• 9 favorite Baylor-area coffee spots

    For many, college is when they first fall in love with coffee. Early morning classes, combined with organizations, dozens of new friends, and test after project after test, quickly leads to at least one coffee a day. So whether you’re a new student whose love for the bean is just beginning or a Waco visitor looking for the best brew, here are nine favorite Baylor-area coffee spots.

    Common Grounds: Probably the best-known Baylor-area coffee shop, Common Grounds is famous for its quintessential laid-back, college-hangout vibe. HGTV fans will recognize the house-turned-coffee-shop from Baylor alumni Chip and Joanna Gaines’ show “Fixer Upper.” But for students, it’s the everyday hangout spot. For your first drink, try their signature Cowboy Coffee. Then my personal favorite, the Heisman: an ultra-caffeinated mint chocolate chip blend of frozen goodness.

    Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits: Dichotomy first got its start as a regular at the Waco Downtown Farmers Market in 2012, eventually moving to a permanent brick-and-mortar location downtown. Using only high-quality ingredients, they brew unique, premiere, hot and iced coffee drinks. Their special — the “1885,” a blend of espresso and Dr Pepper — is named for the year the soda was invented just a block away.

    Pinewood Roasters: Pinewood began in 2015 with two Baylor grads in their garage. After stops in downtown McGregor and inside the restaurant Alpha Omega, they settled into their own spot on Austin Avenue in August, which they plan to make a community hub, live music venue and farm-to-table lunch spot.

    Brû Artisan Coffee: Brû has perhaps the most unique location of all: inside a century-old elevator in the historic Praetorian Building. Owned by Baylor alumni Summer and Peter Ellis, the coffee shop’s name comes from the Latin word for Bear (sic ’em!). If you’re craving a high-quality, smooth espresso, head to Brû. (Also, thanks to Brû for this special Baylor latte art.)

    Lula Jane’s: If you’re looking for a more down-to-earth coffee spot, Lula Jane’s is your place. From the minute you pull up to it and its lush home garden on Elm Avenue, you’ll feel like you’ve just arrived at Grandma’s. (In fact, the restaurant was named for the grandmother of owner Nancy Grayson, who, you guessed it, is another Baylor Bear.) Their menu is small and changes daily, offering only two types of coffee — Ethiopian or “cheap coffee” — but the relaxed atmosphere makes for the ideal place to study or catch up with a friend.

    Café Cappuccino:. In the mood for a full-on brunch? You’ll want to go to Café Cappuccino. As its name indicates, the cappuccinos are what shine here. It’s only open in the mornings and afternoons, and gets busy fast on the weekends. My advice: go with friends and an empty stomach. And get the pancakes.

    Starbucks at Moody Library: Okay, you know we couldn’t get through this list without at least one Starbucks. But what makes this particular location special is the moments that happen all around it. Perhaps the most popular place to get your coffee on campus, this Starbucks sees hundreds (maybe thousands) of orders a day. It’s responsible for getting countless students through their 8 a.m. classes, all-nighters, group projects and finals.

    World Cup Café: Though it’s a little further from campus, a 7 a.m. cup of joe from World Cup Café will do you wonders. And if you’re hungry, you can’t go wrong with any one of their Texas Toasters. The quality, locally sourced ingredients make for one heck of a breakfast sandwich.

    Olive Branch Bakery and Café: Owned by another Baylor alum, Olive Branch is typically a popular lunch spot — but don’t sleep on it (literally) for breakfast. Their 254 coffee blend, named for Waco’s area code, is nutty, flavorful, and somehow warms you to your Wacoan soul more than any other hot coffee.

    BONUS: Did you know Baylor has its own signature coffee series? The beans are roasted in none other than Independence, Texas — Baylor’s birthplace — and come in “1845 Charter Blend,” “Bruin Brew,” “Homecoming Special,” “Oso Delicious,” “Sic ’em Special” and “That Good ol’ Baylor Line.”

    Sic ’em, coffee drinkers!

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    * 25 epic dishes every Baylor Bear knows (or should know) (Aug. 2016)

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