For Coffee and Company

by Abigail E. Peck

The delicious smell drifting in the air as you walk in; the sounds of brewing, blending, and grinding. Then, the best part—the taste of a creamy latte beautifully dressed with a foamy leaf on top. Coffee shops are among college students’ top places to study or gather, both for the caffeine fix and relaxed environment. They provide a sacred space for meeting with classmates, professors, or roommates to cultivate relationships that often extend past the college years. Whether you are an avid coffee drinker, or you enjoy a refreshing tea or pastry, you can find within a six-mile radius of Azusa Pacific University four extraordinary coffee shops frequented by APU students.

Cornerstone Coffeehouse is APU’s coffee shop located on East Campus in the same building as the Marshburn Memorial Library. The inviting interior and the aroma of Peet’s Coffee blends make this venue a favorite on campus for a cup of coffee or a soothing cup of tea. A must try at Cornerstone Coffeehouse is the blended Naked: you pick out your favorite Naked Juice flavor from the fridge and they blend it to create a sweet smoothie. On West Campus is Hillside Grounds, located in Heritage, which offers the same delicious drinks. These coffeehouses are great places to spend dining dollars and Cougar Bucks.

“APU’s coffee shops have provided me with an environment to succeed. When I walk into a coffee shop on campus I can both relax with friends or get down to business,” says Bethie Van Druten ’19, nursing major. “The community environment created by coffee shops at APU keeps me coming back for more.”

Mantra Coffee Company is no more than a year old, but has quickly become an APU student and faculty favorite spot. Located on Azusa Avenue in a blue house, the coffee shop is unique in a refreshing way. Many of the baristas are APU alumni and pride themselves in the fact that 51% Mantra’s proceeds are donated to charities and nonprofit organizations. Local artists are showcased through the decorative pieces that fill the walls and musicians perform regularly as well. A unique drink to try at Mantra is the raspberry white chocolate mocha for a flavorful treat.

“How many times do you go to Mantra and it is swamped with people? It's not just coincidence, there’s something to it. It has open space for you to sit and get work done without feeling cramped or that you have to be quiet like you're in a library,” says Julian Montes ’16. “Overall, the best thing a shop can do for the APU community is to provide a space that will allow you to de-stress in both work mode or play mode.”

Classic Coffee is a local, longtime favorite coffee shop. Located in historic downtown Glendora, you can wander in expecting caring, hardworking baristas who create a welcoming, homey atmosphere for those in the surrounding community. With baristas and customers that are APU affiliated, it’s hard to go wrong with Classic Coffee. One of their signature drinks is the Frozen Hot Chocolate.

“We make it our ambition to know your name, your usual drink, and extend encouragement,” says Natalie Rehfeld ’19, barista and Christian ministries major. “Having the ability to serve fellow classmates and teachers amplifies the love that flows from APU, the goal to put God first, relationships that stem from that, and love throughout.”

Klatch Coffee is known for roasting their own beans while also assuring that the coffee beans are of high quality. Klatch is in San Dimas near Target and Trader Joe’s. Their award-winning coffee is a result of Klatch’s relationships with the farmers who grow the beans. They travel the world to find the finest coffee beans, and to build trust and loyalty with the farmers they work with. Be sure to try the popular creme brulee latte or the Mexican mocha.

“Good coffee that is made well is not just a product, but something that helps the world. Roasters today are about bettering the world in how they choose to deal with farmer-roaster relationships,” says Montes. “There is something awesome about paying a little more for something you know is blessing someone else across the world by helping them provide for their family. And it tastes great!”

Coffee shops bring together a community of students, roommates, and professors looking to share their stories and celebrate life. In addition, they create a space to relax and focus on the studying needed to succeed. This semester, take time to invite someone to a coffee shop, because chances are, you will receive much more than just your beverage.

Abigail E. Peck '18 is a public relations intern in the Office of University Relations. She is a public relations major and leadership minor.