Storm Blog

Takeaway Coffee

I would like to share a thought about my favorite drink.

Last week I was going by train from Utrecht to Amsterdam which are both big train-stations with a lot of cafes and supermarkets in the station area. I saw people standing in line at Julia’s, Albert Heijn ToGo and several bakeries. The train I planned to take was cancelled so I had to hop on the next train, ten minutes later. The thought of a hot cup of coffee  was alluring, but would I make it in time? Around five people were already standing in line at Julia’s. Being the sixth would be a little risky, considering my past experiences in these kind of situations.

I resisted the temptation and made my way to the track. After realizing I hopped on an international train, I probably should be paying an extra fee, which I didn’t do. While hoping no railway guard would come by to check, I had an even greater desire for coffee.

Without being checked, I made it to Amsterdam, way too early because of the super high speed train ride. I had time to spare. Time for coffee? Yes.

At Julia’s I ordered a cappuccino, but I added this: ‘I’ll just drink it at the bar, you can give me a regular coffee cup, no takeaway.’ Al banco, as they say it in Italy. Al banco means at the bar which is the normal way to drink coffee in Italy and the cheapest way: the bar prices are often less than if you take a seat. Just what we want as students, right?


As someone who has the luxury of studying and living in the same city, I almost never have to take my first coffee of the day on the go. I can take it when I am still at home or before and after class at university. This is why I was surprised by commuters and their coffee-drinking behaviour. I have seen this before in my life but this time, I took the time to think about it from a sustainably responsible perspective.


So here comes my point: why has it become a habit to buy your coffee at the train station, take it away in a cup which burns your fingers, is a single-waste product and makes the coffee less tasty?  

Drink you favorite caffeine shot like the Italians do: al banco without any waste. Coffee is a pleasurable drug, but a drug nevertheless, and should be downed in one, standing. Just ask for it.

- Eva Colussi


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