Perk Up Picks: Our 4 Favorite Coffee Shops in the Valley

Coffee is a staple in most college student's diets, especially when the workload is cranked up to the max and the stress just keeps piling on. Coffee may seem to be something people brag about drinking too much of when they want to emphasize how stressed they are. Regardless of its social symbolism, it does truly perk you up when you need it. Whether it’s lounging in a cozy spot with your laptop and a cup of hot coffee or running around with a large, flavored iced latte, it’s always good to know the best places to stop at to get your daily caffeine fix.

1. Thirsty Mind

This coffee shop doubles as a wine bar and offers eclectic live music and coffee that is locally roasted. Whether you like it iced or hot, they've got it all. This place has a cozy and wholesome vibe to it (it offers open mic nights on Thursdays so anyone can come and sing their heart out). Not only does this coffee and wine bar have a comfortable atmosphere that encourages you to unwind on a cold day, it also offers delicious fresh pastries brought in from local places in western Massachusetts, just like their coffee.

2. Woodstar Cafe

Located in the quaint city of Northampton, the Woodstar Cafe has lots to offer in the realm of coffee and tea. This place is a family-owned bakery, so they always have fresh pastries, large or small, to complement any drink you plan on trying. They also have the option of drip coffee that's always produced right when you get there. Woodstar offers many different kinds of espresso drinks too, as well as several tea options that are locally crafted herbal teas, so their menu suits many appetites.

3. Esselon Coffee Roasting

Tucked between Northampton and Amherst on Route 9, Esselon Cafe is a snug place that offers a huge variety of unique teas and fresh coffees. They have outdoor seating in a lush area that resembles a garden with flowers, wooden chairs and reeds. Esselon Cafe has coffee from all different regions, including Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia and Kenya. This boasts a large variety of tastes, as they want to make sure they please every picky coffee lover. Not only does this cafe have an abundance of caffeine essentials, it also serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner and makes sure to keep it fun by adding weekly seasonal specials.

4. Pan’e Dolcetti

Located in Wilbraham, this shop is full of bustle and grab-and-go coffee, and although there is mood music playing, you can always count on it as a quiet place to sit and get work done. Perfect for a good cup of coffee that hits the spot, this cafe shies away from artificial sweeteners and flavors. The pastries are always fluffy and made the day of, and the austere atmosphere adds to the coziness one can find in the nooks and crannies of this cute cafe.  

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