While the graduate student lounge in Philosophy was renovated quite a long time ago, it took Bwog a while to find a way in. A coffee loving Bwog writer, who has asked to go by the alias Agent Dale Cooper (obviously in honor of the return of Twin Peaks), found a way to sneak in and get a caffeine fix.
The last time I’d been inside the grad student lounge was for office hours my freshman year, and I remembered it as a dingy and dimly lit space with a few rickety chairs scattered around. Imagine the vibe at Raskolnikov’s place. Now the room is brightly lit and calls to mind the interior of Joe or the Diana Center–all modern glass and funky space chairs. Even though the room was fairly spacious, almost every table was occupied by competent looking people with coffee cups. I couldn’t help wondering if business school students counted as graduate students–and had the uncharitable thought that the answer should be no. I’m sure I was being judged just as much for being the person taking pictures of everything.
I went on two days at around 2:00. On the first, the line was fairly short and moved quickly. The man who took my order also complimented me on my outfit, saying that my coat was “out of this world.” The next day, however, I stood in line for about 5 minutes before another 5 minutes waiting for my drinks. I also had the privilege on the second day of listening to a true coffee snob. I felt a little bit judged as a drank my coffee out of a paper cup as he proclaimed that he shouldn’t even have to ask for his espresso in ceramic–“you wouldn’t serve wine in a paper cup, would you?”
The coffee was definitely good enough to justify such snobbery, however. I am kind of picky about my coffee drinks and so tried only a cup of drip coffee and an espresso on my two visits–but got a friend to sample a latte. The drip coffee was perfect–caramell-y, almost as strong as Oren’s, and without the nasty burnt aftertaste of Joe’s. Even though the normal drip coffee was perfectly delicious, they also offer single origin individually brewed coffees as well. On a return visit I tried the espresso: perfectly decent, even though I got it in a paper cup. A friend sampled the latte and although she was initially of the opinion that it had “too much coffee,” eventually her Starbucks-influenced taste buds got used to the flavor. At $5.50 it is apparently one of the more expensive lattes in the neighborhood, but also seemed to be much larger than the same drink from Joe’s. The restaurant also sells food: sushi, sandwiches, and various sweet pastry items.
It was honestly worth going just for the coffee, but I would also add that this is a terrible place to try and do work. Most of the tables were already occupied and the room was too echoey and loud to make for a good study space. Plus, unlike the similarly loud and crowded Joe, there were no sweet 80s tunes playing over the radio.