Newsletter of the Association of Library and Information Science Students (ALISS)





Vol VII Issue VI

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Caffeine Hotspots for the Studiously Minded

By Blythe Summers
It’s time to write that paper, so I sit down at my desk. But then I realize I haven’t vacuumed. Or taken the trash out. Or called my mom. Then an email from my friend in California comes in…

This is when I need to get away from the distractions at home and get some work done. So I head out to one of my favorite coffee shops for some uninterrupted work-time. Atmosphere and caffeine can be a great stimulus for finishing homework. Seattle is full of great places to get coffee, therefore these are just a few of my favorite places to study and sip espresso. Unfortunately, most independently owned coffee shops haven’t caught up to the digital age, so bring a charged-up laptop just in case.

Café Allegro
4214 University Way NE
(Located in the alley east of the Ave)
University District
Mon-Fri 6:30am-10:30pm
Sat 7:30am-10:30pm, Sun 8am-10:30pm

Located around the corner from Magus Books, Allegro’s creamy yellow walls and warm drinks are inviting on a rainy Seattle day or evening. Art from local artists lines the wall and the rustic wooden tables easily accommodate two or more. The café has been around since 1975 and that long history means they know how to serve espresso. Their mochas, smooth and very chocolaty, are among the best to be had. You might not guess they use Starbucks beans here. If you’re watching your weight, beware that one percent milk is Allegro’s compromise for lower fat milk.

The European charm and well-made coffee outweighs the few drawbacks. Seats near the door can be drafty, and the bathroom—a cross between an airplane lavatory and (appropriately) an alley way—leaves something to be desired.

The Burke Museum Café
At the North entrance to campus, on 17th Ave NE
(Entrance around the left side of the museum)
Mon-Fri 7am-5pm
First Thursday of month till 8pm
Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 9am-5pm

This café serves the same Torrefazione coffee served elsewhere on campus—so no fern leaves or hearts artistically drawn in thick foam—but the atmosphere is well worth a study trip. The high walls are covered with French pine paneling that was restored from an 18th century home. The café is quiet and makes a great place to work alone, or meet to discuss a group project.

Unfortunately this café keeps shorter hours than many coffee shops, but its convenient location on campus makes it a great place to spend an hour or two during the day. In addition to coffee they serve juices, sandwiches and salads. You can pay with your Husky card account if you’re short on cash.

2200 North 56th Street
6 am to Midnight, everyday

Zoka is like Starbucks without the corporation and the Photoshop collages on the wall. They “Artisan Roast” their own coffee, sell merchandise, and offer an array of yummy desserts, breakfast foods and more. Located on a corner, large windows light the good-sized room. The coziness of wood paneling is mixed with the semi-industrial look of the exposed pipes above and the roaster in the back.

Come prepared with your stealthy table-snatching skills. Zoka is often crowded but it’s worth a few minutes’ wait for a table. The lattes are rich with thick foam, the tables big enough for spreading out notes. A row of seating along the back has outlets for laptops. Look for the new University Zoka opening this month at 2901 NE Blakely Street.

Bauhaus Books & Coffee
301 Pine Street
Capitol Hill
Mon-Fri 6am – 1am
Sat/Sun 8am-1am

This bright-by-day, intimate-by-night coffee shop is a great place to burrow into some dense reading. The coffee served is San Francisco’s Caffe Trieste espresso, or if you’re not in the mood for coffee, you can order an Italian soda. Tables near the window allow for a street-view, and a loft provides more seating. One wall of the café is comprised of two stories of bookshelves. The shop purports to sell books, but really, most will be inclined to leave the books there to preserve the unusual atmosphere of private library meets dusky café.

Tables can be small and lighting is a bit dim when the sun isn’t coming in the west-facing windows, but the shop inspires a studious inclination and thoughtful contemplation. Late hours allow night owls the chance to get some work done with a cappuccino at their elbow.

Caffe Zingaro
127 Mercer Street
Lower Queen Anne
Sun-Wed 7am-9pm
Thur-Sat 7am-11:30pm

Open just six months, this new café offers the more technically savvy (and well-funded) student a place to study and surf the web. This brightly colored coffee shop is a free Wi-Fi spot and a number of tables give you and a friend room to set up a laptop. The coffee is more like what you will find at Starbucks or Tully’s, as is the contemporary décor. Italian sodas, a variety of teas, and baked goods are also available. Bar-style seating across one window allows for great people-watching when you need a quick break.

The atmosphere is open and bright during the day, and cozy and well-lit at night. High quality art from local artists is for sale on the walls. The shop is generally fairly quiet and it’s not too hard to find a table during the day. Be ready for a bit more crowding in the evenings though when people stop in for espresso on their way to a performance at nearby Seattle Center.