Judging Java: Point Perk Revisited

Written By Jake Dabkowski, Coffee Columnist

Two years ago, I wrote that “Point Perk’s coffee is so awful that it wouldn’t surprise me if it emerged as a frontrunner in the 2024 Republican primaries.” At the time of reviewing Point Perk, our university’s coffee shop, my one star out of five review was one of the most scathing reviews I had ever written. But recently, something happened that changed my tune, and may have permanently changed this column.

A few days ago, I was faced with a dilemma. I had a fifteen minute window and desperately needed a coffee, but my only option was to go to Point Perk. I should also point out that I no longer have a meal plan or Flex dollars on campus, so I would have to pay real money for this coffee. With no other option, I gritted my teeth and entered Point Perk for the first time this semester.

The line was initially very long and appeared perilous, but I was impressed by how fast the staff kept it moving. I purchased an Rx Bar (as a side note, to whoever invented the Rx Bar: thank you) and a bag of ghost pepper chips (as a joke), and then asked for a cup of black coffee. I opted for the dark roast. 

As I went to sip my coffee, I anticipated pain, or at the very least disgust, but what I found was a perfectly reasonable, albeit mediocre, cup of coffee. But that mediocre cup of coffee made me realize a lot of things about this column, about myself, and about life.

I realize now that I have been way too critical of many of the shops that I have gone to, and that more importantly the star rating is arbitrary and idiotic. From now on, this column will come down to a simple yes or no question: should you go to this coffee shop?

For Point Perk, the answer is yes. More specifically, if you are a Point Perk student, you owe it to yourself to go there every once in a while. It’s a staple of our university community, and you would be robbing yourself of a key aspect of the Point Park experience if you took my word for it last time.

That made me think even more. Why am I so hard on some of these shops? The people working there put their blood, sweat, and tears into coffee and here I am, just tearing them to shreds so that I can feel some vaguely smug sense of intelligence. A while back I reviewed Creative Coffee & Supply and gave them a low score because I felt as though the shop was pretentious. I now realize that I am the pretentious one. To Creative Coffee, I owe you a genuine apology, and encourage everyone to go and support them (they’re Point Park Alumni!)

At the end of the day, however, if you’re formulating your opinions on coffee shops from this column, then, thanks, I guess? Is that a good thing? You should probably try the coffee shops out yourself. Anyways, Point Perk is fine.