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Black coffee prevails over seasonal options

By Hannah Fierle, For The Miami Student

Whether stopping by Starbucks for a Pumpkin Spice Latte before class on a chilly fall day or sipping black coffee while cramming for a finance exam until the wee hours of the morning, caffeine is the tried and true fuel of choice for college students at Miami University.

For some, coffee is an experience. It's an atmosphere and a luxury. For this type of customer, the allure of a cozy coffee shop like Starbucks or Kofenya is the perfect venue for meeting up with friends or doing homework.

The line at Starbucks, in the middle of High Street, is nearly out the door at any time of the day. The shop grows increasingly busy during the fall and winter seasons, with the introduction of seasonal flavors like pumpkin spice, peppermint mocha and toasted graham cracker.

"Going to Starbucks doesn't feel like a chore in the same way the library does," said junior Madyson Bender. "I like being able to sit by the window and look outside, it's a much more upbeat and social atmosphere."

However, for other students, coffee is nothing more than a source of energy - the needed spark for an early morning class or a little something to make it through a late night of studying.

"My days are significantly better after I've had some coffee," said junior Michael Pilipovich. "I know that it will jump-start my day and get me focused for what I need to do."

King Café and Dividends in the Farmer School of Business are two popular locations for students to grab coffee on-the-go - and on their meal plans.

Anna Beth Schneider, an employee at King Café, pays attention to patterns in students' coffee habits. She estimates that, despite the many flavors and options, black coffee (hot or iced) prevails as the most popular order. For old school coffee drinkers, they tend to stick with black coffee and not be tempted by seasonal beverages and specials.

"The less popular drinks would probably be cappuccinos, the café au lait, or basically any drink that contains more milk/foam and less coffee," said Schneider.

The busiest hours for King Café wax and wane with students' schedules, picking up in the morning when students are going to and from class. While the library is open all night, King Café closes at 11 p.m. But, the lateness does not phase students' caffeine habits.

"There is always a rush between 10:30-11:00 p.m., because we close at 11, so people want to get their coffee fixes for late night studying," said Schneider.

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While some rely on coffee as a quick wake-up call, others find themselves increasingly reliant on caffeine. Students' coffee habits become dependencies, as they seem unable to function without their daily fix.

"Sometimes, if I don't get my coffee, I get headaches about half -way through the day. But I'll only ever drink it black," said junior David Colston.

Whether a unique, personalized drink that takes 10 syllables to order, or an old fashioned black coffee, students all need their buzz.