Mastering the Art of Coffee House Studying

This weekend, one chance encounter with two of my friends at a Fall Student Dance Concert meeting ended in an afternoon spent studying at Hothouse Coffee. The next day, I would be back on the Mainline studying at La Colombe Coffee. I normally study in my room, so it was nice to get off campus to explore new study spaces. Coffee house studying was definitely something I knew many other students liked to do, but I never really got into it because I don’t really drink coffee.

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Hothouse Coffee

Hothouse Coffee has been around since before I came to Bryn Mawr. Located right next to the Bryn Mawr Film Institute, this coffee shop is small, but cozy. You’ll find your average coffee flavors here and some average baked goods and snacks. I ordered a Chai Latte for $3.71 including tax. I found it to be too sweet, but I liked that it was served very hot. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to specifically ask for the mug to get the latte art, but mine came in a paper cup. I was comfortably able to study here for 2.5 hours straight with my two friends who also studied. Most of the other customers were also there for an extended period of time with their books and laptops.

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La Colombe

La Colombe just opened this past summer. Apparently, this coffee brand is part of a small coffee chain located in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Boston. (I also just learned that Bryn Mawr College’s Uncommon Grounds serves La Colombe roasted coffee.) I ordered a Draft Black & Tan Iced Coffee for $3.50 including tax. I’ve never seen coffee served from a tap before. I thought the coffee tasted good– not too bitter and nice balance between milk and coffee. My roommate ordered the Draft Latte and also liked it. We also studied there for about 2.5 hours. The place had good business, but I found their tables to be too small to comfortably study. Their tables are also nailed to the ground, and the sunlight is really strong by the windows. Most customers were there to socialize, but there were quite a few there to study or work.

I can see how coffee house studying can drain your wallet if you go often. Coffee’s not cheap, and they do add up. I do see the appeal of getting off campus, though. And I was actually very productive there. (Over the span of my two visits to Hothouse and La Colombe, I finished a 41 page chapter of Developmental Psychology reading and notes!) I have yet to try these places, but I hear Green Engine Coffee Co. and Saxbys Coffee near Haverford are also popular with the Bi-Co students. And of course, Starbucks.

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