Majors: English and Political Science
Hometown: Houston, TX
It’s the question on every TCU student’s mind, either in the midst of finals week stress or while rushing to make an 8 AM class: should I go to Dwell or Ampersand today?
Dwell Coffee and Biscuits and Ampersand are two of the newest additions to TCU’s coffee scene and have quickly become the student favorites. Both are located on University Drive within a block of each other. Both offer unique latte flavors and an array of baked goods. Both have seating for studying or enjoying their cozy, coffee house atmosphere. Finally, and possibly most importantly, both take Frog Bucks from the TCU meal plan.
So how do you decide between these caffeine kingdoms? Don’t worry, I’m here to help. I decided to put myself on the case and provide a full breakdown of both Dwell and Ampersand in order to determine, once and for all, the victor in the TCU Coffee Wars.
First, I wanted to gage the opinions of the people. In a poll of 50 TCU students, 22 students voted that Dwell was their favorite coffee place, while 28 cast their vote for Ampersand. While Ampersand was off to an apparent, early lead, the margin of the votes was still somewhat split down the middle. Clearly, the student body was divided, and I had to dig deeper.
Next, I interviewed two self-professed “Coffee Experts” from the TCU campus, and asked them to choose between Dwell and Ampersand.
“Dwell and Ampersand seem to fit the same niche, that is offering a quality coffee shop in close proximity to TCU and its students,” noted Expert One. “Given the choice between the two, though, I would have to go with Ampersand. It wins over Dwell in the two categories I deem most important in a coffee shop–coffee and atmosphere. Ampersand offers an excellent coffee selection in an intimate environment, perfect for your next caffeine craving.”
“Ampersand has much richer coffee,” added Expert Two, “They make quality a top priority and adjust the espresso ratio for each size. They have a huge selection of specialty drinks as well as many tea options. Their space is small, but they make the most of what they have.”
“Where Dwell really thrives is their large space,” continues Expert Two, “They have many tables that are big enough to study on. However, in my eyes, Ampersand is still better just because of the quality of the coffee and isn’t that the most important aspect of a coffee place?”
For the second time, the people of TCU had spoken, and Ampersand had come out on top. But before I was ready to declare the winner, I wanted to take a closer look at the details.
DWELL COFFEE AND BISCUITS:
– Location: 3113 S University Dr #100
– Frog Bucks: Yes
– Specialty Drink: Oat Milk Latte or Matcha Latte
– Non-Coffee Options: Various biscuits, including biscuit sandwiches (or “Biswichs”), mini flavored biscuits, and biscuits with jam
– Study Space: Plenty, but the tables fill up very quickly
– Vibes: Friendly, hipster, bohemian
– Hours: 6 AM-8 PM Monday-Friday
7 AM-8 PM Saturday
7 AM-4 PM Sunday
– Advantages: More study space, sweeter coffee (based on preference), more food options, parking lot outside
– Disadvantages: Often busier than Ampersand, fewer coffee options, milkier coffee (based on preferences)
– Location: 3025 S University Dr
– Frog Bucks: Yes
– Specialty Drink: Lavender Vanilla Latte
– Non-Coffee Options: Smoothies, Muffins, Avocado Toast
– Study Space: Smaller space, but generally easy to find a table
– Vibes: Cozy, warm, chic
– Hours: 7 AM-9 PM Monday-Thursday
7 AM-2 AM Friday-Saturday
8 AM-8 PM Sunday
– Advantages: More variety of coffee flavors and options, richer coffee (based on preference), usually less crowded than Dwell
– Disadvantages: Very limited space, fewer food options, no parking
In conclusion, both coffee shops offer a high-quality cup of coffee, along with the benefits of good food and study space. The people that work at both Dwell and Ampersand are always able to create a fun and friendly atmosphere that makes you feel welcomed. As someone who is a fan of both, I can promise that you really can’t go wrong when choosing between the two.
However, as the Coffee Wars draw to a close, someone must be declared the winner. It was a tough decision but ultimately, due to the large majority opinion of TCU students and the greater variety of coffee options, Ampersand wins the title of best campus coffee shop.
So there you have it, your definitive guide to good coffee at TCU. Of course, I have neglected to mention the Starbucks coffee in various locations on campus such as Union Grounds, the library, or the TCU bookstore. Admittedly, these were omitted based on my own personal preferences, revealing some slight author’s bias to my investigation.
However, as the old saying goes, all is fair in love and coffee wars.