Column

A Cup of Joe

Coffee is not just one of many available drinks that make your day more bearable. In fact, the whole student life revolves around it. Have you ever noticed how the campus infrastructure is designed to please coffee addicts and discriminate lovers of alternative liquids?

The vending machines, providing urgent access to hot drinks in every building first and foremost, give all kinds of coffee as options to choose from. There is black coffee, cappuccino, wiener mélange, espresso, cafe latte; all of them with options of regulating strength and sweetness. And only at the very end, there it is – a lonely looking tea offered in no variations other than the disgusting one.

Coffee also defines our campus notion of time. The breaks between lectures are not called ‘coffee breaks’ for no reason. But if we name the break after the most urgent thing people do during  these brief few minutes, shouldn’t we called them pee breaks? Or, to include both coffee drinkers and toilet goers, coppee breaks?

Drinking coffee is also part of an identity of a troubled student. Dragging himself to a morning lecture, he carries a massive, artsy-looking thermos, a cigarette hanging out of his mouth and
dark circles under his eyes. But in a battle between coffee and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, wouldn’t the latter be of more use if you want to get your creative juices flowing?

On top of all that, student courtship behavior is entirely based on coffee. A mini-date invitation is rarely for a cup of tea. For some reason grabbing a cup of java with someone is just much sexier and has more potential for a follow-up rendezvous. Maybe it’s because of dirty associations that the act of drinking coffee arouses – all the sugaring, creaming, swirling, spooning… A cup of fair trade green tea just doesn’t stimulate imagination in the same way. Well, perhaps except for a certain activity involving bags of these fine leaves.

Published: Univers no. 13, 6 June 2013