This semester I decided upon a mission. Not to get good grades, not to make new friends or find a purpose in life. I made it my sole mission to find a coffee shop. But not just any coffee shop. I wanted to find my coffee shop. The coffee shop I would claim as my own for the next three years, where I would befriend the baristas, have a usual order, become a regular. Somewhere that I felt fit me.
I started this journey at the beginning of second semester. Before my Sunday Daily meetings, I would choose a new coffee shop and go study there for an hour or so. That was enough to get the vibe of the place, to decide if this was the one.
I got lucky pretty early on. The first coffee shop I visited was Lab. I immediately loved the atmosphere — calm, classic, chill and the coffee was delicious. I felt like it was exactly what I needed. A little crowded sometimes, but I can’t fault other people for recognizing a good study spot when they see one. Though I had an inkling I might have found “the one,” of course I couldn’t stop after just one coffee shop. I had to keep exploring.
The next on my list was a University classic: Espresso Royale. Huge and social, it overwhelmed me a bit, but I enjoyed the coffee and the college experience. It might not be my go-to, but it seemed to be the perfect place to meet friends and hold a study group.
Next week I happened upon a coffee shop by chance. RoosRoast was on my route to The Daily, so I stopped in for a to-go cup. The tiny space was packed to the brim with studious college students. The coffee was good, but a little out of my way for a weekly spot.
To be perfectly honest, I don’t know much about coffee. My kind of coffee is what we call “a liquid donut” in my family, something with lots of sugar that tastes good and keeps me awake in my 10 a.m. classes and Sunday meetings. My quest has been less about coffee than just finding a place where I belong — a little nook of campus I can call my own. I want to feel a part of campus and for the campus to feel a part of me.
I’ve explored a few other coffee shops, come back to Lab once or twice, but the year is quickly coming to a close, and there are still so many places I haven’t visited yet. I may have found my coffee shop; I may not have. But the quest for coffee — and my space on this campus — will never end.