It’s a safe assumption that 80% of the Columbia student body would turn into horrible rage-monsters without a morning cup of coffee. Hey, as one of the country’s most stressful schools, we reserve the right to take our caffeine very seriously. So when we got wind of a student-run coffee shop operating out of EC1808, we practically ran to check it out. Caffeinated Queens Claire Friedman and Anna Hotter got the scoop on “Two G’s Coffee.”
Standing outside of EC1808, we had a minor panic attack. The door was slightly ajar and, as our friend pointed out, there were “breakfast noises” coming from inside. “Is this weird?” We asked each other. “Do we just… walk in…?” Unless you’re the Wien shitter, there really aren’t many legitimate reasons to nonchalantly enter a stranger’s dorm room before 9:30 am. We poked our heads in Scooby-Doo style.
“We heard there was a… coffee shop… here?” We said, realizing how crazy we would sound if we had the wrong suite number. Two guys and a girl eating cereal looked up to greet us. Lucky for everyone involved, we were in the right place.
The mythical EC18 coffee shop, “Two G’s Coffee,” is run by roommates Max Gorelick (CC’15) and Adam Gayoso (SEAS’15). The two have been in business since the start of the school year, bringing sweet, sweet caffeine to the CU masses. And, as if this wasn’t a noble enough quest, the Gs donate all their proceeds to Camp Kesem. All prices are suggested donations.
After the initial shock of essentially crashing someone’s breakfast, we noticed the impressive spread of coffee paraphernalia taking over the suite; one wall was decorated with a giant “Espresso” banner and at least 15 empty coffee bags. Traditional coffee shop it is not, but the boys still know how to decorate.
Remembering our mission, we asked to see a menu (included in the gallery below; now you, too, can live like a Bwogger!). Though the urge to ask for salted nutella on everything was strong, we ended up ordering a Chai and a Latte. The Two G’s operate out of a mid-sized EC kitchen with a meticulously-kept espresso machine; the shining monstrosity takes up the entirety of a counter like a shrine to the great and terrible power of caffeine. We took a seat next to cereal-girl and waited for our drinks.
“So, how did all of this come about?” we asked as one of the Two G’s frothed our milk
if ya know what I mean.
“Well, there’s nothing to do in Woodbridge, so we kinda just got really good at espresso,” said Gorelick, handing us the latte. We nodded; Woodbridge does suck. “This is probably the best coffee at Columbia,” Adam added. He poured a design into the latte and we got a little overly-excited.
Our drinks were so damn good that we considered moving in, but since Bwog is pretty messy, we decided it wouldn’t be a good fit. The latte far surpassed your average Starbucks and the chai was “pants-shittingly good.”
Although we weren’t completely comfortable with the idea at first, our little coffee break (complete with unnamed girl eating cereal in the corner) turned out to be a success. We highly recommend coming out of your hermit-crab shell and paying EC1808 a visit. Unfortunately, we had to run to class before we could ask any more questions. We continued the rest of the interview over email:
Bwog: What prompted you guys to start a coffee shop?
The G’s: After collecting the proper equipment and knowledge of the art of coffee, we decided that we wanted to share what we learned with our friends by having coffee events in our old suite. After a few successful weeks last year and a relocation to EC this year, we thought a full time operation would be appropriate for the dense and caffeine hungry EC community.
Bwog: Where did you learn to make such fancy coffee?
The G’s: It was all internet research and a lot of trial and error, coupled with many trips to New York’s finest shops such as Intelligentsia, Blue Bottle, Stumptown, Third Rail, and La Colombe to see what the world’s finest coffee should taste like.
Bwog: How has business been?
The G’s: Business has been OK, but we think people are intimidated by the fact that we operate out of our room, and they may be thinking that they are invading our privacy, or simply that we aren’t a serious operation. The fact is that we have been consistently open since the first day of school from 8:30 to 10:30 in the morning, Monday through Thursday, and are fully capable of handling a large crowd.
Bwog: Do you think there’s a dearth of good coffee on the CU campus?
The Gs: Joe is good, and they were one of the first coffee shops on the East coast to serve specialty coffee in the “third wave” coffee movement, which was basically the creation of barista-centered and artisanal shops. So no big criticism there. However, the lines are long, it’s far from EC, and they only serve their own coffee. We provide a variety of coffee, changing up our beans every two weeks or so, giving people a selection throughout the year of the world’s best “joe”.
Bwog: What do your suitemates think about you guys turning their room into a coffee shop?
The G’s: Luckily, we are all good friends and our suitemates are very supportive. We also make them coffee whenever they want, so we do what we can to keep them happy.
Bwog: What’s your specialty drink?
The G’s: Our specialty is really that we rotate our beans and offer such a variety of quality coffee. But as far as specific drinks, our latte with sweetened condensed milk is pretty killer.
Bwog: Do you have regulars?
The G’s: Our girlfriends. And our neighbors. Thanks guys! And our awesome RA Carter Purcell.
We also want to mention Lauren Espeseth, our good friend who made our logo.
Bwog: Any last things you want the good people of Columbia to hear?
The G’s: 1) We aren’t a commercial operation. Our proceeds, that is, revenue minus costs, go to the charity of our choice. Right now we are donating to Camp Kesem Columbia.
2) You can preorder. Send a text to 305-306-7334 with your name and your order and within a few minutes it will be ready.
3) Like us on Facebook (Two Gs Coffee) and find us on Instagram (@twogscoffee). We often have special events and Facebook is the primary source of this news.
4) You can donate to us using cash, Venmo, and credit and debit cards through Square.
5) Don’t be afraid to walk in and say hello (even if you’re just curious)!
If you’ve got a hankering for some delicious coffee, Two G’s Coffee Shop is open Monday-Thursday from 8:30-10:30 am. It is located in EC1808.