Typical college students wake up, slam their alarm clock, throw on clothes and grab their Emory card to purchase their first, most essential nutrient of the day — caffeine. From the moment they take their first sip of coffee, they are reassured that they can handle the day, or at the least manage to stay awake during their first class.

For me, the magic of coffee doesn’t evolve from the taste nor the vigilance rewarded from consumption, but rather through the experience. Given a choice, I would much rather sip on a vanilla latte in a nearby coffee shop than anxiously chug standard coffee in Club Libs or fight for a table in Kaldi’s or the on-campus Starbucks.

The beauty beyond coffee shops, as a concept, is that anything is possible. Beyond the Emory bubble, there are higher chances of making new friends, receiving job offers or even reducing the seemingly interminable pile of schoolwork.

Here are a handful of my favorite coffee shops near campus:

ChocoLaté Coffee

ChocoLaté is the closest coffee shop to Emory’s campus, lodged between the local record store and Saigon Cafe. From the moment you step in, you are reminded of the familiar setup akin to the set of Central Perk Square from the famous TV. show, Friends. ChocoLaté seems to be the ideal location for friends to meet and chat for a few minutes, but it can be challenging to study there at certain hours of the day due to the noisiness.

Although the background noise may make it difficult to concentrate on schoolwork, the friendly crowd paired with the café’s dark ambience and eclectic, tasteful music make for a small, cozy shop.

Chocolaté’s coffee selection is tasteful, but in my opinion, the best item on the menu is the Café Romina. Unfortunately, the cappuccinos and lattes taste as though they come from a vending machine. Several pastries offered at the café are provided by local farmers and are switched weekly. If you are interested in a study site with dark, earthy vibes close enough so you don’t miss your classes, make sure to swing by ChocoLaté.  

Comfort: 4/5   Ambience: 3/5

Accessibility and Amenities: 5/5

Coffee Satisfaction Rating: 2/5

Anmol Mahtani/Contributing

Anmol Mahtani/Contributing Latte art brings style to hot drinks at the Dancing Goat.

Dancing Goats Coffee Bar (Decatur Location)