If you don't love it already, college will make a coffee fanatic out of you. Even if you think your already love coffee and are addicted, you are in for a rude awakening. It all starts in the dorms. Free, unlimited coffee everytime you swipe your meal plan is just a little too tempting. What's one cup in the morning? Nothing! Then it turns into two cups in the morning. Then two at breakfast, and a to-go for your brutal 8 AM. Once your first set of finals roll around, concede to defeat. 6 shot Red Eyes, 5 refills later, you are officially addicted to coffee.
Now, this isn't a bad thing. In fact, I would argue that a coffee addiction in a town like Boulder is one of the best kinds of addictions to have (besides maybe running or yoga, which many Boulderites seem to be hooked on). Why? Let me elucidate my reasons:
1) Coffee is a great way to be social. Grabbing a cup with friends, sitting at a table, and catching up is one of my favorite things to do- espeically if it's with someone that I haven't seen in a while!
2) With at least 7,000 coffee shops in Boulder (yes, I'm exaggerating- no, not by much), testing them all out to find your favorite blends, the vibes you like most, the cutest barristas, will really allow you to explore some of the best parts of this city! Coffee shops line Pearl Street, freckling the downtown area. My personal favorites downtown? Atlas Purveyors and Amante. I love the different sorts of feels at each place, and I really do think that Atlas has the best decaf Chai tea in Boulder. Some great coffee shops can be found on The Hill, just west of campus. These are aweseom for studying- Buchannon's actually stays open 24/7 during finals so you can cram all that studying in! If you're the artsy type, Innis-Free makes a strong blend, which goes wonderfully with the poetry readings that are regularly scheduled there. Finally, I will argue that Roma really does have the best brewed coffee in Boulder. This assertion comes after 4 1/2 years of trying different coffee shops throughout the region. I'm open to challengers, however (I still haven't been to them all!). Finally, in just about any neighborhood that you might find yourself settled into after dorm-life, there will be a few coffee shops within biking distance from you to sample. South of campus, the Brewing Market stays open late and makes a mean cider. North of campus, Vick's- wtih plenty of outlets and table space for studying- are great little spots, too. And, yes... there are a good portion of Starbucks located all throughout Boulder (just in case you need your Starbucks-made caramel machiatto fix every once in a while!)
3) I may have already touched on this, but coffee shops are great places to study. Find one you like, bring all your stuff, and camp out for an hour... or for a few. For some reason, relocating from my dining room table in my tiny apartment to an open coffee shop with ambient noise and readily available caffeine really gets my brain cells fired up. Some of my most productive studying sessions happen in coffee shops. While it's not always perfect- especially if you're the dead silent type of studier- it's a good alternative to the library or to your desk.
If you don't like coffee yet, be prepared. You will. If you already have a taste for good coffee, be pumped. You're in for four years of caffeine exploration that is unparalleled in the rest of Colorado.