The Saint ranks take away black coffee based on price, distance from library, wait time, atmosphere, and, of course, taste.
- Taste – Best Taste – £1.70 – Just down the street from the library, Taste is the perfect distance to grab a quick cup but also take a nice walk down North Street for a little break from revising. Its other big positive is the cool, relaxed atmosphere established both by the baristas and the student artwork that coats the walls. The coffee is also made quickly, although during exams wait time is expected to lengthen. The coffee is also more expensive than Starbucks or the library café, but the atmosphere and the short walk may make it worth it after being stuck in the dirty air of the library for hours on end.
- Mitchell’s – Best distance – £1.55 – Most people head to Mitchell for a late weekend brunch or a midweek sandwich, but they also have take away coffee for a good price. The coffee itself is good quality and is the same size as a large at Taste. However, the service can be slow especially because their main business is not take away coffee. But, if you want a few extra minutes to procrastinate and stare at their wide variety of teapigs, this may be the place for you during revision.
- Starbucks – Fastest – £1.55 – For the same price as Mitchell, and a similar distance, Starbucks offers extremely quick service and the predictability that comes with chain coffee shops. However, it is lacking the personality that comes with both Taste and Mitchell, especially the friendly baristas you find at Taste. The coffee itself is also not as tasty as Mitchell or Taste, but if time is what you need on your side, then Starbucks might be your go to spot.
- Rectors – Best atmosphere– £1.80 – Coming in as the most expensive, Rectors charges £1.80 for a cup of coffee, 10p more than Taste and 25p more than Mitchell and Starbucks. Service can also be a little slow, especially during revision when Rectors will be more packed than usual with busy students. It is also the farthest from the library, almost so far that it might make you feel guilty for taking such a long break. However, if you are looking to socialize while you wait, you are likely to find someone you know to chat with. Also the coffee itself is good, and they don’t charge extra for soymilk if you take it!
- Eros at the library café – Cheapest – £1.10 – The closest possible place from the library to get coffee, Eros also offers the cheapest cup The Saint could find. However, there are two important downsides to Eros. One, it is not open nearly as late as Taste, which usually closes around 10 or 11 pm. And two, it is packed even during regular term time, meaning we can expect queues extending into the lobby during revision. Additionally, the coffee itself is not excellent and finally Eros also takes away the small luxury of not having to make coffee yourself, which, during exams, can sometimes send you overboard.