Coffee consumption is a must in order to survive university. At the Abbotsford campus there are four different locations to purchase it from. Three of the locations have different prices, beans, and drink options. I was curious why students choose one location to buy coffee from instead of another so I took to the campus to ask students what influenced their coffee decisions.
My investigation revealed that most students have a specific spot they go to for coffee and are unwilling to switch it up unless absolutely necessary. Many of their choices rely on convenience. Jess Enns, a fourth-year psych student, purchases her caffeine from Fair Grounds in the Student Union Building because she parks nearby. She also prefers this location because they offer Americanos, which she favours over drip coffee. Another supporter of Fair Grounds is Rachel, a second-year English student.
“It’s the highest quality of coffee, aka most like Starbucks. I’ve gone to Tim’s once or twice but it just doesn’t fulfill my coffee needs … so if I go to Tims it’s for food or tea, rarely coffee,” Rachel Macarie argues.
Alongside Fair Grounds’ 12 oz. drip for the low fare of $1.85, their coffee beans are fair trade and organic. If one isn’t into coffee, Fair Grounds also offers other selections like London fogs, smoothies, and chai lattes, providing us with a more hand-crafted, café-like presence on campus.
Even though Rachel goes to Tim Hortons for the food, Kaitlyn, a fourth-year geography student, hits Tims for the French vanillas.
“Sometimes I’ll go for a bagel as well,” Kaitlyn Schmidt noted. The location is also convenient for her because, “it’s a bit closer to where my classes are this semester.” Jared, a second year business student, finds the Tim’s location convenient too because he’s usually studying in the library, and this Canadian coffee hot spot is a quick walk over for him. In addition, Tim’s prices are not to be beat. Their regular, decaf, and dark roast comes to $1.52 for a small (10 oz.), and their medium (14 oz.) goes for $1.81.
A little more expensive than Tim’s or Fair Grounds, the Cascades cafeteria in B building offers coffee from Spirit Bear Coffee, which is roasted in Port Coquitlam. It is also organic and fair trade. Another great thing about Spirit Bear is that the company is run by indigenous peoples and all of the earnings go back into their communities. A 12 oz. cup goes for $2.15, and it’s advised to bring your own mug or else you will get charged an extra $0.25 for a paper cup and lid.
With all of my classes this semester in B building and the west side of A building, it’s pretty convenient for me. Even though I have to dump an extravagant amount of cream in the caf’s coffee to make it bearable plus pay a bit extra, it saves me the walk across campus in the rain to get coffee at Fairgrounds.
Tucked on the east end of A building, the Spirit Bear Café is another option for students to get coffee from. They don’t have as wide of a drink selection as Fair Grounds, but they offer the staples using the same coffee as the caf with the same prices.
With the prices for drip coffee all quite similar and the quality decent but not amazing, the choice for where to purchase coffee on campus often comes down to location. As students we can accept this because the four coffee locations on campus are fairly spread out, making it easily accessible for most of the student and faculty population.