10 April 2007, 10:15 p.m.

2020 N.W. 13th St.

Results

Taste: * * * 1/2

Service: * * *

Ambience: * * * 1/2

Price: * * * 1/3

Overall: * * * 1/2

Coffee Culture got off to a bad start when we had to circle the parking lot several times looking for a spot. The place was hopping, and we almost impatiently decided to go through the drive-through. When we entered, though, it was eerily quiet--everyone was studying. Despite a "study room" off to the side, the kids in the main dining room seemed to be hitting the books, as well.

Cup tower at Coffee Culture

"I think everyone in here hates me right now," Thagard said after the group talked and laughed loudly for a few minutes, earning glares from the other patrons. "It's really creepy." The studyers seemed particularly displeased after we built a fantastic tower out of our empty coffee cups (see left).

Coffee Culture also had a policy that it wouldn't take orders of less than $5 on a debit card--so Gutierrez was charged $0.50 extra for her drink. Abreu, though, had her order taken by a different cashier, who let it slide.

"He was cool," she said, but commented that it wasn't fair to make Gutierrez pay.

Coffee Culture cup

Abreu was also very pleased with her almond coconut latte, which she said was not available at many places. Thagard, though, disliked her drink.

"The foam is killing me," she said. "I don't like this much foam."

Playing games at Coffee Culture

But one thing Coffee Culture had that the scientists had not seen elsewhere was board games. We played Connect Four and a complicated game called Jumpin' Java. Abreu and Gutierrez both liked the games, "but the music is weird," Gutierrez said.

Everyone agreed that the music sounded like dying cats, or the soundtrack from "Skeleton Key."

"The music sucked, but they turned it off," Abreu said, though she was quick to point out that there was no toilet paper in the restrooms.

"My experience," Thagard said, "is nothing beats Deja Brew. Ever."

Sample A: Deja Brew

Sample B: Starbucks

Sample D: Maude's Classic Cafe