Hands in her pockets and moving from side to side, Amneet Rai waits in a Starbucks line at Humber College for her favourite drink, passion tea lemonade.
She glances behind her and sees the line rapidly growing as students rush in to grab their morning coffee, tea, latte, or caramel Frappuccino, before classes.
To Rai’s left, she eyes the display case with the many coffee beans and roasts, taking a few seconds longer at the travel mugs and cups display before moving down the line.
To her right, she sees the group of Humber staff and students mixing sweeteners and putting lids on their drinks at the North campus Learning Resouce Commons outlet.
Rai’s experience would be different at the other popular coffee shop located at the opposite end of campus. Tim Horton’s is the leading competitor in java for Humber students and staff.
Like coffee customers in the larger culture, students find more congenial pricing at Tim’s but in some cases prefer the more customized, elegant coffee stylings of Starbucks.
“I think the current Starbucks is located in a great place,” said Rai, an event management student. “It’s accessible to everyone because the LRC is very spacious and central.”
Rai, like many others, is pleased with the opening of Starbucks in the new LRC.
The floor-to-ceiling windows provide an open and brighter space for students to enjoy a cup of coffee and a study session in the seating area is provided.
Rai said that seeing a line at Starbucks is a sign to not to spend her money and time on a drink. She spends about $12 a week at Starbucks and said “the amount can be decreased.”
Alexandra Henderson, one of the baristas at Starbucks, said it is the best coffee shop on campus.
Rai agrees, noting that Starbucks offers different seasonal drinks besides the location and “better” waiting area.
Other people would disagree.
“Although it [Starbucks] has a great location, Tim Hortons has a larger food section and is way cheaper,” said Trey Hesketh, a game programming student at Humber.
Tim Hortons’ employees were too busy to comment, but the campus shop is open longer than Starbucks, ensuring that students and faculty have enough time to grab a quick drink in the express line.
Shanice Atwell, a barista at Starbucks off-campus, said they offer “better customer service” and have employee benefits, including training on how to make connections with people.
“Now that Roll-Up-the-Rim is coming to an end, not a lot of people will be going to Tim’s as often,” said a Humber student.
While sipping on her passion tea lemonade, Rai said if she were given the chance to create a drink, it would be an iced mocha flavoured with Ferrero Rocher.
“If any store already has a drink like that already, consider that my new favourite coffee store,” she said. “On or off campus.”