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The University may install new coffee machines in the Union and most River House dining halls over spring vacation. The new machines would serve real coffee instead of the Minute Maid frozen liquid concentrate currently used.
Benjamin Walcott, assistant director of Food Services said yesterday that the change is being considered in response to student complaints about the coffee now served.
Although a final decision has not been reached yet. Walcott said that Food Service directors were holding meetings with representatives of the coffee industry to decide if the proposed change could be made without increasing the cost of student board contracts.
"We are interested in carrying out the wishes of our customers, without causing any economic impact," Walcott said.
Phillip Bauer, food buyer for the University, estimated yesterday that frozen coffee is only a quarter of a cent cheaper per cup than ground coffee, but the dining halls would need increased labor to operate the new machines.
The decision would affect Eliot, Kirkland, Lowell, Leverett and Quincy Houses, as well as the Union. The Quad Houses, Adams, Dunster, and Mather already serve ground coffee.
Paul duFour, dining hall manager of Adams House which began to serve real coffee this year, said, "The response has been very favorable and people are drinking more coffee."
Although Adams House coffee, brewed in Silex glass jars, has not increased dining hall labor costs, the small size of the jars demands frequent brewing of coffee. If new coffee units are not placed as close to other kitchens as they are in Adams House more staff supervision would be required to tend the pots.
Coffee machines similar to those of Dunster and Mather Houses may also be used. They also require someone to remove the used coffee filters, to clean the urns and to replenish the machines. The frozen coffee-concentrate machines now used demand no supervision other than filling them with the coffee liquid.
Bauer said that one of the "attractive features" of the frozen coffee machines is that the machines, as well as their installation and repair are provided to the University free of charge by the supplier.
Walcott said he has only recently received many complaints about the Minute Maid system. He added that the current system provides "a consistent cup of coffee."
But students contacted yesterday endorsed the proposed change and rated Adams House coffee as the best served at the River Houses.
"The coffee in Lowell House tastes like dishwater," T. Randall Emch '79 said yesterday, expressing the opinion of most students contacted
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