Campus Coffee Critiques: The Chem Cafe is UConn’s holy grail


The Chem Cafe in the Chemistry Building is the busiest location on campus for coffee stops. (File Photo/The Daily Campus)

The Chem Cafe in the Chemistry Building is the busiest location on campus for coffee stops. (File Photo/The Daily Campus)

Out of all the UC Cafes, there is one heavily regarded as the best: the Chem Cafe.

The Chem Cafe is located on the first floor of the Chemistry building, which can be a bit daunting if you’re not used to going inside of it. But once you get past this confidence crisis, the cafe is beautiful. The area is lit mainly by floor-to-ceiling windows that give the seating area a lot of natural lighting. The Chem building has a lot of greens and other cool-colored tones, and since it’s lit with mainly natural lighting, the space often has a darker look to it—but not in a bad way. It gives the cafe a relaxing, mellow vibe that is a lovely escape from the winds of North Campus.

The problem with the cafe being in the Chem building, however, is that the space is heavily trafficked. If you stop by between classes, you’ll be met with long lines and no sitting spaces. The cafe is right next to the lecture hall on the first floor, so students use the seats at the cafe while they wait for the previous class to finish. The first floor gets crowded during passing times, but the workers are good at keeping the line moving quickly. And considering this is really the only drawback to the Chem Cafe, it’s worth it.

Part of the reason the line moves so quickly is that the coffee is entirely self-serve. You buy a cup and then fill it yourself at the coffee station. The Chem Cafe is one of the only spots on campus that has self-serve with both hot and iced coffee, which is a blessing if you like mixing flavors or if you just like having control over your coffee. Bonus side note: bring a travel mug and order a refill coffee to save some money by not paying for a cup.

Overall, the Chem Cafe is the best because of its coffee. Its coffee jugs are always full and always hot, and when the cafe does run out of coffee, the employees are always quick to refill it. The coffee is never burnt, and the flavored coffees actually taste how they’re advertised. It’s the best-tasting coffee on campus, which makes going to the Chem building worth the walk. Plus, the snack section is always fully-stocked and there’s a variety of wraps and other foods there that I rarely spot at the other cafes.

Overall, the Chem Cafe is the best of the UC Cafes. If you ever find yourself craving a cup of coffee and don’t mind the trip, it’s definitely worth it.

Rating: 4.8/5

Courtney Gavitt is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at

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