New coffee machines will offer more flavours of coffee and tea

Coffee from the machine will soon only cost 60 cents

Coffee machine

The new machines will no longer offer instant coffee and tea, soup and cups. However, UU students and staff will be able to choose from two coffee bean types, apart from other coffee-based drinks, hot chocolate, five tea flavours, and decaffeinated coffee. Users will also choose between cow milk and oat milk. Those who select tea or decaffeinated coffee will get hot water from the machine and a loose tea bag or sachet containing the decaffeinated coffee mix, which they can then mix into the water.

Costs are about to change as well. Those whose campus cards do not grant them free coffee will pay 60 cents per cup when choosing coffee, espresso, tea or hot chocolate. This means that most drinks will be considerably cheaper. "The university wants to keep warm beverages affordable for students, which is why it is lowering the price," explains Anna Stamp-Jongbloed, Contract & Suppliers Manager at the Facility Service Centre.

More sustainable
The University Council, the Sustainability Office and members of the several faculties have come up with a list of demands for this tender. They were unanimous in thinking that the quality had to improve. In addition, they "focused a lot on sustainability," according to Stamp-Jongbloed. One of the demands in the tender is that the supplier should make deliveries to all 83 university buildings using electric cars only. The supplier should also meet five criteria related to the Sustainable Development Goals. "This is a ten-year contract, so we would like the supplier to get on with upcoming trends."

The current supplier, Maas, won the tender once again. The company will replace all 260 coffee machines with 230 new ones, which will be smaller as well. Stamp-Jongbloed: “We've reduced the number of machines so that there would be more money left for organic and fairtrade coffee and tea."

The machines are smaller because they don't offer cups. "We're assuming that everyone will bring their own cup from home," says Stamp-Jongbloed. "Those who do not have a cup can buy one at the restaurants." The small size also means that the new machines will not have soup.

Two types of coffee beans, five types of tea
It is unusual to give coffee drinks a choice between two types of coffee beans. "We're doing this to meet different wishes," she explains. On Tuesday, April 30, students and staff are invited to a tasting that will help choose the two beans that will be offered by the machines. "Everyone is welcome to join. We will offer people three types of coffee, made with different beans. The two beans with the most votes will be available in the machines." The tasting will last from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm at the city centre library and Educatorium's first floor, at Utrecht Science Park.

Tea lovers will also get five flavours to choose from. Instead of instant tea, they will get a loose tea bag. This choice was made because "there was a consensus that tea was in dire need of improvement. One of the options will be caffeine-free, probably camomile because there is a lot of demand for that."

The luxe coffee machine is no longer part of the package. Faculties will have to ask for it, says Stamp-Jongbloed.

Snack vending machines
The content of other vending machines will change too, informs Stamp-Jongbloed. The university will look into healthier snack options with less sugar, although students and staff shouldn't worry about the most popular sugary options – namely, gevulde koek and Kinder Bueno – because they are not going anywhere. Soft drink machines will barely change, if at all. In total, there are eighty snack vending machines and soft drink machines across the university.

The snacks approaching expiration date will be offered on Too Good To Go, so that they are not thrown away. The coffee and tea will be organic and fair trade, as they are now. Coffee beans will be purchased from the social enterprise Heilige Boontjes.

Display koffieautomaat UU, april 2024, foto DUB

The drinks currently offered by UU's coffee machines. Photo: DUB