s Coffee: Reunion Island – When Ryerson got rid of Tim Hortons on campus, they replaced the on-campus caffeine site with their own line, Reunion Island Coffee. Great cup of joe, although options are limited to drip coffee or a french vanilla of sorts from a machine. Looking for a latte? Not your cup. Just need a pick me up? Head to the Hub Cafe, or any Ryerson Eats location.

Beverage quality: 3/5

Price point: 3/5

Location: 5/5

Atmosphere: 3/5

Overall: 14/20

To summarize, Ryerson houses tons of great coffee shops on campus, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. Ultimately, detecting which one will be your saving grace is in the eye of the beholder–whether it’s all about the coffee or just getting through the morning. Try each one out and decide where you feel most comfortable!

Stay caffeinated, kids!


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