Katie Smith, a senior public relations and advertising student, was sitting in Le Marais, Paris at her favorite little café, Strata Coffee, when she had her first ever specialty coffee. The first sip of her latte consumed her so much that she never ventured anywhere else to get her morning dose.
“Having a good cup of coffee while walking around Paris was a dream come true,” said Smith.
When Smith did return she had to find a new place that carried quality coffee. This was made easier when several new coffee shops have opened around the Orange County area over the past two years. These include Kean’s, Portola Coffee lab, Aussie Bean, and Bodhi Leaf.
“When I first transferred to Chapman, it was so hard to find a coffee shops that had some atmosphere and served a well brewed cup coffee that wasn’t burnt,” said senior environmental studies major, Jaclyn Akers.
“But recently there has been a significant growth of the number of places that serve specialty coffee,” Akers said.
Growing up in Seattle made Akers appreciate coffee at a young age, which has given her a specific taste for coffee.
“If I want a good cup of coffee I don’t seek out Starbucks,” said Akers.
However, Starbucks seems to be the most popular coffee shop among most Chapman students.
“Starbucks is close, affordable and gets the job done. I know I can get a better cup of coffee down the street but with a college budget it’s hard to justify paying $5 for a cup,” said senior biology major, Homa Hayatafar.
Sophomore dance major, Michelle Harvey chooses to get her daily cup of coffee from the Aussie Bean truck, also located on campus, because they offer her what she says Starbucks can’t– good conversation, well brewed coffee, and no line.
Those who prefer to have a stronger cup of coffee go even further off campus to get it, like senior sociology major Cassidy Rawlinson, who enjoys her time at Hopper and Burr, a coffee shop located in downtown Santa Ana. Rowlinson and her boyfriend, senior film production major Tyler Jones, visit the coffee shop at least three times a week.
“The coffee tastes just as good as it looks. Whether you drink the espresso alone, in a latte, a cappuccino or a macchiato it is always complemented perfectly by the right amount of steamed milk,” said Rawlinson.
Senior accounting major Haley Smith, often spends time Portola Coffee Lounge located in the Orange Plaza. Smith chooses Portola’s over other coffee shops in the circle because they offer her a more casual and trendy atmosphere.
The space is constantly changing in order to accommodate Chapman students. When the shop opened a year ago it was occupied by long tables but since then they have changed the layout to include more small tables to accommodate more students who choose to study at the space.
The shift is not exclusive to Portola’s; the previous mentioned coffee shops seem to also be following a trend to cater to the growing college population.
“I just wanted a good cup of coffee that doesn’t taste burnt and at first that seemed impossible but things are changing,” said Akers.