It’s 09:59 and you have ten minutes to get to your tutorial. In this space of time, you must of course factor in that ritual injection of coffee–served black for speed.
Having navigated through thronging masses of loitering students who, for reasons unknown, seem to have all the time in the world to cluster around the entrance of every coffee shop around campus, you arrive late, flustered, with boiling coffee dripping from a scalded hand.
Getting a coffee in a hurry is perhaps one of the many problems that plagues students. It’s about as unlikely as finding a seat in the library during exam period. There is a solution: an eccentric gentleman in a police box.
Breezing by that embarrassingly obvious reference, here’s what you need to know about the George Square coffee boxes.
1. They are literally outside your lecture halls.
Strategically placed around George Square, the stress of either walking to Quartermile, or standing in the library cafe overflow.
2. They can make a coffee quicker than it takes to boil a kettle.
Yes, to rationalise the extra expenditure, I did time both of those activities; the coffee box wins. There are no gimmicks, no human chain involved in brewing your coffee. You are simply asked for your order and it arrives within a minute.
3. Their coffee is ‘good coffee’.
If you are one of the many pretentious Edinburgh students that loudly condemn high street coffee shops for using ‘bad beans’, or ‘burning their grounds’ (like myself); then the boxes are for you. Sourcing their beans from a single plantation, high in the Javanese Mountains, the coffee is rich in taste, with notes of hazelnut and vanilla, and ethically produced.
If you are even more of a coffee-nerd and want specifics, the machines used are direct lever. Notoriously difficult to master but when used by a pro, they yield a far more fragrant espresso shot.
4. If you are partial to a coffee that tastes nothing like coffee, they have that covered.
As well as having the standard selection of extravagant latte flavours, the coffee box boys have also added a touch of their own genius, creating the peanut-butter mocha. Too much you cry? Taste it, delicious doesn’t cover it.