By Hannah Stumpf | Echo
For as small as Upland is, the surrounding community has a high coffee shop to person ratio. With so many choices, it can be hard to know which coffee shop has the best latte, drip brew or frappuccino. Luckily, Taylor University is home to quite a few coffee enthusiasts.
But is the University the only reason that there are so many coffee shops in the area? Not necessarily so. "Morning Sky" by Hubbard and Cravens is a roast from Indianapolis that can be found at The Jumping Bean. Sophomore Isaac Bowser feels The Bridge finds it strength in hiring baristas from outside of the immediate Taylor community. At the end of the day, coffee has a way of drawing people closer together.
"To me, coffee shops are much like a dining room table," junior Crysta Haynes said. "They are a place for people to gather. If you have ever heard a sermon or just anyone speak on coming to the table, I believe there is something almost sacred about meeting together with others . . . when we intentionally slow down to get coffee with someone we are saying to them, 'I am here for you'."
Now that the "how" and "why" are established, it's time to begin this drink debate.
The Jumping BeanStrengths: Some students enjoy the Bean's grab-and-go nature. Plus, it is located on campus. Great drinks on campus.
Weaknesses: Some students may want an atmosphere that encourages socializing and staying for a while.
The Bridge CafeStrengths: Bowser was encouraged to try something new because The Bridge has very active social media accounts.
"I follow them (The Bridge) on Instagram, and they're always posting about a special item for the day," Bowser said. "I saw the picture of their hot apple cider and thought, 'Oh, better go try that!'"
The Bridge is also known for its seasonal drinks and allergen-friendly menu.
Better plan to be there between rush hours. The Bridge is known to fill up fast.
Joe on the GoStrengths: Joe on the Go is known for sweet drinks, including their iced lattes. " . . . I also love to go there to study because they have the big conference rooms that you can go and study in," said sophomore Megan Harrison .
Weaknesses: If you are looking for a cafe with an established aesthetic, look elsewhere. Joe on the Go is fairly new and still working out its kinks.
Starbucks in Gas CityStrengths: "I am a big fan of their seasonal drinks," Harrison said. ". . . Their salted caramel mocha is my favorite. (I get one every day while they are in season)" Harrison said.
Weaknesses: Students who wish to support smaller, local businesses should look elsewhere.
The Abbey Coffee Shop and RoasteryStrengths: The Abbey roasts its own coffee.
Weaknesses: "The Abbey doesn't really have any food; can't really compare there," Bowser said. "I think they could be a little more diverse. They just have espresso drinks."
The location might deter students who do not want to drive to Marion for a cup of coffee.
With as many options as there are, there is sure to be something for everyone nearby. Take this as an opportunity to try something for the first time. A new favorite may be waiting to be discovered. Gather some friends for studying, a homework break and as always, a friendly debate about the age-old cream/sugar question is always welcome.
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Address: 4970 Beaner Blvd. Gas City, IN 46933