{shortcode-5c503f1dbd2a62a01b8edb4d95b033fe4cb078f4}After a six-week winter break, Harvard students returned to something unexpected: the renovation of Capital One Café.

Capital One Café (better known as Cap One Café) is our favorite corporate money making scheme. It’s just a coffee shop within the bank Capital One, and anyone who has a Capital One Card receives heavy discounts on their drinks. I know people who have opened an account with Capital One just to receive this discount, which illustrates just how much Harvard students run on caffeine. They also frequently offer $1 handcrafted drinks which always draws a line out the door… waiting in it is a canon event.

Did anyone know this makeover was coming? Did anyone know that we would return to a basically new café? This is almost as exciting as the opening of Faro or the new Starbucks in the Square.

It was honestly a great surprise. Cap One Café wasn’t frequently on my coffee shop study spot rotation. But now? It might just be awarded a spot.

Before break, Cap One Café was a… mediocre coffee shop to say the least. It was a bit dark and dank. The brick walls and black accents didn’t make for a very aesthetically pleasing environment to answer emails or to procrastinate starting an essay by planning your workout classes or social calendar. Because does one ever get real work done in a coffee shop? No.

It’s no Blue Bottle, but Cap One Café’s relatively characterless interior got a makeover, replaced with neural gray and black tones with woody accents. The amount of small conference rooms have been depleted and replaced with more of an open concept plan, allowing more seating options. There are even couches!

Another perk is that Cap One Café no longer brews Peet’s coffee and switched to Verve, so no longer do you need to clarify which Peet’s you’re referring to. Are you and your friend meeting at Cap One Peet’s or the ~real~ Peet’s next to Grendel’s? Confusion, be gone.

Honestly, I haven’t tried Verve yet so I can’t vouch for the quality, but there’s always people in there, so I guess it can’t be that bad? Either that or everyone’s just desperate for some form of caffeine. You can let me know.

I must lament, I wish the music was also renovated with the interior. Tate McRae and Spotify’s Today’s Top Hits do not promote my peak productivity. Maybe Cap One could take a page out of the Smith Center’s book and opt for some chill lofi? Before you laugh at me, I’m not advocating for a lofi rendition of the Little Mermaid, just something to curate better vibes.

While Cap One Café has yet to attain the status of a Faro or Blue Bottle (and never will — it’s a bank, after all), I do applaud this makeover. It was a fun surprise upon returning to campus, and hey, we gotta enjoy the little things!