What does a student need most in the last month of the semester? If you answered “employment” then congratulations, you’re right. Second on the list, though, are caffeinated beverages.

For those of us who would prefer not to have a heart attack at age 35, and choose to leave energy drinks for the nuclear option, there’s coffee. The question is: where’s the good coffee at the University of Rhode Island?

We have 11 major coffee options that are in walking distance from our main campus: three Dunkin’ Donuts; Hope and Butterfield dining halls; Rhody Market; Ram Escape; 193 Student Coffeehouse; Daily Grind (in the 24 hour room); Bagelz; Cumberland Farms; and 401 café. There are a few more at other spots, but for most people, these are your regular coffee options if you’re not planning on having a meal also–or smoking hookah at the café in the Emporium.

Here’s the rundown on every option, from best to worst. Comparisons are based on a small, regular iced or hot brewed coffee.

  1. Dunkin’ Donuts (CBLS)

Price: Under $2

Location: Bottom floor of CBLS.

Service: Self serve.

Verdict: Prices are cheaper than a regular Dunkin’, lines aren’t long, and you pour/prepare the coffee yourself. Coffee is usually above-average among Dunkin’ locations.

  1. 401 Café

Price: Around $2

Location: Emporium, across the street from CVS.

Service: Friendly with more trendy and hip atmosphere.

Verdict: Quiet place with higher-quality beans and more careful brewing, but the house blend was a little watery. Can’t go too wrong here.

  1. 193 Coffeehouse

Price: $1

Location: Second floor of the Union, by the Atrium.

Service: Very relaxed but friendly.

Verdict: Cheap for a small coffee, excellent location, coffee is slightly better than URI dining options but slightly worse than Dunkin’, atmosphere is nice. Cash only.

  1. Cumberland Farms

Price: $1

Location: Emporium, across from I-Slice.

Service: Self serve.

Verdict: Better quality than you would expect, and plenty of flavor options for only $1. Only negatives are that it’s a convenience store, so there’s no seating, and location is inconvenient.

  1. (tie) Dunkin’ Donuts (Memorial Union)

Price: Around $2

Location: Attached to Ram’s Den and accessible by outside ramp.

Service: Slow and mistake-prone but student employees are nice.

Verdict: Relatively consistent chain quality but truly terrible accuracy of orders and quality control. Extremely busy because of the central location with long lines.

  1. (tie) Dunkin’ Donuts (Emporium)

Price: Around $2

Location: Emporium, across the street from I-Slice, next to Peking Tokyo.

Service: Average for a chain coffee shop; slightly better accuracy than the Union location.

Verdict: Same as the Union store but much less traffic and so there are less mistakes.

  1. Ram Escape

Price: Free (with combo meal swipe)

Location: Basement of the Union, across from the Mailroom.

Service: Always friendly, usually very quick.

Verdict: Not very good quality beans, but the Light Roast is acceptable. Free for most people with a dining plan, more quiet location, and fast and friendly employees.

  1. Daily Grind  

Price: Under $2

Location: Middle of the Library 24-hour room.

Service: Acceptable but sometimes staff isn’t paying attention and are studying.

Verdict: The location is the major reason to ever buy anything here. Equal in coffee quality (just check out the manual burr coffee grinder reviews average coffee shops use) to the dining halls (read: burnt) except it’s not free and it’s in the library. Sometimes open late.

  1. (tie) Hope Dining Hall (Mainfare):

Price: Free (with meal plan)

Location: Butterfield Rd., across the street from Fascitelli Gym and upstairs.

Service: Self-serve.

Verdict: Usually awfully burnt coffee, but you can’t beat free. Iced coffee not available.

  1. (tie) Butterfield Dining Hall

Price: Free (meal plan)

Location: Butterfield Rd., across the street from Adams and Browning.

Service: Self-serve.

Verdict: Just as burnt as hope. No iced coffee here either unless you pour it over ice in the tiny, tiny cups.

  1. Bagelz:

Price: Around $2

Location: Emporium, next to Subway.

Service: Friendly but slow-paced even during a rush.

Verdict: Coffee in general is about 99% water, but Bagelz coffee is 99.99% water. It’s somehow also burnt. Avoid.

  1. Rhody Market:

Price: Free (with combo meal swipe)

Location: Adjacent to Mainfare in Hope.

Service: Fast but iced coffee is pre-poured and ice melts.

Verdict: I didn’t know a coffee could have notes of garbage-flavor. Free with combos but this coffee is a last resort. Burnt and never freshly brewed.