With finals season, comes the all nighters, the long essays and group study sessions. And here at Trinity College, we like to pair that with great coffee. We love our coffee, so much in fact, that Trinity is home to two very well established coffee shops, The Underground and Peter B’s. As a coffee aficionado myself (and borderline caffeine addict), I always need my fix of joe. Both coffee shops compete for ratings and popularity among students. However, they are very different from each other right down to the roasters of their coffee. The difference between them is what makes them both great coffee experiences depending on what you’re looking for. And having both on campus is a huge plus! Based on the opinions and descriptions of each coffee shop, you, dear reader, can decide your favorite on your own.
The Underground, the UG, the UGG, or da Uggie is a lounge known by many names. The main feature that distinguishes this coffee shop is the fact that it contains great comfortable seating and a really cool, laid back ambiance. The lights are usually dimmed, and produce a soft yellow glow that give the coffee drinker a warm feeling even if they are drinking an iced coffee with a hazelnut flavor shot. In addition the Underground has board games, coloring books and chess tables to help pass the time and maybe relaxfor a bit. Alex Rusbarsky ’18 states that an additional benefit of the Underground is that its located right next to the Cave, one of our dining halls, which allows students to obtain food along with their coffee. The Underground also holds events, such as movie screenings and open mic events. Conversely, at the UG, the low-lighting can cause students to fall asleep, which might interfere with work and other activities if you need crunch time. But there are plenty of very comfy couches where you can always find someone napping. The UG does not sell snacks, however they have their share of seasonal flavor shots and special drinks for every occasion. Overall the UG is pretty well liked amongst students.
Peter B’s is located right in the library. This gives an academic advantage to Peter B’s. During finals, many students choose to take a coffee break and come here to get reenergized in order to keep pounding away at those essays. Peter B’s also has the advantage that it serves its own pastries along with their coffees and teas, as Jason McLeod ’19 points out. The pastries are brought in fresh every day from First and Last Bakery in Hartford. Peter B’s also allows for easy access to library files and books since its located within the library. This means that students can order a coffee, bring it back to their desk, or go do research about the topics they are studying. Brii Kuz ’18 points out that the only downside is not being able to use meal plan dollars at the coffee shops to buy coffee, tea or pastries. In addition, the ambiance of Peter B’s tends to be a bit distracting since many students do choose to come here as a social space, therefore causing more background noise. Professors or TAs will also hold meetings, interviews or office hours here. Despite this, students still do enjoy the pastries and coffee from Peter B’s and spend a lot of time there.
My preferences might be biased since I tend to enjoy drinking coffee at the Underground, but in all honesty it really all comes down to what sort of ambiance the coffee drinker prefers and the taste of the coffee. So just go out to either coffee shop, try them by yourself, and come to a decision on your own. The most important thing is that you are able to get your caffeine fix!