The Best Coffee Shop Conundrum

I carried with me the weight of assignments and due dates in search for the best coffee shop environment to study. 

As I went from one coffee shop to the next, I judged with a specific criteria: the practicality of the locations and the effectiveness of study.

My initial impressions drove my final ranking of these six spots. 

At Coffee Rush, I was able to tune out the night crowd noise with lo-fi music and complete most of my assignments. 

This popular study spot is known by a majority of students. It offered a comfortable environment with indoor and outdoor seating suited for study goers with outlets lining the walls. 

The main component to sky rocket Coffee Rush to the top of my list was the space of their tables. There were plenty of individual tables with room to have my laptop, textbooks, and notes. 

For Red Mountain Mesa Community College (MCC) students, you have more options than the Starbucks up the street. Recently opened Hava Java sits on the corner of McDowell and Power. 

Despite being new to the area, it has already gained a large following. It was filled in the afternoon with students and friends meeting to chat or study. 

A common feature to all coffee shops is music, but Hava Java’s music was soft, and even with the groups, I was able to focus on assignments. Similar to Coffee Rush, the space was open to more individual seating. 

Hava Java stood out to me after I saw their food.. It is more than the pastries that most coffee shops have in a glass container. There were sandwiches, spiced popcorn, even pretzel bites with cheese. This unique addition made the store more appealing as a student who often forgets to grab a bite to eat when studying. 

Further away from both campuses, I drove to Bergies Roast House in Gilbert to experience the small community tucked in between the major buildings of downtown. While the space is aesthetically pleasing and creates a break from the city life with their large front garden, the overall practicality falls short for students. 

For those who study best at night, this is not the place for you with limited inside seating and short hours. For students looking to say you’re going to study, but really want to relax with friends, Bergies would be ideal. 

Moving towards a major college city, I went to Cartel Coffee Lab in the heart of Arizona State University in Tempe. Despite their environmentally friendly culture, the traffic alone made the trip more of a hassle than it was worth. 

I was more focused on the inevitable effort I would have to make when I left than the homework I knew I should be working on. My worries pushed me to leave sooner rather than later. 

The final stops brought me back to MCC Southern and Dobson campus. 

Of course, I had to stop into a Starbuck for the sole purpose of adding the most popular coffee chain to this list. It’s convenient proximity  is a bonus, but I discovered I really do not enjoy their small tables.

Being cramped and squished against the back wall does not make a student willing to open a book on their lap and push their laptop to the edge of the circle tabletop. 

My final stop is within walking distance for all MCC students: Grounds for Thought, the first college coffee shop for MCC. This convenient community location has student art filling the walls and a bulletin board for announcements and students searching for help. It is exactly what a campus coffee shop should be.

After I made a proper fool of myself and laughed off the mess I created by knocking everything on the counter over, I joined the rest in preparing for their next class or finishing up homework. 

 I took note of the students, the majority of which had their headphones on. The noise was louder than any other coffee shop I visited, but it doesn’t have to be the place to study when a completely silent library is a few feet away. 

At the end of it all, I shook from the caffeine and reached the conclusion not all coffee shops are for studying. I can’t choose for you, but for me the best experience was Coffee Rush. For others, it could be anywhere, even the comforts of their home. 

  • Kierra Sharman

    Kierra Sharman is a sophomore at Mesa Community College, majoring in journalism. She is the senior reporter for the Mesa Legend and has written for other community papers since 2016.

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