Coffee addicts critique four coffee shops near UA

By Ella Koscher, ’15 and Kimmy Sullivan, ’15

StarbucksWEBStarbucks ★★★

As much as people love to criticize it for its abundance of affluent, teenage, female customers, there’s a reason Starbucks has become a household name, whether it’s due to the convenience of its drive-thrus or the actual quality of the coffee. At first, the dimly-lit interior of each location seems to offer a cozy atmosphere for a casual chat or catching up on homework, but upon further investigation the whole place reeks of corporate falsehood. As far as drinks go, Starbucks will satisfy sugar-lovers and coffee-loathers alike. Delicious drinks, including caramel mochas and vanilla lattes, offer plenty of sugar with only a minor coffee flavor, as long as you’re okay with your name being misspelled on the side of your cup. With four Starbucks within a 3.1-mile radius of UAHS, you know just what you’re in for at each location.

Colins-CoffeeWEBColin’s Coffee ★★★★★

Located right off of Riverside Drive, Colin’s Coffee is a little sanctuary in UA. The shop is open, clean and full of bright light from its walls of open windows. Plenty of seating is available despite the small size of the shop, and an eclectic collection of books on a shelf in the corner is available at your pleasure. Open until 3 p.m. on weekdays and 2 p.m. on weekends, Colin’s is the perfect place to grab lunch with a couple of friends or stop in for coffee on a Saturday morning. The ultra-friendly Colin himself can often be found serving food and drinks, and amicably offers to make “whatever drink you want”, whether it’s on the menu or not. Just name your favorite drink of choice from any other coffee location and Colin can create it on the spot. Colin’s also has a rather vast menu for a coffee shop, and the delicious grilled cheese and tomato soup is a perfect choice for a winter day.

grandview-grindWEBGrandview Grind ★★★★

Hidden away on Grandview Avenue, Grandview Grind is the perfect destination if you are looking for a more serene, relaxed setting. Secluded from the roadside, this hidden gem offers an ideal atmosphere for cuddling up on the couch and reading a book from the shop’s limited, but existent, library, cranking out some school work or just enjoying a cup of coffee in solitude. Somehow, Grandview Grind can pull off its inviting purple and black color scheme that makes you feel welcome as soon as you walk through the door. If you like classic coffee, the Ethiopian limu is definitely worth the trip. Others will enjoy the less traditional, yet very popular Cinna-Honey Latte, which offers an unconventional twist on the classic drink. Grandview Grind is a caffeinated oasis and is worth the trip to UA’s neighboring town.

Stauf'sWEBStauf’s ★★★★★

Stauf’s Coffee Shop is able to run like a small business, but gains more popularity than any Starbucks given the amount of business it receives. Located on Grandview Avenue, Stauf’s is here to serve the needs of caffeine dependent students or to warm you up with decadent cup of hot chocolate on a snowy day. The coffee shop is comprised of two crowded rooms with as many tables that can fit. If you’re lucky enough to snag a table or patient enough to hover for a spot, Stauf’s offers a unique and cozy environment to get stuff done. No other coffee shop offers such an on-point soundtrack or welcoming aroma of African coffee beans, nor the consistency of baristas with friendly faces. One can never go wrong with a simple dark roast or the caramel mocha “Milky Way,” complimented with a mouth-watering scone. Stauf’s is the kind of place where you can crank out seven hours of work or sit outside on a summer day and enjoy a good novel. Overall, Stauf’s does no wrong.

Photos by Megan Wheeler