The Gods Café in Union Court. Photo: Stuart Hay.

Our café culture

Fancy a Latte? SIMON JENKINS discovers why campus coffee shops are so popular.

It’s the place that greets you with aroma-enticing hot foods, delicious yet sugar coma-inducing desserts and piping hot coffees, made fresh at a moment’s request.

The café culture at ANU is very much alive and ticking, especially during the teaching periods where you can see the hustle and bustle of a busy, productive University. Whether it’s summer or winter, the same vibrancy is on show.

Patrons huddle around tables – rugged up in winter woollies, or in shorts and t-shirts, depending on the season – sipping their beverages and having a quick bite to eat before heading to the next meeting, class or task for the day.

Discussions can be heard above the sounds of the latest hits playing via the café’s speakers, competing with the occasional ‘click click’ of the barista preparing the next order. Those discussions might be about upcoming assignments and exams or plans for a get-together to celebrate the end of an assessment. They can also be places for chit-chat as friends meet for lunch to debrief about their day.

For academic staff, the campus café is a chance to get out of the office and away from writing that journal or thesis, or have a break from marking students’ work. They may even choose to meet a student there to discuss course work outside the potentially intimidating surrounds of an office environment, or meet with colleagues to plan next week’s lectures or tutes.