Food Life + Arts

Roundtable: Rating UH’s most popular coffee spots

Gerald Sastra/The Cougar

    Gerald Sastra/The Cougar

Coffee serves as a fuel for many UH students, so with so many different coffee stops on campus, The Cougar wants to offer their thoughts on where to go and what to drink.

With each place that serves coffee on campus, the things to look at are menu items, general vibes and atmosphere. So, considering each of these attributes, the following is a rating of the coffee one can get at UH.

The Nook Cafe

Donna Keeya: The best way to describe The Nook is if Half Price Books was a coffee shop. I think it’s definitely the cutest coffee shop to sit down at and study with friends. They have a bottomless mug option of unlimited drip coffee that I would highly recommend. It’s not my favorite coffee to drink, but definitely my favorite environment. 4/5 stars.

Sydney Rose: The vibes are an unfinished building you would find in Austin, but The Nook is such a cute place to sit with other coffee lovers and play board games or hang out in a study group. I’ve tried their teas and pastries that are all pretty good, but I usually stick with the bottomless mug if I know I’m going to stay there for a while. The best type of place to get coffee while making it a whole outing, especially after a long day of classes. 5/5 stars.

Shivani Parmar: The Nook is like every great college stereotype. From the wide range of vegan alternatives to live entertainment, there is something for everyone. Along with the classic orders, the coffee menu here has a unique twist compared to the other places you would find on campus, not to mention drinks like the Snickers latte. 5/5 stars.

Cougar Grounds

DK: To get to the point, I think Cougar Grounds has my favorite coffee on campus. The coffee tastes high quality and they have a variety of dairy substitutes and syrups. The environment is cute too and it’s definitely conveniently located. My only real complaint is the limited hours of operation. 5/5 stars.

SR: When you have a busy day ahead of you, the best stop you could make is a quick trip to Cougar Grounds. My favorite iced coffee options are from here, and I like the different choices and menu items they have to offer. While I don’t usually sit down to drink my coffee there, it is still a nice environment to stay and study in during the day, I just wished it was open more often and took Cougar Cash. 4/5 stars.

SP: This is a place that I would do my homework. It is the quietest coffee shop on campus, so I like to consider this the library’s Brown Wing of coffee shops. It is in close proximity to the dorms and the coffee is relatively inexpensive while also being exceptional. Besides the seating inside the shop, there is a plethora of tables extending from alfresco seating to inside the Hilton Hotel. 4/5 stars.

Shasta’s Cones & More

DK: As far as Shasta’s coffee is concerned, I think it’s very misunderstood. While it’s menu isn’t as extensive as some of its competitors, you can definitely get a good drip coffee here. I feel if my dad were to come to campus, he would get his coffee here. Affordable. Simple. Not crowded. It also has the strongest cold brew I’ve ever had. 3/5 stars. 

SR: Shasta’s is almost like a hidden gem because many people forget that they serve coffee along with their ice cream. Honestly, it is pretty cheap, they take Cougar Cash and they make a mean iced mocha, so I respect it. Not the kind of place you really sit around at and I personally would avoid the cold brew at all costs. 4/5 stars.

SP: I would stick to buying ice cream when you come here, but if you are a fan of black coffee or you are in a rush, go for it. On a positive note, they do take Cougar cash and can be great to avoid the long lines at other campus coffee shops. 1/5 stars.


DK: The Starbucks franchise and I go back many years, and it was the first campus coffee shop I tried at my freshmen orientation. The employees are really nice and it’s probably the most convenient place to get coffee. I used Boost to order Starbucks at least twice a week. 4/5 stars.

SR: Honestly, I used to only get my coffee from Starbucks before I came to campus, but now the only time I go there is to get refreshers, never coffee. I like that there are multiple Starbucks locations on campus if you’re ever in a pinch, but it’s definitely not my go-to for warm or iced coffee. Also, again, not really a sit-down and vibe kind of place on campus, unless you’re at the Melcher Hall location.  2/5 stars.

SP: Starbucks is my go-to place for coffee because it is conveniently located at the heart of campus inside the Student Center and it is easy to order because like most people, I know the menu like the back of my hand. It is considerably loud so I would not come here in hopes of getting work done but to hang out with friends or take a break from studying. The lines are notoriously long, but if you have time to wait, it is a great hangout spot between classes. 4/5 stars.

Moody Towers Dining Commons 

DK: Moody Towers Dining Commons is probably one of the most iconic UH locations, regardless of its food. As far as the coffee goes, that stuff was running through my blood thick freshmen year. They have a Starbucks machine, but honestly, I prefer the drip coffee. I associate the flavor with comfort at this point. My only complaint is the mugs are super small so I would down three cups in one sitting. 3/5 stars. 

SR: As odd as it sounds, Moody coffee just hits different. I personally have to add a ton of that french vanilla creamer they have and sugar to the drip coffee, but it’s a good wake up if I don’t feel like buying coffee out of pocket that day or even just to drink after dinner. Very convenient and surprisingly good. 3/5 stars.

SP: When I lived in the dorms, I never used the Keurig in my room because the dining hall had a Starbucks coffee machine with so many different brews, I could get as many cups as I wanted and it was already included in the meal plan. The only downside is that you can not take it outside of the dining hall. 3/5 stars.

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