The UO’s newest outlet for caffeinated (and non-caffeinated) beverages and on-to-go food items, Elements Ca-Fe, is now open for business in the Allan Price Science Commons and Research Library.
“It’s a great location in a highly visible, new building in an area of campus that was previously on the fringes of our service area,” said Joshua Harris, food service manager with University Housing, the unit that manages the operations of the café. “We hope that our existing customers will find it more convenient, and we hope it will be accessible to a whole new group of people.”
Beyond just hot and cold coffee and tea drinks, the menu also includes fruit smoothies, a daily selection of baked goods, sandwiches, wraps, salads, yogurt and cheese, fresh fruit, and more. In keeping with the green focus of much scientific research at the UO, the Elements Ca-Fe features sustainable coffees.
Sourced from Sumatra and Mexico, the beans are, respectively, certified organic and Rainforest Alliance certified. In another nod to sustainability, patrons will receive a 25-cent discount on their beverage purchase when they bring in their own cup or mug.
The spelling of the name, Ca-Fe, reflects the scientific abbreviations for the elements calcium and iron, a nod to its location at the heart of the UO’s research community.
Lara Nesselroad, manager of the math and science libraries, explains that the needs of the UO science community guided the decision to include a coffee place in the new library’s design.
“Throughout the multi-year design process,” she said, “we asked for input from our science faculty and students. … The most consistent result was clear: Every time we solicited ideas, the word ‘coffee’ came up early and often, and sometimes users would move on to talk about other ideas but then come back to remind us that, also, they wanted coffee please, and a place to meet, talk about science and drink it.”
They asked and the library listened. Located in the new building’s spacious, light-filled atrium level, the Elements Ca-Fe is expected to be a key meeting place and center of community for faculty, staff, and students in all the scientific disciplines.
When school is in session, the Elements Ca-Fe will be open Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-10 p.m. and Fridays 8 a.m.-5 p.m.