Jorge Espinoza-Gonzales ’26
Trinity College is making big changes to its campus this year. Along with the renovation of Mather Dining Hall comes an innovation to the Cornelia Center (previously known as Vernon Social): a new coffee machine. This latest endeavor of installing a cutting-edge coffee machine at the Cornelia Center is reflective of the growing demand for accessibility to coffee on campus apart from the Peter B’s and the Underground. But is it worth it?
The Cornelia Center, a vibrant gathering place for students and staff alike, has always been a favored spot for casual meetings, study sessions, and unwinding between classes. So, when the demand for a new coffee spot increased, the Cornelia Center was the first building considered to house the new facility.
The Costa coffee machine, a sleek and sophisticated model, was installed over the summer. It boasts a variety of features that set it apart from conventional coffee makers. The machine has a user-friendly touch screen interface, and the menu is available in English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and French. Users have an array of customizable options, including different syrups and cup sizes, and an impressive range of beverage choices, from traditional espresso to chai lattes. Don’t worry — the milk is replaced every week to ensure freshness.
One of the most appealing aspects of the new coffee machine is its speed and efficiency. With the capacity to brew a fresh cup of coffee in under a minute, it’s become a time-saving boon for students and faculty members at the Career & Life Design.
Yet, some students, especially those known to be discerning about their coffee preferences, have not been quick to embrace the new addition. Concerns about the limitations of the machine, most notably, the fact that the machine only utilizes whole milk, are only growing. Other students miss the barista-customer conversations, especially when they act as breaks for those studying.
“I usually only buy coffee when I have a lot of work to do,” said Frieda Seo ’26. “I spend hours at a time in the library, by myself, and sometimes I buy coffee to have human interaction — you can’t really have that with a machine.”
Originally, the plan was to build a second Peter B’s location. For an unknown reason, ultimately a decision by Peter B’s, the plan fell through, and the machine was implemented instead. The Costa machine’s prices are $3.25 for a small/ medium and $3.75 for a large. Although the machine has a sign that reads ‘Dining Dollars accepted here,’ the machine does not, in fact, accept Dining Dollars, like the ones promised through the new dining pass. Notably, the machine, since its installation in late summer, has had to be repaired multiple times.
It’s difficult to call its installation a success or a failure. As a safe rule-of-thumb, if you’re not particularly picky about your milk preference, located on Vernon and need a quick energy boost; then this might be the machine for you.