One thing I’d change about Oxford… Coffee shops

What would you change? This week in our new feature Amber Bal attacks the coffee outlets capitalising on our crippling need for extra energy

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Photo: pexel.com

Oxford, wake up! We are a town under occupation by coffee shops in the same order of magnitude as actual ‘coffee shops’ in Amsterdam, or trap houses in the favelas of Rio.

As each day passes, the sandstone colleges’ reign over the cityscape is further eff aced by the sterile gleam of these mass-marketed menaces, pushing upon us a substance as dangerous to the sleep-deprived student as Jack Daniels to an alcoholic.

Being able to function only after hitting your local ‘dealer’ isn’t as cute and cosmopolitan as we imagine. None of us are tux-wearing George Clooneys in the Nespresso advert, sipping a beverage to pass idle hours. We are red-eyed wretches, stumbling to Exam Schools while clasping a scalding Nero cup to our bosom. We are the fools at the front of the Pret queue, looting the depths of our bag for the pound coin that stands between us and our fifth filter coffee of the day.

Caffè Nero exerts the same control over our lives as its eponymous mascot. (Emperor) Nero, along with his cronies, Paul, Starbucks, Costa, Pret and Taylors have colonised the highstreet, subduing us with this modern-day opiate of the masses, disguised in all its delightful forms and flavours.

Aged 20, did you really think you’d already undergo Sunday withdrawal? Each Sabbath you enter that terrifying purgatory between the hours of eight and 12, a world made bleak without 200 mg of the good stuff coursing through your veins.

Face it, Oxford has become a blazing inferno of capitalism and caffeine and the only thing that can save us is the second coming of Christ.

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