Fuel your caffeine self: consider leasing near an independent coffee shop

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Ryan Ash

A BrewLab barista pours latte art on Oct. 20. BrewLab is one of several local establishments that offer coffee.

By Meghan Lyons, Special Sections Editor

If there is one staple of struggling twenty-somethings, it’s coffee. Hands down, coffee has been the one to help me through it all: paper-heavy nights, classes, interacting with people, hangovers. Assuming whoever else is reading this is a caffeine fiend, I’m sure you can empathize with me. And when you run out, you end up plummeting into a world of pain. The withdrawals classify coffee-drinking with a new kind of hell: piercing migraines and lingering grouchiness. Getting more coffee during a drought is impossible — because you are too tired to get it, but you need it, and the nearest Starbucks is five minutes away, and delivering a coffee is just ridiculous because coffee prices are already obnoxiously inflated, and $10 is despicable for a single, mediocre coffee.

Anyway, I finally got my coffee now as I am writing this, so let me cut to the point: You don’t want to face a situation where you cannot access coffee. So, what do you do? You still need to sign a contract, don’t know who to live with and you are a slave to the bitter bean. The secret is to locate a coffee shop and lease close to it. Here are some businesses to consider leasing near on campus to support and prevent yourself from a caffeine crisis.

Champaign shops: BrewLab, Flying Machine Avionics

If you are looking to lease in Champaign, there are a couple of great small coffee businesses adjacent to student housing. BrewLab, located near Fifth and Green streets, is a unique business; half of it is a bike shop and the other a cozy, artistic and whimsical shop, often jam-packed with students. Located a little farther away on First Street in Champaign is another gem: Flying Machine Avionics. This coffee shop boasts a menu full of different coffees to fuel your needs.

Urbana shops: Cafe Paradiso, Espresso Royale

Without its coffee shops, Urbana would not have nearly the same amount of charm. Located on Lincoln Avenue not too far from a majority of the Urbana dorms is the renowned Cafe Paradiso. Inside the store, there is spacious seating, an unconventional but charming atmosphere overgrowing with plants and an extensive menu. In 2018, Cafe Paradiso received a surprise visit from former President Barack Obama. 

Closer to the Main Quad is one of the few remaining Espresso Royales, nestled near the Canopy Club and Krannert Performing Arts Center. Just like the other coffee shops, Espresso Royale offers a satisfying menu and homey seating. Espresso Royale is a common favorite of many students.

Meghan is a junior in LAS.

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