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Coffee Shop Culture

Places have personalities just like people, so what’s the personality of your favorite coffee shop?

Written by: Leah Brainerd

Photos by: Rylee Keesee

Styled by: Hadley Waldren

Models: Pete Murphy & Colton Rodman

Coffee shops are a place of refuge in a college town, from their caffeine that keeps us going to their fun atmospheres and their group study spaces that hold us accountable. Each coffee shop has its personality, and even different locations of the same coffee shop can have completely different offerings and atmospheres.

For our first example, Aspen Coffee has four locations in Stillwater, all with completely different vibes and crowds that frequent the establishment. The drive-through Aspen on Duck is perfect for people in a rush on their way to class or work while still having the local feel and small-town vibes. It also goes quicker than other drive-throughs because of the windows on both sides of the building. They serve all coffees, teas and different smoothies specific to Aspen. The Aspen on Western is perfect for college students trying to get homework done, have a small group session, or talk with friends. The smaller space creates an incredible feeling of being in the middle of everything and has excellent natural light, keeping an airy feel. It also has a rear portion that is more cozy and great for hunkering down to get things done. They have fun snacks, homemade pastries, signature smoothies, teas and classic coffees. The Aspen on Perkins is great for a more comfortable and homey vibe because of its larger space and comfy couches for meetings and homework. It also has smaller tables to work independently or talk closer for a meeting or a date. They have specialty pastries and drinks apart from the other Aspens as well. Lastly, the Aspen Downtown right off Main is the homiest and most comfortable because it is a little darker, adding to the feeling of a warm cup of joe on a lovely fall day. It’s more of the feeling of Aspen on western because of its smaller size in terms of students, but also enjoyed by Stillwater locals.

Another famous coffee shop is Balanced Downtown which is very open while still warm and inviting. It is also well-lit in the front, cozy in the back, and has a more urban feel. The back is perfect for a cozy feel and has a great picnic table for group work. They also have fresh homemade pastries daily and fun swings right before the back room.

In terms of chain coffee shops, Starbucks has two locations in town, and both are great for a drive-through. They are smaller and very similar to the recognizable feel and branding of any Starbucks coffee shop, but still offer a great environment just like any other.

Stillwater’s newest chain, Dutch Bros has fun coffee flavors and exciting names, and while it may just be a drive-through, it is still an experience. The employees are excited to talk to you while you wait, and being outside adds an element of airiness and fun. Their drink names are always entertaining, and they have creative energy drinks to keep you caffeinated. Their teas are great and can have all different bases as well, for the non-coffee lovers.

Each coffee shop is different and adds a level of personality to our little town while still having a distinct identity in itself. There can never be enough coffee shops in a college town, and each one is more interesting than before.

Long live coffee shop culture.


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