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Monday, May 27, 2024 — Houston, TX

Campus coffee showdown

coffee-review-ndidi-nwosu
Ndidi Nwosu / Thresher

By Parker Blumentritt     2/20/24 10:01pm

With the addition of the Dandelion Cafe this semester, Rice’s on-campus coffee shop population just gained a new member. With this increase in options, we decided  to compare campus’s four coffee shops to see which is the best spot for a caffeinated pick-me-up. To keep the rankings as equal as possible, the same drink was ordered from all four shops: an iced vanilla latte with whole milk. Each coffeeshop is being judged on four categories to help inform your choice of coffee establishment. 

Brochstein Pavilion

Price: $6.22 (in Tetra)



Wait Time: Short

Flavor: Very good

Seating: Got a table

I went to Brochstein at 10:45 a.m. on a Thursday and waited in line for only a few minutes before ordering. I was able to get a table and get my drink shortly after. It had good vibes for studying, not too loud or quiet. The coffee was excellent: very sweet and creamy. 

Dandelion Cafe 

Price: $6.60 (in Tetra) 

Wait Time: Insanely Short

Flavor: Underwhelming

Seating: Got a table

I went to Dandelion Cafe on a Wednesday afternoon around 2 p.m. The line was super short, and my coffee was ready almost immediately after ordering. I was able to get a table. The space also has good vibes for studying. The coffee was quite underwhelming, particularly the espresso flavor. 

Audrey’s 

Price: $5.41 (not Tetra)

Wait Time: Short

Flavor: Very Good

Seating: Got a Table

Despite not taking Tetra, Audrey’s coffee was comparable in flavor to Brochstein while being a bit cheaper. It also had the best seating and study vibes, as they had large tables with comfy booth seats and outlets. I went at 10:45 a.m. on a Thursday, and it was not too crowded with quick service. 

Coffeehouse

Price: $3.50 (in Tetra normally)

Wait Time: Short

Flavor: Okay

Seating: No empty tables

While Chaus by far is the most affordable, it tends to struggle in other categories. I went around 12:45 p.m. on a Monday and the wait was shorter than usual, possibly due to the time of day but could also be related to the fact that they could not take Tetra at the time. Despite the smaller crowd, there were no tables open inside so I had to sit in the RMC instead. The flavor of the coffee was okay, though not as flavorful or sweet as Brochstein or Audrey’s. 

Final Thoughts

Audrey’s was the all-around winner, as it was delicious and moderately priced, with great seating options and vibes. The best value, though, goes to Coffeehouse, whose latte was nearly half the price of its competitors. Brochstein wins for convenience, as it is centrally located, takes Tetra, and is quite delicious but is still more expensive than Audrey’s. 



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