For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Sep 13 2016
by Stacy Andryshak

8 of the Best Coffee Shops in Major College Towns

By Stacy Andryshak - Sep 13 2016

Whether you're a hardcore foodie, or just in dire need of a quick morning pick-me-up, trying new coffee shops is an easy way to experience new places while getting your daily fill of extra needed energy. Below, eight large college towns are listed along with nearby colleges and a renowned cafe in each town as told by The Daily Meal. These cafes are enjoyed by the local community and college students alike.

1. Boston, MA – Trident Booksellers and Cafe

Schools: Boston University, Northeastern University, Berklee College of Music

To start off this list strong, Trident is a perfect example of a student-friendly and functional café. Not only can you pick up a good cup of coffee, but you can also have an affordable meal and can study surrounded by books too. Trident was featured on CBS Local’s "Boston’s Best All-Day Breakfast Restaurants" article and has nothing but raving reviews. This quirky cafe is located on the widely popular Newbury Street in Boston, which is easily accessible by both Northeastern and Berklee. A Northeastern student told Fresh U, “I’ve been in Boston for college less than a week, and two separate people have already recommended this cafe to me.”


2. Syracuse, NY - Freedom of Espresso

Freedom of Espresso via Facebook

Schools: Syracuse University, Le Moyne

Established at four locations in the greater Syracuse area, this local coffee shop showcases fresh blends featuring locally roasted beans. This cute cafe creates drinks in honor of Syracuse stars like Carmelo Anthony, attracting a fan base from SU and the surrounding athletic community.


3. Ann Arbor, MI - Mighty Good

Mighty Good Coffee via Facebook

Schools: University of Michigan, Concordia University

Mighty Good’s philosophy facilitates the inclusion of “family traditions; artisanal craft processes; building local community; and fantastic coffee.” Their Ann Arbor location involves U of M students, the surrounding community, and service projects around town. On Facebook, Mighty Good told Fresh U, "for our campus location, we are in the heart of the student area and our coffee offerings really appeal to the caffeine crowd." Their specialty drinks are the fastest way to a student’s heart. "Most popular is our nitro cold brew served on tap as well as our selection of espresso drinks, like our brown sugar sea salt latte. All our flavors are made from scratch and I think that appeals to a lot of people," explained Mighty Good. Quality service and a spacious, relaxing interior are also big pluses. "A lot of our staff at that location are current or former U of M students. Super fast wi-fi and an open light-filled space along with our large patio seating make it a favorite spot on campus to meet friends or get some work done," Mighty Good said, further solidifying how college-friendly this cafe is.


4. Boulder, CO - Ozo Coffee Company

OzoCoffee via Twitter

Schools: University of Colorado Boulder, Naropa University

Just from the atmosphere inside, it is easy to tell that coffee at Ozo is taken seriously. Every coffee they have is roasted for the best flavor possible, and the staff is devoted to creating coffees of high quality. Established in 2007, Ozo was founded on the ideals of “community, coffee and a calling” and the cafe lives up to it’s mission statement by not only serving the local and FSU community, but also by selling coffee online to embrace a larger community of coffee-lovers. A Colorado local and college student told Fresh U, “the lattes are great, and they have a giant mocha list with specialized mochas that are really good.” Anyone who likes coffee can find something that they enjoy at Ozo.


5. Tallahassee, FL - Catalina Cafe

Catalina Cafe on Capital Circle via Facebook

Schools: Florida State University, Florida A&M

Catalina Cafe is a family-owned coffee shop in Tallahassee, Florida with passionate staff and a widely comprehensive knowledge of coffee. "Anybody can serve coffee but we want to give Tallahassee and it's college students the best quality Specialty Coffee in town," Catalina Cafe told Fresh U. "We only serve Specialty Coffee, [which] is coffee that is scored 80 points or higher by Specialty Coffee Association of America's cupping form that scores Aroma, Flavor, acidity, Body, and Balance with little to no defects. College students can enjoy the freshest quality coffee beverages in town. [They] are eager to learn more about Specialty Coffee and we love educating them on it and it's affect on the world." To obtain this high quality coffee, Catalina Cafe's goal is to make sure farmers and workers involved in the coffee harvesting process are paid what they deserve by using direct trade importers for all of their ingredients. "We Direct Trade all of our coffees to make sure our money is going to helping other farms/coops and their workers to make sure they are paid fairly and treated ethically." College students love the purity of the business. The owners of Catalina Cafe, Maurice Moulton and Patricia Allaire, have perfected the “science” of coffee-making and feature several videos on the cafe’s website about the process. "With quality in mind, we roast our own coffees and make our own syrups in-house using organic sugars and extracts," Catalina Cafe stated. FSU and nearby college students frequent this cafe for its welcoming atmosphere and smart, high-quality products. As Mighty Good told us, "College-aged customers come walking in, and leave running out - ready to take on the world a class at a time!" 


6. Austin, TX - Bennu

Schools: University of Texas at Austin, Concordia University Texas, St. Edwards Univeristy, Art University of Austin

Bennu Coffee is open 24 hours a day, fulfilling any student’s all-nighter fantasies. In order to create a comfortable, home-like space there is a living room lounge area with cozy seating and relaxing lighting. The staff is also endlessly friendly, even at 3am. Bennu is also proud of their comprehensive work with charities, along with their recycling and composting program. They offer all the coffee classics, but in a uniquely wholesome and comfortable environment.


7. Cambridge, MA - Crema Cafe

Crema Cafe via Facebook

Schools: Harvard, Cambridge College, Lesley University, Hult International Business School

Crema Cafe is unassuming from the outside, but inside is an inviting environment featuring artisanal drinks. The idea for Crema arose when its owners were studying and travelling abroad in Europe and were delighted to discover new, charming cafes. Once it was established in Boston, Crema had local customers claiming it as their neighborhood cafe, and tourists came in delighted to find a buzzing local spot. Baristas here are constantly experimenting with their coffee brews in order to make the best cup humanly possible. The environment, taste, and art on top of Crema’s lattes is enough to make anyone come back for more.


8. Claremont, CA - The Motley Coffeehouse

The Motley Coffeehouse via Facebook

Schools: Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer, Pomona, Scripps

Motley’s atmosphere reflects the shops values as a nonprofit and feminist organization run by students at Scripps college. Although Scripps-operated, it is a favorite among other Claremont colleges. Featuring good coffee and intersectional, political, and feminist values, Motley brings together communities passionate about both caffeinated drinks and social issues.


Check out these unique, school-supported coffee shops next time you're in town to experience a small taste of quaint college life, and see a more comprehensive list of cafes in college towns on The Daily Meal.

Lead Image Credit: Unsplash via Pixabay

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Stacy Andryshak - Northeastern University

Stacy is a freshman pursuing a combined major in Communication Studies and Media & Screen Studies at Northeastern University. In high school, she spent most of her free time acting in dramas and musicals. She enjoys obscure vegan restaurants, British soap operas, and her pet rabbit. Find her on: Instagram @stacy.a / Twitter @standryn

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