I went through one of the most routine-altering experiences this last semester. The coffee shop I went to closed forever (RIP Mugwalls). My sacred weekend paper reading and proposal writing spot was gone, so I had to find a replacement. I spent the next few weeks googling/asking people for their favorite coffee places, and I will list them and my impression of them. Keep in mind that my usual order from each of these places was black coffee, or if I was feeling extra crazy, then I ordered a latte. There are other coffee shops in the BCS area (1541, Gogh Gogh’s, The Brew) but I didn’t go to any of those, so I cannot offer my opinion on them.
You might notice that I did not put Starbucks, IHOP, Einstein’s or any of those larger chain coffee places, or chain restaurants that happen to serve coffee. I figure at this point in your life, you know what the inside of a Starbucks looks like, sounds like, the type of people that go there, etc., but without further ado, the list in no particular order.
Located at the corner of University and Texas, Minuti is probably as close to Starbucks you can get without going into a Starbucks. The most noticeable difference is more red and less green. They also have a selection of sandwiches and pastries to choose from.
Pros: Usually not crowded, you can buy coffee by the kilogram (!)
Cons: It isn’t open very late (closes at 5PM most days)
Off Harvey Rd, Eugene’s is full of vintage furniture and has a ‘what if someone started a coffee shop in an abandoned antique store’ vibe to it, but it is almost always crowded. So, unless you have a really great pair of noise-cancelling headphones or are really great at concentrating with a lot of background noise. They have great coffee and an extensive tea selection too. It’s also the place where you are most likely to run into the undergrads you teach.
Pros: Good coffee, awesome aesthetics, open late (2AM!)
Cons: Crowded. All the time.
In the Planet Fitness shopping center at the corner of Southwest and Texas, Lupa’s has a chalkboard! If you can snag it, the seats adjacent to the chalkboard are great if you are the kind of person that needs to see an outline on a board when you’re writing. Their specialty coffees are great, and I have yet to be disappointed in anything that I got there. Can be crowded sometimes, but not near as much as Eugene’s in my experience.
Pros: Chalkboard! Open ‘till 7
Cons: Does not have a lot of seating
Located in downtown Bryan, The Village is as close to an Austin coffee shop that one could find in the BCS area. It doubles as an art gallery, so the décor could be decorated bras, a usual art gallery, or some other seasonal artistic thing. They have a gluten-free bakery (and a regular bakery too), a wine/beer selection, brunch specials, and they are open late (midnight) Wednesday-Saturday; however, they tend to have events on most of those nights. It is also a bar, and is in downtown Bryan. So, do not expect to go at 10PM on Wednesday and expect to experience a normal, quiet coffee bar. They have live music sporadically too.
Pros: Great coffee, Art, Music
Cons: Does host other events
Harvest Coffee Bar
Just down 26th
street from The Village, Harvest is a dedicated coffee bar that looks like it’s in a halfway constructed warehouse. They serve my favorite coffee Chemex, which is not as bitter as normal coffee. They have a small selection of pastries, but I do think they had the best coffee of all the places I sampled. It is also rarely crowded. I have been there on multiple occasions where I was the only person in the coffee shop. It. Was. Glorious.
Pros: Not noisy, exceptional coffee
Cons: The seating is limited.
Chase Pectol | Chemistry
is a second year PhD graduate student in the department of Chemistry.