Forget the Library – Students Study at Trendy Coffee Shops

by Chloe Bubion 

While most students can be found on a Wednesday afternoon on the second floor of the Leatherby Libraries aggressively typing away on their laptops and sipping $0.80 coffee from the vending machine, some, like senior public relations and advertising major David Ko, opt to study in the comfort of their favorite trendy Orange County coffee shop.

Arguing that coffee shops offer a more serene environment and encourage productivity, more students are choosing to stray away from Chapman’s campus when it comes time to study.

“Doing homework at a coffee shop is so much more relaxing than in the library,” Ko said. “And there are so many cool cafes in the area.”

Although Ko frequently visits different shops located all over Orange County, his favorite is Alta Coffee Warehouse and Restaurant in Newport Beach. 

Originally a bookstore, the coffee house provides seating both indoors and out. Locals and college students alike come to the coffee shop to get their favorite drink and listen to local musicians. Prices for drinks on the menu vary from $1 to $4, but Ko finds the pricing reasonable for any student. Alta, open from 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. weekdays, also encourages guests to not use their cell phone while inside – which is why Ko finds it to be a good environment to study.

“The vibe is great,” Ko said.

Ko suggests the iced mocha or chai tea latte with half spiced and half vanilla flavoring when studying at Alta.

When looking to escape the library to study, sophomore communication studies major Ellye Foley likes to go to Milk & Honey in Costa Mesa.

Fifteen minutes from campus, Milk & Honey is another popular study destination. Open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays, Foley finds it to never be too crowded with students.

“I love to study there because not many students know about it,” she said.

Unlike the familiar Starbucks, Foley finds Milk & Honey to be quieter and a better environment to study in. Because of this, she believes that she can focus better and get more of her work done as opposed to working in the library, which she feels often becomes “a social gathering place.”

Besides fairly inexpensive drinks ranging from $2-$5, the coffee shop also offers free Wifi to guests.

Folye’s favorite drink while studying is the lavender latte with soy milk.

When trying to find a study spot walking distance from campus, sophomore communication studies major Annie Bosch likes to go to Café Lucca in the Orange Circle.

“It’s close, it’s quiet and they have good lattes,” she said.

Featuring Italian roasted coffees, Lucca has a range of drink options at a moderate price. Students often study on the patio tables located at the front of the restaurant. Providing large tables inside, Bosch said it is a great place to study in groups as well.

Open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, Lucca is a popular study destination for students looking to stay local.

Bosch recommends the double shot espresso or a latte featuring foam art. 

While some find the library a productive and convenient place to study, many Chapman students prefer to be in their favorite coffee shop.

“It’s nice to be in a place where not everyone is studying,” Annie Bosch said. “Coffee shops have the perfect balance of interaction and focus.”

Offering a more uplifting and casual environment for students to study, the seats at the long wooden library tables are becoming empty, while the couches, barstools and café tables at some of Chapman student’s favorite coffee shops are filling up.


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