Caffeine rush

April 4, 2012, 1:00 a.m.

One might expect Green Library to be the most popular place on campus during finals week, but during the last week of winter quarter it seemed harder to find a seat in the CoHo than in the Bender Room. This may not be entirely due to the CoHo’s serve-yourself coffee dispensers and busy baristas. It could very well be the coffee culture itself that continues to draw students back.


“Coffee shops get me in the right state of mind to do work,” said coffee enthusiast Nick White ’14.


Coffee is finding an ever-firmer foothold at Stanford. In the last few years, coffee shops have sprouted up in every corner of campus. Coupa Cafe now offers coffee from three different locations: Two are located in University buildings in the Science & Engineering Quad while another serves coffee between Green and Meyer libraries, not to mention the automated machine that serves students 24/7 on the first floor of Meyer Library.


With the opening of Fraiche at Tresidder Memorial Union in 2009, Stanford now offers third-tier coffee fresh from Blue Bottle Coffee of San Francisco, providing competition to Fraiche’s neighbor, Peet’s Coffee. Additionally, Philz Coffee’s new location just off El Camino Real is bustling on an average afternoon, allowing students to escape the Stanford bubble in search of their midday caffeine rush.

Caffeine rush
(AUBRIE LEE/The Stanford Daily)

Why so much java?


“I just don’t see why not,” White said. “It’s like a slap in the face to get my work done, except in a good way. And it literally spikes my IQ.”


Sitting across from him over a table of schoolwork in Philz Coffee, Reed Jobs ’14 sips his steaming Code 33.


“Everyone likes to talk about the health risks of coffee, but what about all the health benefits?” Jobs said.


It is true that coffee is often purported as a health risk, even by Jamie Zeitzer, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral science, whose recent study found that coffee has the potential to disrupt sleep. Coffee, however, does have a good side. Studies have shown that drinkers score higher on IQ tests after drinking coffee and the beverage has even been shown to reduce the development of Alzheimer’s disease and Type 2 diabetes.


Coffee seems to be getting more popular among the Stanford community, but the debate surrounding its effects continues. Nevertheless, with more and more coffee options sprouting up around campus, it’s getting harder and harder to say “no” to grabbing a hot cup of Joe between classes.


Lucas Oswald

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