The return of the campus coffee crawl

The continued quest for commendable coffee on campus

Welcome back to the number one series for coffee-based infotainment on campus: the campus coffee crawl.

Last time I reviewed the coffee on campus, I took them all with a bit of cream and sugar. This time around, I enjoyed my java black. 

Each cup I enjoyed in this crawl was a medium roast unless no other option was offered.

I will be reviewing coffee served on campus from four locations: Colosimo Coffee Roasters, Greenhouse Cafe, Belltower Café and the Fresh Food Company.

Like my last foray into the coffee culture on campus, I will consider price, flavour, and where possible, the ethics of the companies, then I’ll give each coffee a rating out of five.

Colosimo Coffee Roasters – Café House Blend

If you are a coffee novice looking to jump into the java world or you just enjoy a simple cup, Colosimo is a great local business that engages in “Direct Trade Coffee.” 

Colosimo works directly with coffee cultivators. According to their online page, they pay 25 per cent more to their partners than Fairtrade would pay. 

The Café House blend is extremely accessible and straightforward, coming in at a relatively high cost of $3.00 for just 10 ounces of coffee.

For a simple cup with little to no bitter notes, this is a great place to start. The brew was fresh and enjoyable. Coffee can occasionally leave a lingering aftertaste with an odd layer of film in your mouth, but this isn’t a problem at Colosimo. 

3.75/5 – A bit pricey but worth the three loonies.

Greenhouse Cafe – White Buffalo Coffee Company

White Buffalo Coffee Company is an Indigenous-owned business that is also smudge certified, meaning that White Buffalo has shown a commitment to “ReconciliAction” along with Truth and Reconciliation. 

White Buffalo is also Fairtrade certified, which means, according to Fairtrade International, the beans are fairly sourced, fairly traded and traceable.

White Buffalo Coffee Company knows exactly what they are doing and Greenhouse Cafe lets them shine. 

This cup was an extremely fair $1.00, a deal that lasts until the end of the winter semester. While unfortunately unlabelled, I am confident this was White Buffalo’s Wild Horse Medium Roast Coffee based on the flavour notes — syrup and dark chocolate with a creamy and smoky almond taste.

The profile was excellent and despite having had smoother cups, I have yet to have one that tasted better on campus. Between the flavour and price point, White Buffalo could easily become a daily drinker. 

4.5/5 – Close to perfect.

Belltower Café – Orient Express 100 per cent Colombian Medium Roast

As much as I love Belltower Café’s daily specials, I can’t say much in the way of their “Joe.” The 100 per cent Colombian Medium Roast cup comes in at $2.50 which, considering the quality of the coffee, is not earned.

From the first pour, the coffee smells stale with no obvious flavour notes or profile. Once I started drinking it, I could detect slight hints of dark chocolate, but other than that it was a fairly bland brew. 

This was the type of coffee which, for whatever reason, is more agitating the longer you endure it.

Were this cup a cheaper price it would be a mediocre coffee reserved for a quick caffeine fix. 

I can’t exactly condemn the coffee as it is just a slightly below-average cup, but I also can’t praise it. Save some money and opt for something from the specialty coffee machine that dispenses mocha and French vanilla coffees.

2/5 – Mediocre. 

The Fresh Food Company – 100 per cent Ethiopian Medium Roast

This coffee is hidden within the luxurious club that is the Fresh Food Company. Since it can’t be purchased without paying for the buffet, I snagged a cup when my generous friend treated me to dinner using his highly exclusive guest pass.

I won’t sugarcoat it, this is the worst cup of coffee on campus. It has no real flavour, it smells stale and it is served warm instead of hot. 

My condolences go out to all those who enjoy coffee and live in residence. 

However, do not let this coffee reflect on the staff of the Fresh Food Company, who were nothing but pleasant and kind as they served me the food, which I enjoyed much more than their coffee.

The dirt they serve here leaves a strange taste that is far from pleasant. I will only give this cup a 1/5 on the grounds that it contains caffeine and tastes reminiscent of coffee.

The coffee is also Fairtrade certified for what it is worth, though I wouldn’t drink it again in the first place.

1/5 – Avoid if possible.