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My Ranking of the Coffee Shops at UMass Amherst

Over the past week, I have made it my mission to find the best place to get coffee and study on campus. Like most people, I need my coffee fix, and the dining hall coffee was not doing it for me. Unfortunately, I was unable to go to every coffee shop on campus as some of them were closed or I just didn’t have the time. (Tragic, I know.) However, I will still rank the ones I did get the chance to try. 

I chose to judge the shops on several factors. Firstly, the taste and quality of the drink. This is extremely important, as you don’t want to go somewhere with bad coffee. Secondly, the food they had available. And lastly, I judged them on the overall atmosphere: the smell, the level of noise, and if I would do homework there. 

Alright, on with the list.

In last place: Roots Café

What I got: Iced Caramel Latte with Whole Milk

This is said with a heavy heart because I love Roots. However, the competition was tough. While Roots does have amazing food and lots of choices, it fell short in the other categories. For me, it’s just not a place I’d love to study at. When I went, there were a lot of people, so it was a little loud. A noisy environment can be distracting and not ideal for studying. And then there was the coffee which I didn’t love. I found it stronger than I usually prefer it. 

In 5th place: Hampshire Café

What I got: Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew

The Hampshire Café serves Starbucks menu items, so I knew I’d love the coffee. And I did. However, the cafe is placed so low on my list for its atmosphere. The cafe is right below the bustling Hampshire dining hall, so it isn’t the best place to study. Depending on the time of day, it can be a little too distracting

In 4th place: People’s Organic Coffee

What I got: Iced Salted Caramel Latte with Whole Milk

I really enjoyed the coffee from People’s Organic. I loved the salted caramel flavor. However, the location is not ideal. It’s inside the campus center which is almost always busy and loud. I would definitely get a coffee from here again, but I would take it somewhere else.

In 3rd place: Worcester Café

What I got: Iced Caramel Latte with Whole Milk 

I really liked the coffee here; it was smooth and silky. It wasn’t busy when I went, so there wasn’t much of a wait. However, I have seen the line get pretty long. The study environment was okay. Inside, you can hear some of the chatter from the lobby and the dining hall upstairs. However, the tables outside are a great place to study when the weather is nice (and if the bees choose to leave you alone). 

In 2nd place: ISB Café

What I got: Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew 

This is my go-to Starbucks drink, so I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed with it. It was just as I liked it. The ISB Café is also a great place to study. There are a lot of places to go throughout the building without too many distractions.

And finally, in 1st place: Post and Bean Café

What I ordered: Iced Caramel Latte with Whole Milk

Post and Bean had probably my favorite drink of the week, but that’s not the only reason it’s in the top spot. The shop has a lot of options for food: sandwiches, fruit, pastries. Located in the design building, it’s a pretty nice place to study. I prefer to study in an environment with a little chatter. Not too loud, but also not silent and still. The Post and Bean Café offers the perfect in-between. This, along with the great coffee, earned the café the first place spot. 

Hopefully, my list offers you some sort of guidance for where to get your next coffee. Or maybe you’ll decide to make your own list. If so, good luck!

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Samantha Butts

U Mass Amherst '23

Samantha is a junior at UMass Amherst studying English and Journalism. She enjoys reading, fashion, watching movies, thrifting, and going out with friends. She is passionate about women's rights, the environment, and politics.
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