One of the best campus coffee shops I know is on the UCSD campus where I had the great fortune to spend a month this summer (much more on that coming soon.) The place is called Perks. Its not the coolest place to hang out. It shares space with the campus bookstore, the lighting is industrial, and the furniture is not conducive to lingering. But I don’t know of any other campus cafe so focused on the quality of the coffee.
The assistant manager’s name is Jason and he is a serious barista. It is apparent that he has also trained most of the regular staff. Their espresso roast is on the light side, a departure from the tendency toward over-roasting from Starbuck’s and Peets. They make drinks one at a time: the baristas are not multi-taskers. Listen to the sound as they steam milk. You don’t hear the usual bubbles-through-a-straw sound that must untrained baristas learn as the quick and easy way to make glue foam. And you see and taste the results.