Ahh, coffee: the quintessential companion of any rational college student. But does it have to be the indecisive caffiene drinker’s worst nightmare?
[medley] With all of the cafés near campus, it is difficult to pick just one place to get a caffeine fix. So next time you find yourself face-down in your economics book with a puddle of drool forming over the review questions, refer back to this brief tour of options.
Caffe Latte – This groovy little joint, located on Charles Street right next to Georgio’s, is mega hip. Intensely introspective photographs litter the walls under accent lighting, as garage sale couches chill out at the rear of the room. This is the perfect atmosphere for sipping deliciously toasty beverages.
An attractive feature of Caffe Latte is that, on any given night, walking into the café might mean stumbling on an acoustic jam of local musicians, or an impromptu poetry slam of aspiring writers.
Eileen Downey, a music junior, has performed at Caffe Latte and started going in 1999. Caffe Latte attracts an artsy crowd, she said.
“They have great art and music. People spread the word,” Downey said.
The downside? Non-smokers may want to scoot on down the road. Caffe Latte offers a smoking section that is in no way separated from the non-puffers. Dig the Camels? Then Caffe Latte is a definite go.
Beaners -Location, location, location. Nestled smack dab on the first floor of the union, this jazzy little place is a winter favorite. Its dim lighting and sage color scheme gives it a cozy feel accented by mellow music and friendly service.
[coffee2] All Beaners has to offer is only a stones throw from the dorms. It is, however, part of a larger chain of cafés. So in order to support East Lansing’s small business owners, try this next place.
Espresso Royale – This hot spot, with its intelligent and modern décor, is right next to the MSU Credit Union between Charles and Bailey on Grand River. Even with a chic, contemporary design, Espresso Royale maintains the classic “cozy coffeee shop” feel. A fireplace is available to warm patrons as they sit on stylishly upholstered chairs, and an extensive lunch menu offers tasty sandwiches at reasonable prices.
Sick of laboring over hours of homework at the library? Espresso Royale has plenty of space to study. Laura Bell, an employee and anthropology sophomore said, “people come to Espresso Royale to study or to get coffee in a warm and friendly atmosphere.”
She added that many people come to relax on their heated patio. Yes, heated outdoor patio – quite possibly the coolest café feature on Grand River.
[coffee1] Starbucks – Located on the corner of Grand River and Charles, Starbucks lures in patrons with promises of good coffee and a great atmosphere. But if the mundane isn’t your gig, skip the frappuccino. A Starbucks is a Starbucks is a Starbucks. Period. Unless chocolate covered coffee beans are performing a Broadway medley on the counter, any other affordable and unique café on Grand River is the way to go.
That wraps up the tour. Please exit out of the right-hand side of this article, and don’t forget to grab your backpack. It has your coffee money in it.

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