Arms of four people holding up various hot coffee drinks over cafe table

10 of the Best Colleges and Universities for Coffee Lovers

Coffee is the fuel that gets students through college, but some places are better than others with options. Here are 10 great schools for coffee lovers!

Popular culture may give us many stereotypes about college, but at the end of the day, one of them rings true: coffee is the true fuel for many students. Coffee is what keeps things moving; students who stay up late to study or get up for an early class often make a beeline for the coffee shop to stay alert and stimulated. Most colleges have shops or carts on campus to satiate the caffeine needs of their students—and many college towns have even more cafés tuned to the taste of college students. Here are the top colleges across the US where coffee lovers can get their fix.

1. Auburn University

Auburn University has pretty impressive research and outreach programs, but it also has an excellent coffee culture. The University has several coffee shops on and around campus, many of which have turned into favorite spots for students. A couple of Starbucks locations are also close to the University. However, more popular locations are Mama Mocha’s Coffee Emporium and Coffee Cat. There are only a handful of independent coffee shops in the area, and it’s the patronage of Auburn’s students that helps keep them afloat.

2. Florida Southern College

Florida Southern College students don’t just love coffee—they live for it. With 10 craft coffee shops and three coffee roasters within four miles of campus, it’s easy to find a spot to love. For those looking to take their passion for coffee to the next level, FSC offers the Seed-to-Scale Incubation program, which allows students to partner with Concord Coffee and learn how to launch a coffee business quickly; in fact, Seed-to-Scale launched three businesses in the spring of 2023 alone during the program's first semester. Other coffee-related opportunities for students include Plant to Seed Fund micro-grants, a New Venture Finance & Operations class, a mentor group of shop owners and roasting experts, and the Coffee Cart Learning Lab.

Connect me with FSC!

3. University of California, Berkeley

University of California, Berkeley has a big, busy campus with a lot of students. The University is spread over an area of 1,200 acres and has courses in 184 disciplines. It’s basically a city in itself! With a campus that huge, there’s a need for several coffee shops, carts, and other amenities—and the school handles all of that admirably. The most popular places for coffee lovers are Common Grounds in Dwinelle Hall, The Free Speech Movement Café, and 1951 Coffee. Additionally, Yali's Cafe at Stanley Hall is famed for serving specialty coffee as well as excellent lattes, mochas, and cappuccinos.

4. Brown University

One of the oldest universities in the US, Brown University offers more than 80 undergraduate degrees and 83 doctoral and master’s degrees. And like any other major university, Brown has coffee shops on and around campus. The Underground Coffee Shop is located on the lower level of the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center. It’s a nonprofit enterprise that’s run by students. Other popular locations include the College Hill Cafe and Kung Fu Tea. As is to be expected, several franchise locations are available too, including Starbucks and Blue State Coffee.

Connect me with Brown!

5. University of Washington, Seattle

Seattle is pretty much the capital of modern American coffee culture, so it’s no surprise that culture is translated onto the University of Washington, Seattle campus. The area is so packed with coffee shops that it’s an experience in its own right. There’s the Parnassus Café and Gallery, Seattle's oldest coffee shop; this student-run coffeehouse and art gallery provides much insight into Seattle’s local coffee culture. The Ugly Mug Cafe and Cafe Solstice are other favorite hangouts for students. The ubiquitous Starbucks, which is headquartered in Seattle, has a strong presence as well.

6. Boston University

Boston University is a private, nonprofit institution that’s been renowned for its research program and academics for more than 150 years. Around 3,150 students are annually admitted, and a fair number of them come from all corners of the world. Several coffee shops and chains dot the landscape of the University and the areas around it, including Starbucks, Cafe Nero, Einstein Bros., and Blue State Coffee. Plenty of amazing independent shops are present too. Pavement Coffeehouse is an old favorite that serves Counter Culture Coffee; they work with an artisanal roaster to get freshly roasted batches of coffee from all over the world.

Connect me with BU!

7. University of Wisconsin–Madison

One of the coolest things about the coffee scene at the University of Wisconsin–Madison is that there are plenty of independent shops around. The University has a massive 930-acre campus with around 44,000 students attending, so there’s room for a variety of experiments with coffee. Several coffee chains have locations at the University, including Starbucks, Einstein Bros, Coffee & Bagels, and Caribou Coffee. Other popular locations include Library Cafe & Bar and Valentia Coffee.

Related: Crafting Your Own Caffeinated Beverages in 5 Easy Steps

8. Baylor University

Baylor University is the oldest continuously functioning university in Texas. The most beloved coffee location here is Common Grounds Waco, which is known for its amazing coffee and comfy atmosphere. The outdoor seating as well as the indoor ambiance make this an excellent and enjoyable coffee location. While the Waco location is located off campus, the University also houses its own Common Grounds location. As with most places, there’s also a local Starbucks nearby for students’ chain coffee desires.

9. University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati is rich with enjoyable coffee locations, offering several franchise locations available around campus. There are a few Starbucks, a Tim Hortons, a Panera Bread, and more. But the highlight at UC goes to the Rohs Street Cafe. This “art-filled coffee house in a church” is a splendid location full of inspiration, art, and awe. And of course, there’s great coffee to keep you company. Going a small distance beyond Burnet Woods leads to Lydia’s on Ludlow, which is an “eco-oriented café” with great ambiance. There are a few more interesting shops in the area that are sure to add more joy to a coffee lover’s options.

Connect me with UC!

10. University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin seems to be nicely ensconced in a row of coffeehouses. Nearly any direction you take will bring you to a coffee shop, and while no one will be walking over all 430 acres of campus, there’s a pretty good density of coffee shops so no student would need to. The usual groups of chains are present—Starbucks, Panera, and more—but independent coffee shops as well as artisanal roasters are close to campus too. There’s the Texas Expresso and Caffe Medici, as well as the Lucky Lab Coffee Co. coffee truck that’s parked on campus.

Related: 6 Smart Coffee Hacks for College Students

If coffee is a part of your daily routine (and let’s be honest, as a busy student, that’s likely), then these may be great colleges for you to consider applying to during your college search. Any one of these schools will provide you with a perfect mix of local shops and favorite chains to get you through the day and your classes.

Looking for schools in different places? You can find many more colleges and universities using our College Search tool!

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

Tags:

About Allison Jones

Allison Jones is a crazy coffee lover. She founded CoffeeUrban to share her passion for and insights into coffee. Don't miss her blog if you're one of those people who can't start their mornings without a cup!

 

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Joseph Johnsly

Joseph Johnsly

High School Class of 2021

It's an honor for me to be writing to share a little about my experience with CollegeXpress. I've been using CollegeXpress for about a year now, and the reason why I chose it is because it provides astonishing scholarships for every student around the globe. Besides that, this organization dispenses all the information necessary to help students get to college. CollegeXpress has helped me have an easier experience with applying to colleges and choosing the best fit for myself.

Sadie Hartmann

Sadie Hartmann

High School Class of 2021

I'm a senior in high school, and CollegeXpress has helped me in so many ways this year in trying to navigate the process of deciding and committing to a university. The COVID-19 Student Resource Center has helped me many times with the most up-to-date and accurate information, along with financial aid and student life [advice]. During these uncertain times, CollegeXpress has been a great recourse to relieve the stress as a senior. Along with the COVID-19 Student Resource Center, I'm constantly using the extremely helpful tools off the site to aid me during this stressful process. Tools like the lists and rankings of universities have been the most beneficial. I've also used the site to receive expert advice on topics like financial aid. Finally, CollegeXpress has helped me easily apply for several scholarships. I'm thankful to be given the chance to win a scholarship to lessen the burden of my college debt.

Lorena Bacallao

Lorena Bacallao

High School Class of 2022

CollegeXpress was the foundation of my college search process. Because of CollegeXpress, I was able to make a more informed and confident decision as to where it was best to pursue my higher education. I have recommended this website to fellow peers and for first-generation students like me. It’s a website I will continue to promote because of how simple it was to use and how many opportunities were offered to me at my fingertips!

Ariyane

Ariyane

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress really helped me by letting me know the colleges ratings and placements. They gave me accurate information on my colleges tuition rates and acceptance. They even let me know the ration between students and faculty and the diversity of the college. Overall they told me everything I needed and things I didnt even think I needed to know about my college and other colleges I applied for.

Asia Stockdale

Asia Stockdale

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress helped me overcome a huge hurdle. Because of the small town I live in, I felt like I would never achieve more. I felt like I could never go beyond because of costs. I feared I wouldn’t be able to find scholarships. I had no idea of where to start. With CollegeXpress, I easily found scholarships—they came to me. It was a helper, and I was instantly matched with opportunities to go above and beyond educationally.

College Matches
X

Colleges You May Be Interested In

Sacred Heart University

Fairfield, CT