It is no secret that I like a good brew. I mean, I practically threw a party at Spikes when I finished my “Around the World” card. But there are several other spots around San Luis Obispo that craft a nice brew too.

This may come as a shock, but I spend more time out of the bars than I do in them.  And a lot of non-bar time is spent at local coffee shops doing what else… writing.

I discovered early on in college that if I needed to get something done efficiently I would have to leave my home. I am all to easily distracted by friends, neighbors, dishes, Greys Anatomy and what not.

Now personally, I won’t go to Linnaea’s if it is too hot or freezing because I don’t like having to sit inside. It’s creepy and I am afraid that at any moment the piano is going to start playing on its own. But this off-beat coffee joint was my  second home this past summer and fall quarter, to the point where if someone was sitting at the table on the little deck outside, I felt violated, like they were in my room or something. Apparently I am territorial over tables. I’m also really into Linnaea’s teas, which have many fun options.

Some people can’t study at coffee shops. The whir of cappuccino makers distract them. And the chit chatter of other patrons really gets their froth a foaming. But I like it, it helps me to get in the zone when I need to focus and escape and eavesdrop on other peoples latte induced conversations.

I feel that I am a “regular” at several of the coffee shops in town but not to the point where the barista knows my name and my order. My choice of study destination depends on my mood and what I need to work on.

A nice caffeine buzz isn’t the only perk to hanging out at the coffee shops; decent people watching is pretty much a given. You know how some people have their favorite “watering holes” that they frequent to the point that the bartender and patrons all  know who they are? Well these people have less lushy counterparts that reside in coffee houses here. One in particular that comes to mind is  a man who hangs at Uptown (Black Horse). This man has the longest dread lock I have ever seen (yes one dread lock) and he is always seated in the same spot and working on the same project. Now he is a senior citizen, but this project is a mystery to me. It involves a large blank book in which he scribes in ink in inconceivably small illegible writing. The  book rests flat on the table and is held open with stones (yes, stones).  I’m starting to wonder if he is the Lord of the Ring.

When the weather gets unbearably hot or if I am feeling especially corporation-friendly and yuppie I head to Peets. It is very sophisticated and air conditioned in there.

When I’m with friends I like studying at The Nautical bean , which I now lovingly refer to as the “naughty bean.” I don’t how it smells, it is sort spicy and I don’t understand why.  Whenever I leave the coffee shop, my hair smells spicy and it bothers me. But I continue to frequent it because they have yummy food and treats there.

So as much as I love going out for a drink, it doesn’t have to be alcoholic to make me happy. Besides, for some reason when I head to the coffee shops rather than the bars,  I really tend to get more done.

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