Sunday, 28 January 2018

It's Sunday! - What is the best coffee shop to read in?

28/01/18

As you probably know, I study Media and creative writing at university. I am in my second year and have found that since the last term, the reading list for my course has grown MASSIVELY. I love reading, so this suits me fine. But living in a house with other students means that sometimes I just can't find a quiet space to relax and read my books. Living in such a small town, the majority of the shops are coffee shops and this is where I usually escape when I need some space to read. I have tried almost all of the said coffee shops, including chains and the independent ones. But I wanted to test out exactly which ones I felt where better to relax in. I went to four different coffee shops during my day off and assessed exactly how well equipped they were for a bookworm like me!



★ ★ ★/5

First of all, I tried the most popular chain of coffee, Starbucks. I had a Mocha here, which I felt was very strong and left me feeling very energized. The atmosphere itself was okay. It was a little messy, there was a few empty cup left places and there were a lot of children running about the place. But still, I managed to settle in the corner and read a couple of pages of my book without being disturbed. 
The seating was quite uncomfortable after a while, as the chairs are mostly hardwood so I couldn't read there for long. But overall, I gave it 3 stars out of five. The staff were super friendly and they made my coffee perfect.








★ ★ ★ ★/5


I don't know if this is just a popular opinion about Nero, from where I am from. But I often hear people saying that Nero is not a good coffee shop, so I avoided it until today. I ventured in and I have to say, I found it so much better than my regular Starbucks. The coffee was cheaper (I had a latte), the staff were just as friendly and frankly, the atmosphere was better. There was low lighting, making the place seem really cost, the chairs were so large that I could cross my legs in them and they did a 'hot pot' meal, which filled me up for the rest of the day.
The only reason I gave them four stars instead of five is because the tables weren't that clean. I almost put my book down in a puddle of water and this is a nightmare for any bookworm like me, who likes to keep their books in tip-top condition.


                                                             



★★/5



Costa is another one of those popular chains, people either support Starbucks or Costa. I haven't been in that many Costa's, I am one of those Starbucks lovers. However, I really didn't enjoy my experience that much at Costa. I took my book in, ready too read. Ordered a green tea (at this point I had drunk WAY too much coffee), and went to read. The green tea was okay, but it was awfully expensive for just a tea bag and hot water. Plus it was really messy. To be fair to the staff, it was super busy so it may have not been their top priority to clean tables, but I could only find a small table with two chairs, to sit and read. The chairs, very similar to Starbucks, just weren't comfortable. I did find a few other students working in Costa but they were right at the back and in a large group. Costa just wouldn't be somewhere I would go if I wanted to relax and read my book.






★★★★★/5

Finally, I went to Krema. Krema is an independent coffee shop that only exists in my little town. When I was originally putting together my list of coffee shops to visit, I wasn't going to include any shops that weren't a chain. Because I wanted for people to be able to visit the coffee shops so they could come to their own conclusion. However, I walk past this coffee shop every day, so I decided to give it a chance. I ordered a Mocha so I could compare it to the Starbucks coffee. I found the coffee at Krema a lot less strong, however, this shop was Instagram heaven. You know those coffee pictures that cover your Instagram feed? That looks so perfect you don't know how the person who posted it ever drunk it because it looked so amazing?  That was Krema. The decor was bright orange and soft browns which gave off an active but relaxed atmosphere. Even though it was really busy, I ordered my coffee and they brought it to my seat instead of having me wait in a queue. The staff were lovely and asked what I was reading (it was the princess saves herself in this one ) and acted like they were genuinely interested in how my day was going. I guess what I found out from this experiment was, support your local, independent coffee shop. They are the best places to read, to relax and have a friendly conversation. Chains aren't the way to go. 

 For now, keep on reading oxox



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