Judging Java: Point Perk

Written By Jake Dabkowski, Coffee Columnist

1/5 Globes

Most college-aged kids seem to be under the impression that all cups of coffee are the same, but in reality, not all coffee is created equal. In this column I review the various coffee shops near Point Park University, all as part of my search to find the perfect cup of coffee.


As the semester draws to a close, I realized that I could no longer delay the inevitable. Today I review something I’ve put off for a long time, something that has easily been the most requested coffee shop for me to review. Today I review Point Perk.


Point Perk is a staple of the Point Park experience. The quaint coffeehouse was a hub of social activity before the global pandemic hit, but that’s the issue now: it was never about the coffee, it was about the environment. And now it’s a to-go ghost town.


Point Perk advertises itself as proudly brewing Starbucks coffee, but there is nothing proud about the cup of coffee that I was served. In Point Perk’s defense, they’re a coffee shop on a liberal arts campus, so the “hot coffee” is partially on the menu as a joke. If you go to Point Perk, do not order a cup of black coffee, get yourself a nice latte, or, an even better suggestion: go somewhere else.


Point Perk’s coffee is so awful that it wouldn’t surprise me if it emerged as a frontrunner in the 2024 Republican primaries. The flavor profile was so dull and unremarkable, every sip got worse and worse. And the biggest issue with the fact that every sip got worse and worse: the first sip was terrible.


It is the McRib of coffee: you drink it once, and then never want to think about it again, until next year when the semester starts again and you think to yourself “I could go for some Point Perk.”


I would not recommend getting a cup of actual coffee from Point Perk. If you have Flex to spend, get something else. I’m trying to be polite here because it’s a part of the school, but it’s awful.


And so, the semester draws to a close. Another week goes by without me finding the perfect cup of coffee, a quest that is seeming less like a quest and more like a wild goose chase, but in my search I have learned a lot.


For example, I’ve learned that not all coffee is created equal, and in fact, not all coffee is even created to be bearable. I’ve learned that Starbucks is mediocre, smaller, local shops tend to be of a higher quality and that 7-11 coffee is undrinkable. I’ve also learned that I am addicted to caffeine and cannot function without two cups of coffee a day.


But most importantly, I’ve learned that nothing is perfect, and if it is, you’ll realistically never have it. Perfection is a pretty steep standard, and I think that, especially as the holidays arrive during a global pandemic and the country teeters on the verge of mass economic collapse, that it’s important to just enjoy what you have. Point Perk coffee is not good, but it could be worse. It could be 7-11.