Where to Go for a Cup of Joe

We’ve all been there: we’re in need of a quiet, comfy place to study because the house is infested with siblings or we’re rushing out the door at 8:15 a.m. (the morning class beginning at 8:35 a.m.) with half your pj’s on. However, our love for a sweet sixteen ounces of caffeine and cream is calling our name, infact, on days like these, it’s almost impossible to survive without it.

In Sandy Creek High’s district, there are four coffee shops to run to when we may be caught up in these problem that only a coffee lover would experience. Alas, we are faced with yet another issue. Which coffee shop, of four, should we go to?

I spent the weekend traveling to Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Kakao Cafe, and The King’s Donuts, determining which places would be most ideal when we’re stuck in the “mug”. While sitting at the small tables within the shops, I sampled a small coffee infused with cream and sugar, which is considered a “normal” coffee, and jotted down notes on the taste and the atmosphere around me. I then converted my notes into scores based on a 1-10 scale, 1 being poor while 10 is excellent.

There are two categories for scoring per business: one for taste, and one for the atmosphere.

1. DUNKIN DONUTS

TASTE: 5

I never drink “D&D”, and it’s very clear why. A layer of sugar coated the bottom of my cup and the aftertaste was something that even my gum couldn’t freshen up.

ATMOSPHERE: 6

“America Runs on Dunkin’” is an accurate slogan for the business. There was no comfortable seating; therefore it wouldn’t be fit to stay awhile for a study session, but if one was on the run, the shop certainly lives up to their famous saying. Not to mention, most of the tables were still covered in the last costumer’s crumbs and napkins. The shop offers free wifi, the prices are reasonable, and the bright orange and pink decorations portray the brand well.

2. KAKAO CAFE

TASTE: 8

While most shops have the cream and sugar in your coffee when received, I was surprised to find the brew completely black. On the other side of their counter space was a small setup to make your coffee however you please. After adding the sugar syrup (the choice was between cane, syrup, and normal sugar) and a bit of creamer, the drink had a smooth, satisfying flavor.

ATMOSPHERE: 10

To add to the high expectation-met coffee, the small-town shop was one of the friendliest, welcoming, and charming place I’ve ever walked into. “They always remember my order, I don’t think I’ll buy coffee from anywhere else,” says one of the regular customers at Kakao, who also happens to be a student at Sandy Creek. I also happened to catch Sandy Creek flyers sitting on their advertisement table, which indicates their support of our school.

3. STARBUCKS

TASTE: 7

Confession: I drink Starbucks two to three times a week. My normal order is a venti iced caramel latte, which was hard to not order during my experiment. However, the small coffee I purchased was not the worst, nor was it the best. The flavor was strong and perhaps needed more cream, but for a morning on the run, would be a perfect wake-me-up.

ATMOSPHERE: 9

The inside of a Starbucks is known to give off a modern, hipster-y vibe. There, you will find many white-collar individuals with their laptops either researching or drafting documents. You’ll also see students, like you and me, in groups working on their studies. All Starbucks provide free internet, comfortable seating and quiet surroundings that make for an excellent place to go when in need of a “study shelter.”

4. THE KING’S DONUTS

TASTE: 7

For a shop more famous for its donuts than coffee, my drink was surprisingly satisfactory. A perfect amount of cream and sugar was mixed with a more mild brewed coffee.

ATMOSPHERE: 9

Finally getting into the shop was difficult, because it closes at 5:00 p.m. on all weekdays except Wednesday, when it closes at 2:00 p.m. I would describe the atmosphere to be similar to Starbucks’, a more high-end, modern place with a more-than-gorgeous display of uniquely flavored donuts. Overall, The King’s Donuts would most likely be ideal to serve as your morning coffee and breakfast provider.

In the end, each individual has a different preference on their coffee, and the place they enjoy getting it from. Whatever the taste or style may be, may the words of fellow coffee-loving student, Shannon Horvath rein on: “Coffee is coffee. The more of it, the merrier.”

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