Where’s the Java, Bro?

College may be the place where caffeine reliance begins. A University of Kentucky study showed that more than 78% of college freshmen consume more than the recommended amount of caffeine per day.

Yet, the accessibility to coffee — or lack thereof — on USF’s campus has garnered complaints from students.

The only place devoted primarily to coffee service on campus is The Grind Down at Crossroads, located in the undercaf across from the USF Bookstore. Other locations around campus that serve java only serve black coffee. The Grind Down is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. only on weekdays, according to their website. Lines are often long there, especially midday between regular class times.

Junior Delia Bisconer is a habitual coffee drinker.  “Every day, one to two cups,” she said. “I have night classes.”

Because The Grind Down is closed at night, though, Bisconer resorts to pre-packaged Dunkin’ Donuts drinks or Monster Energy coffees. “[Monster] is super energized, it’s probably super bad for you,” she said. “So it’s coffee flavor or super energy.”

Freshman Jacqueline Morgan said, “I pretty much have [coffee] every day in the morning from the undercaf, mainly because it tastes a lot better than the coffee from upstairs.” She said she wishes The Grind Down was open on weekends.

When students can’t get their coffee fix on campus, they can go to one of the campus’s surrounding coffee shops. However, most of them close before 8 p.m.

The off-campus options include Starbucks on Fulton (0.3 miles), one inside Target on Geary (0.6 miles), Coffee to the People on Haight (0.7 miles), Sacred Grounds (0.2 miles), which is down, and inevitably back up, a large hill) and The Velo Rouge Cafe (0.5 miles).

One student who has a meal plan said she probably wouldn’t buy coffee on-campus if she didn’t have Flexi, as many off-campus students don’t.

On-campus coffee is “more expensive than Starbucks,” Morgan said. If she’s not buying coffee from the undercaf, she uses her roommate’s Keurig, or else she will “suck it up,” and not get her fix.

“I do wish they had more stands that do specialty drinks like lattes, cappuccinos — other things people like around campus,” she said. “In [the Market Café] they have regular black coffee, which … it’s coffee, but it’s not for everyone.”

One former option for black coffee on campus was the shack by Hayes-Healy and Gillson dorms. However, since the beginning of the semester, the cart has been closed. Garrett O’Doherty, the top USF administrator in charge of the cafeteria, said that sales at the shack had dropped significantly. “There was no purpose in buying the food that would be wasted,” O’Doherty said, also noting that employees could be sent to busier locations now.


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