(Look at my attempt to take a hipster picture. A round of applause to my roommate who was a good sport and lent me her glasses as props for my sad Instagram life.)
College textbooks are emptying my wallet faster than I can eat tiramisu. But actually. I nearly had a mental breakdown today as I wandered through Rice’s bookstore. One word I’d use to describe the atmosphere would be cold, hard “somber.” Students peered around each other, reaching for books and frowning with furrowed brows at the named price. And I realized that I was probably going to be broke before I’d even started my first class assignment.
So what to do for comfort therapy? I spent more money! EXCEPT. This time ’twas for a good old cause and I don’t regret it at all. As I have succumbed to becoming a coffee addict, I headed straight for the student-run coffee shop. Rice Coffeehouse is a student-run business that serves top-notch variations on the humble joe for everyone to enjoy and unwind from a draining day. My roommate and I dragged our heavy shopping bags toward the bumping music down the hall, which revealed a brightly-lit shop featuring awesome gray and white wallpaper of squirrels clutching coffee cups. Who doesn’t like squirrels drinking coffee? (And, by the way, Rice is littered with a gazillion of these furry fatales.)
What’s even more brilliant? I noticed that Martelian baristas manned the espresso forts! Over the hullabaloo of them shouting complicated drink names and the chatter of students, people lounged around on couches or hunched over their laptops at IKEA-hipster wooden tables.
The other wonderful, blissful part of Rice Coffeehouse? The prices are darn affordable. I bought a medium/grande iced soy mocha for only 3.25 withnochargeforthesoymilkthankgoodness. At Starbucks, an iced grande mocha with soy milk would cost 4.75. That’s a whopping difference.
From first sip, I relished the smooth, creamy chocolate taste. Other coffee shops really vamp up the chocolate a little overboard and seem to clog my arteries with sugar, but Rice Coffeehouse crafts a pleasant blend of soy and light chocolate flavor with a reasonable amount of chilled ice. I hate it when coffee shops dump a ton of ice, it’s like “Here you go we decided to rip you off and give you more water than actual coffee harharharharhar.”
Rice’s coffee blend also has that wonderful slightly smokey yet savory taste that Stumptown Co. (renowned in my hometown of Portland) prides itself with, so if the student run business here at Rice can recreate my hometown favorite–it’s golden. The KOC’s (Keepers of Coffee) are friendly, efficient, and simply a chill bunch, and their haven is a wonderful place to study or play Candy Crush with your artsy-fartsy latte art sitting next to you. Not that I do that or anything.