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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Review: Caffe Luce

    Brandi Walker
    Jay McEntee

    When a hipster has an 8 a.m. class, she inevitably finds her way to Caffe Luce afterward for a little pick-me-up.

    Luce is a cafe in the old bourgeois Paris, rise-of-the-intelligentsia sense of the word — this week alone, while sitting at the big communal table on the north end of Luce, I’ve overheard two molecular and cellular biology professors negotiate the terms of a new research partnership, three gender and women’s studies graduate students discussing a speaker who recently came to campus and an Arabic Flagship student arguing with her language tutor about the international response in Syria. In the past, I’ve even seen professors convening evening seminar classes or instructors holding office hours on Luce’s patio.

    So Caffe Luce is, first and foremost, an academic space like all the other study spaces on campus, with the added benefit of really good coffee.

    And man, is the coffee good. Beyond their specialties, like the ever-popular dirty chai and Azteca mocha, they make a mean brewed coffee. They have two different brews each day, one medium and one dark roast, with a discount for those who provide their own thermos or mug — for the 10 or 15 minutes between classes, the line runs to the door.

    The atmosphere is homier than your usual hipster cafe, which tends to emphasize austere modernism and clean lines. There’s an old couch in the corner and the constant smell of the coffee beans being roasted on-site.

    Political science junior Angad Chopra, who says he spend about six hours a week studying in Caffe Luce, summed up his perspective: “Good vibe, good atmosphere, good coffee.”

    While those things are all true, and there are posters on the walls advertising indie concerts and the baristas all have pretty sweet tats, at the end of the day, Luce is maybe a little too school for cool. It’s a little too welcoming, too come-as-you-are, too reflective of the campus on which it is situated.

    And let’s be real: the UA is not a hipster school, and so the coffee shops that serve it are little less hip, too. Even when you account for the fact that the most basic Wildcats go to Starbucks, not Luce.

    But it’s still a great place for two hipsters to meet up and discuss the post-structuralist theory used in their dissertations. And like all successful dissertations, these ones are fueled by some really quality coffee.


    Follow Jacquelyn Oesterblad on Twitter.

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