The question is this: Where is the best place to get coffee on UBC campus?


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(This is my coffee cup, and yes, it is awesome)

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So… I happen to be a pretty heavy coffee drinker.

This was actually something spurred on by the birth of my first child (although technically we could go into the usual discussion about causation and correlation – after all, I am a sciencegeek), which means that I’ve been more or less addicted to the stuff for the last 12 years. I find I can’t function without my morning coffee, and there are days when I find myself inadvertently sucking back 4 or 5 cups.

And in case you’re worried about my health, you needn’t be. I’ve actually done some “back of the paper” calculations to see if one can accidentally overdose from too much caffeine from too much coffee consumption.

Basically, you can’t… (well, it would be really really difficult to do so). If you don’t believe me, and you’re interested in that sort of thing, you can check out this link. If you just want a taste of the calculations, you can read a little bit of it below:

“First, an oral lethal dose for an 80kg human would extrapolate to 15,360mg of total caffeine. This technically is equivalent to the amount of caffeine absorbed from drinking 113 cups of coffee really really really quickly. However, the reality is that this figure would instead result in a fatality due to water intoxication since 113 cups is close to 30 litres of water.

So let’s try a different tact: by focusing on a safe water ingestion figure (i.e. 15 litres per day when spread reasonably). This works out to 60 cups of coffee over a full day, or approximate one cup every 24 minutes…” [read more]

Anyway, it goes on, and essentially says that you can do this; and so, safe in the knowledge that I can consume a cup of coffee every 24 minutes, my question to the greater UBC masses is this:

Where should I get that coffee? Where exactly is the “best” place to get my caffeine fix?

In fact, I’m not even sure how many places there are on campus – hundreds, thousands!? Maybe it’s me, but it sometimes it feels like UBC is fuelling some kind of coffee empire, since every building seems to have own coffee place.

As far as specifics are concerned, any criteria will do (best prices, best beans, highest caffeine, ambience of the place, friendly staff, how busy it is, business ethics, coolest logo, hipness of customers, admirable lack of hipness, good place to study, wifi capabilities, combination of all factors) – basically, I’m just looking for suggestions, and I consider your input a form of expert peer review on the matter.

So without further ado, please leave your suggestions in the comments below.

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David (@ng_dave) is Faculty at the Michael Smith Labs. His writing has appeared in places such as McSweeney's, The Walrus, and He plans on using Terry as another place to highlight the mostly science-y links he appreciates. In fact, if you liked this one, you might also like his main site generally - this can be found at