As a full-time college student, I often find myself stuck in a Bermuda Triangle of trying to have good grades, a social life, and finding time to sleep and recharge. As a result, sleep is the first to be sacrificed in pursuit of the first two. Luckily, caffeine is my ultimate savior to compensate for the lack of sleep during the week! Whether it be a nice cup of coffee first thing in the morning, or a Monster in the wee hours of the morning during finals week, caffeine has been a constant for me in college.
Over the two semesters I have been at UMass, I have managed to try almost every coffee spot on campus, and I’ve found my favorite drinks that keep me energized throughout a long day of classes. It can be so intimidating to choose what to order at all the various cafes on campus, so I present to you my personal favorite coffee spots and my orders on campus!
At first standing, we have the cafe at the ISB (Integrated Sciences Building). The ISB Cafe is one of the two Starbucks on campus, so the options are pretty much limitless, and the drinks are an experience in themselves. I love treating myself to an occasional iced matcha or an iced caramel macchiato. My go-to, however, has to be the strawberry acai refresher with lemonade. It’s just the right amount of sweet and fruity, with frozen strawberry pieces to complete the experience. On a side note — the ISB is also just a great study spot; the third and fourth floors have tables with a really good view and natural lighting (and sun, because it’s finally spring now).
When I’m in the mood for something sweet, I head to Peet’s Coffee on the ground floor of the Integrated Learning Center (ILC). Their iced mocha latte always gives me just the right amount of energy at midday, when I start to get sleepy after a couple of morning classes. I also usually have class in the ILC right before noon, so it just is too convenient to stop by and grab a coffee before going to class.
People’s Organic Coffee
Another favorite coffee spot of mine is People’s Organic in the Campus Center. I usually get their iced sea salt caramel latte. I know it seems weird that there’s salt in the coffee, but don’t hate it before you try it! The salt balances out the sweetness of the caramel just right, making it a very good drink. I like to pair this drink with the bagels at the Student Union, and this has become a standard breakfast order for me on most days in between classes.
The best part about all these cafes on campus has to be the fact that they accept dining dollars because this is where the majority of my dining dollars go!
As a bonus item, I love making coffee in the dining halls on a daily basis, and my secret ingredient is swapping out the milk for chocolate milk. The chocolate milk at UMass is god-tier and adding it to my coffee just elevates the taste by a hundred times!