The Case For Coffeeshops

The Case For Coffeeshops

You really do work better in a coffeeshop, and the coffee is not the only reason why.

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I love a good cappuccino--a real, well-made cappuccino. Rich espresso topped with angelic foamed milk makes a cup of pure magic. It kicks off my morning with energy, it turns a bad day around, and it fuels me through long days of classes and late nights of studying. But behind my cappuccino's espresso and milk is a crucial element: the coffee shop that serves it.

Finding your favorite coffee shop--the drink that you can count on to lift your mood, the barista that knows your name, the environment that inspires you, the cozy booth with room for your homework--is life changing. When I walk through the worn wooden doors of my coffee shop of choice, I smell the coffee, I see the quirky art on the walls, and something magical happens: I feel a palpable sense of ambition radiating from other people reading, writing, drawing, and conversing. And, according to science, this sense is not imaginary.

Coffeeshops are a prime example of the co-action effect, "a phenomenon whereby increased task performance comes about by the mere presence of others doing the same task." Therefore, studying in a coffee shop with other strangers who are also studying can be more effective than studying alone. For example, when I'm writing an essay surrounded by other college students intently typing on their laptops, I find myself motivated to do the same thing. It's easier to work with other people working. The co-action effect can also, understandably, apply to libraries or study halls. But I would argue that coffee shops have a valuable advantage over both: atmosphere.

The traditional coffee shop atmosphere, complete with art on the walls and a perfect playlist in the background, promotes creativity. I frequently visit a place which invites customers to write and draw on the walls. Sitting in a booth surrounded by scratched initials and Sharpie dreams is incredibly inspiring. Experiences like this make the coffee shop atmosphere as enticing as the coffee.

And in the best coffee shops, every design decision has been made intentionally to create the most enjoyable experience possible. Design elements like warm paint colors, soft lighting, and cozy furniture invite visitors to make themselves comfortable. This comfort offers a sense of belonging and community away from home or school. Because of this, coffee shops can make us feel less lonely. They can make us feel like we belong to something outside of our familiar routines. Treasure this break from familiarity. A coffee shop can be a beautiful little escape from reality.

The coffee shop experience--an enchanting blend of design, psychology, and coffee--is a recipe for inspiration and productivity. Next time you're feeling lonely or unfocused or uninspired, try going to a coffee shop. Here in Tallahassee, The Sweet Shop and All Saints Café are popular choices, and even if you don't like coffee, there is a drink for everyone. Order something caffeinated, find a table you feel comfortable at, and let the magic of the coffee shop take it from there.

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12 Starbucks Iced Drinks You NEED In Your Life This Summer

Must-try beverages brought to you by your local barista.
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Be kind to your baristas, they can make you some pretty great drinks. With the temperature rising and the days getting longer, it's approaching the time to find your summer staple to keep you cool (and caffeinated) over the next few months.

Starbucks offers a wide variety of cold beverages that really hit the spot during the summer months, from espresso drinks to fraps, smoothies, teas and refreshers. As a Starbucks barista, I've had the opportunity to taste most drinks on the menu and receive feedback from customers on the do's and don'ts of cold beverages.

While this is not an exhaustive list, I pulled together some of my favorites to give you, the "Ultimate Starbucks Iced Beverage Bucket List for 2017" that you MUST try this season:

1. Pink Drink

Three words: Basic white girl. If you want a photogenic drink that tastes like a Starburst and makes baristas happy, the Pink Drink is for you. It's a pretty simple beverage... this Strawberry Acai Refresher combined with coconut milk is sure to satisfy your hipster needs.

2. Iced White Mocha

This sinfully sweet iced espresso drink is not only one of the most popular beverages on the menu, but sure to wake you up at any time of day. Jazz it up by asking for half white chocolate, half mocha sauce, topped with a mocha drizzle, and you've got yourself an Iced Tuxedo Mocha!

3. Doubleshot on Ice

If nothing else, this quick pick-me-up looks classy while giving you the energy boost you need to get through the day. With two shots of espresso, a bit of milk and classic syrup, this drink is easy to enjoy in little time... it's like a caffeine I.V.!

4. Iced Caramel Machiatto

Surprise, surprise... Caramel Machiattos are actually made with vanilla syrup. Nonetheless, these espresso-topped beverages are absolutely delicious at any time of year, but summer calls for ice! Want to change things up? Ask your barista to make it with half vanilla syrup, half toffee nut syrup to make an Iced Salted Caramel Machiatto!

5. Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher

A sister to the Pink Drink, the Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher is a fruit juice-blackberry combo that makes for a pretty chilled beverage to enjoy on the go. The caffeine content is minimal, making it a great option for any time of day.


6. Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew

Cold Brew is basically Starbucks' version of a smoother-tasting iced coffee with more caffeine. The Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew is a standard drink topped with vanilla-flavored heavy cream to create a sweet taste and a marbled appearance in the beverage. Want something with flavor, but not in the mood for vanilla? Try the Toasted Coconut Cold Brew!


7. Mango Black Tea Lemonade

The Mango Black Tea Lemonade is one of the most popular drinks on the menu. Iced Teavana tea mixed with mango syrup and lemonade makes for the perfect combination

8. Iced Chai Tea Latte

Iced Chais - sound so sophisticated, yet so simple to make. If you order this drink, there is a 10/10 chance that your barista will love you for it. Milk mixed with a sweet and spicy chai syrup makes for a classy drink that can be enjoyed at any time of day.


9. Iced Cinnamon Almondmilk Machiatto

The identifying characteristic that makes a macchiato, well, a macchiato is that the espresso shots are poured on top of the milk and flavoring. Starbucks' Iced Cinnamon Almondmilk Machiatto is a combination of cinnamon dolce syrup and almondmilk topped with espresso shots, a caramel drizzle and a cinnamon dolce topping to create a delicious dairy-free option in the macchiato family.

10. Sunset Refresher

This secret menu drink is fairly simple to make with a cool lime base, lemonade, lime slices, and ice topped with black tea. When finished, the drink will have an ombré appearance that makes it totally picture-worthy!

11. Iced Caffè Americano

Calling all espresso lovers: Americanos are a Starbucks signature. The drink itself is pretty simple - espresso and water topped with ice, but if you're feeling particularly adventurous, you can mix things up with a flavored syrup. This drink is sure to wake you right up, no matter the time of day.

12. Strawberry Lemonade

Want something cold but not feeling coffee or a frap? Frozen Strawberry Lemonade is definitely worth a try! While this drink is not on the menu, most baristas are happy to make it upon request. Just ask for a combination of strawberry flavoring, lemonade, and ice blended together for a slushie-like beverage!

Cover Image Credit: FoodBeast

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I Prefer Locally Owned Coffee Shops Over Big Corporations, Any Day Of The Week

This famous green mermaid is notorious for selling low-quality coffee, stealing business from locally owned shops, and underpaying those who make their business possible.

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In a world plentiful with caffeine addicts, one would be stumped to find a person who has never heard of the "biggest and baddest" in the coffee business: Starbucks. This corporation led by the famous green mermaid is untouchable. Starbucks does not hesitate to grow and drive out competition. They have not only taken over, but meanwhile, they sell low quality coffee, steal business from local coffee shops, and underpay the people in developing countries who make their irresistible coffee reality.

Starbucks is undeniably successful, having businesses in America — and in over fifty other countries, according to a 2015 study. Although Starbucks markets and promises the best, a Starbucks' advertisement is a prime example of how they claim to search the world to find those beans from "some exotic destination" that produces a "spirited conversation." However, they tend to release as little information on quality as possible to consumers. What customers don't know won't hurt them, right? Starbucks buys in bulk, sacrificing the "quality" ensured, ultimately minimizing their costs and maximizing their profits. All the while, small businesses are more likely to roast their own beans and even buy them locally.

This is an unmistakably well-known brand, which is why many Starbucks fans believe that this business is economically beneficial. However, their success causes local owners of coffee shops to struggle with other factors, not just competition. To start, an owner can expect spending $40,000 in equipment, $10,000 in marketing with hopes of only 30% to 35% of monthly revenue. In this way, it's a big commitment and investment of not only money, but also time, energy, and morale. No one ever tells you that a barista has "toilet cleaner" in their job description, and no one is ever in a good mood about it. Only profiting off at $3 a cup, cashing in a collective caffeine addiction and breaking even is not set in stone, proving why corporations usually weed out the competition with smaller scale coffeehouses.

This evil green mermaid disempowers, and is ungrateful for, the people who put blood, sweat, and tears into working on the coffee farms. All over the world, about 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed, produced by over 50 developing countries and involves several million small farmers. Not surprisingly, those who make this product possible live in poverty. Many coffee growers are, at best, barely surviving at close to $1 a day wages and are being driven out of business and off their land. We would love to think that this system benefits everyone. This beverage is known to link the daily routine of millions of consumers and producers living thousands of kilometers apart and experiencing vastly different lives...as if the overworked farmers in developing countries are treated equally as the stereotypical American girl inhaling her overpriced Frappuccino.

If consumers continue to feed into big corporations, rather than the genuine, smaller scale coffee shops, more people have the potential of experiencing the agony of poverty and mistreatment. Large coffee corporations have the full advantage over the start-up businesses, although they have low-quality products, take away from local businesses, and cause poverty to their growers. In order to prevent this from happening, coffee customers should shop locally. By supporting smaller cafes, they will not only be supporting the local and global economy but also, avoid surrendering their sovereignty to businesses who have made more than their fair share of profit.

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