“Can you taste the difference?” asks Stein (24), looking doubtfully at his course mate Nick (24). They had both just taken a sip of the cappuccinos that they had just exchanged. Nick shares his assessment a couple of sips later. “The one of the right is a bit sour and bitter at the back of your palate. It’s quite nice but the one on the left tastes better. It’s softer and does not really leave a taste in your mouth.”
‘Left’ and ‘right’ are the two coffee beans that students and staff at TU Delft can taste this week in the Aula and the Fellowship. After tasting them, they can vote on the one they prefer on a screen next to the two machines. The winning beans will be available from 1 January 2024 in the coffee machines at TU Delft.
One vending machine has Puro Fairtrade Bio, a 100% arabica coffee bean. The other has Puro Compañero Bio, a mix of arabica and robusta beans. Only Maas, the supplier, knows which one is which. Maas was again chosen by TU Delft as the partner for coffee, snack and soft drinks vending machines.
That the new machines only have oat milk is not a problem for Stein and Nick, sixth year Physics students. As they each drink three or four black coffees a day, the coffee itself is the important thing. The free filter coffee at the study association is so very strong (“if you drink a cup at 09:00 you stay awake till 14:00”) that they regularly treat themselves to a vending machine coffee at EUR 0.56. “At least it doesn’t make you feel nauseous.”
Staff members Judith and Pier also share the cups they have brought themselves. Both prefer the coffee from the coffee machine on the right. To Judith – “I am definitely not a coffee expert” – it is a little sweeter while the one on the left is on the sour side. To Pier, the one on the right tastes “like it is made with love. Can you even say that about coffee machines?”
Pier, who will also test the new chocaccinos (a blend of coffee and chocolate milk), drinks four or five cups a day. “One at home, two at TU Delft, and another two during the day.” He pauses. “Maybe that’s why I sometimes sleep so badly.”
- Do you want to help choose?
Come to the Aula and Fellowship between 10:00 and 16:00 on Thursday 28 and Friday 29 September to taste the two coffee beans and vote.