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Coffee, Anyone?

Morgan Bartlett | Staff Writer | 2-7-2012

It’s a fact: People enjoy coffee. Particularly college students — it’s the easiest way to guarantee attentiveness in those long lecture classes. If you happen to be one of those people who enjoy the occasional–or constant–caffeinated pick-me-up, you are in luck; there are plenty of places that cater to your liquid energy addiction.
The Wild Hare Bistro is by far the most unique coffee shop I have ever set foot in. The first thing to reach my ears was Turkish instrumental music, and one quick glance around the place revealed a few original works of art that were of an artisan, Indie quality. An earthy, organic feel was definitely in the air, and speaking of which, the coffee they serve is organic and fair trade certified. The crowd there is diverse, but according to staff about 70% are loyal customers. The Wild Hare has a good selection of drinks and a narrower selection of food, but what they do have is all home-made. The environment struck me as more suitable to visit if you are meeting someone for coffee and a chat, but it’s relaxed enough to get work done, too. If you’ve never been there, check it out.
Dunn Bros. coffeehouse definitely had a different type of atmosphere. With its earth-toned walls, fireplace surrounded on three sides with comfy chairs and magazines to read and an extremely personable, funny staff, it is relaxing and welcoming. It is quiet enough to study if one wishes, and it can also be a coffee date spot. Staff there say they can always tell when exams time hits — the shop is chock-full of students frantically studying and downing their choice drink. Of their clientele, about 40% are repeat customers and frequent the shop several times a week if not once (or twice) a day. Mochas and icecremas are some of their most popular drinks and they have a wide variety beyond that, along with a moderate food selection. I know I’ll be returning there; an icecrema is calling my name.
A southwest feel is evident the moment you step through the door into Cantabria, a popular downtown coffeehouse. The three adjoining rooms are spacious, yet enclosed and comfortable, and the decorations allow the eye to roam as you sip your warm coffee and relax. It is a quiet, yet sociable place. I vote Cantabria for my favorite coffee shop/study place combination because of the atmosphere provided, and of course their popular drinks. Their white mochas, I’m told, are the best in town. If you haven’t proven or disproved this claim, go try one!
Everyone has heard of and probably been to a Caribou coffeehouse at some point. The shop itself is smaller in size, but the enveloping scent of coffee welcomes any and all who choose to walk inside. It doesn’t have that small-town comfort feel, but the staff still gets to know their especially frequent regulars–some of whom stop in for refills three times a day! If people are getting refills that often, it must say something about their coffee. On that note, if you have not yet tried Caribou’s famous turtle mocha or turtle cooler, I’ve heard they are well worth the trip. Those two top the bestselling drinks list, along with caramel coolers and strawberry-banana smoothies. Caribou is a social place to enjoy a cup of joe, but not quite the environment that would be conducive to many for studying. Regardless, it’s still a great place to check out.
Last but not least, perhaps the most well-known coffeehouse in town: The Cabin. The inside is very rustic, from the original artwork portraying nature scenes on the walls to the plaid prints on the chairs and couch. The food and drink menus are expansive, including hot meals, breakfast and the usual soup and salad selections. The Cabin is also friendly to local musicians; artists perform there live a couple times a month and there are always new acts to see. This place was my personal favorite solely because of the natural, cozy vibes it exudes. Head over to the Cabin if that’s what you’re looking for.
If you’re not in the mood for coffee yet, I highly recommend dropping by one of these places. You’ll be downing a cup of your favorite coffee before you know it.