We need to talk about the Unio queue

It’s about more than just the waiting time

cafe coffee norwich pizza uea uni unio

When I want my coffee, I don’t want to wait for as long as it would take for my butterfly burger to arrive in Nando’s. 

Honestly, the Unio queues are nightmare. After a morning stint in the library the last thing you want to see when you walk into the SU is a queue which gives Mantra a run for its money. That said, the queues make the perfect excuse when returning back late from a seminar break.  A simple “I was getting coffee from Unio” and you’re sorted.

The queue can stretch back to past this point

One time a friend and I were at the back of the queue which stretched past some of the pop-up markets when we realised we were standing next to Caroline Lucas. The queue had literally led us to an MP – don’t say the Union doesn’t do anything for students. Just a shame we were about as far away from the counter as we were to her office in London.

I understand my order is annoying and I do feel like I’m being picky when I ask for an extra hot soya sugar free caramel cappuccino, but that’s what I want and I want it now.

They don’t seem to know it though. When you do eventually make it to the waiting area you’ll have time to contemplate the meaning of life, have an existential crisis or even plan and write your essay that’s due in for tomorrow so there are some bonuses too.


A few days ago my friend and I went for a DMC and admittedly my tea and slice of lemon cake were served very quickly. My friend, however, made the rookie error of ordering a caramel macchiato.

I wish I was lying when I said it took less than 15 minutes before it was ready, but I’d finished my cake five minutes before we even saw the barista begin to make the coffee, and by that point my friend didn’t event want it anymore.

It’s not all bad though. You might find that you’ve got a new name that you definitely did not say on your cup once your coffee’s been handed to you. One student, Demi, has had her name changed to “Vee” and “Debbie”, among others. It’s kind of like a surprise, waiting to see which identity you can adopt today.

So much coffee to still be made

Some people might ask why I don’t just go to another place on campus. Why would I want to trek down to Cafe Direct when Unio is right outside the library? The coffee isn’t as nice and there isn’t as much variety, and there’s no way I’m getting the filtered coffee from Blend.

Sure, I moan about Unio, but ultimately I’d rather silently criticise their less-than-average service for 15 minutes than even contemplate going anywhere else.

Just please, sort out the queue.