The arrival of an on-campus coffee location has been a topic of frequent discussion for new and returning students this semester. But the new Norm’s coffee shop isn’t really a “shop.” Rather, it’s simply an espresso machine conveniently located in the HUB dining area.
On par with menus of local coffee shops, Norm’s offers a variety of coffee drinks and tea. The selection includes regular coffee, iced or hot lattes, tea drinks and even specialty drinks. Unfortunately, only the option of regular black coffee is served as of now, with no specialty brewed or flavored coffees being offered.
The sufficient menu proved to make my drink choice more difficult than anticipated, but the sweet sound of the Crème Brule Iced Latte won my attention. The drink itself was as creamy and delicious as I had hoped, but the “iced” portion seemed to be closer to a “chilled” level. A similar taste experience occurred when I tried the Chai Latte, which was enjoyable, but it still lacked the full flavor I was hoping for. Regardless, I enjoyed these drinks, and I’m looking forward to trying the “Norm’s Special,” a well-received and recommended drink of choice by students.
The process of making them, however, proved to be somewhat difficult for the Sodexo employees. Due to this being the first “coffee shop” on campus, training and instruction for this area is still a work in progress. HUB workers are still in the process of memorizing drink ingredients and mastering the machines (a friend of mine ordered a regular coffee to the shock and confusion of the employee who didn’t know how to make it), but the products are worth the wait if you are looking for convenient coffee.
The prices of the drinks are a bit above average, with a tall specialty coffee starting around $3.39 and a venti ringing in around $4.50, but regular coffee is offered for $1.39. Flex dollars are accepted at the coffee shop and no extra charge is added onto the original price, music to the ears of students robbed by the bookstore no longer accepting flex dollars.
The interior of the HUB has changed only with the transition to one check out counter, but no real “coffee shop” atmosphere has been added, leaving some ambiance to be desired. It is located in the Sub Connection line, and coffee is available during meal times, although you may encounter a wait if all the workers are busy crafting sandwiches.
The official hours of the coffee shop are Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Grace Green is a senior elementary/special education & TESOL major. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This column reflects the views of the writer only.