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Cobber coffee shop culture

Moxie Java boasts a great studying atmosphere. Photo courtesy of

Local coffee shops provide the ambiance, socializing and caffeine that Cobbers long for, according to Senior Brittany Schwingler, a self-proclaimed coffee addict.

For sleep-deprived college students, it is no surprise that the morning caffeine fix is a necessary part of the day. For many of us, coffee is very much like breathing; a mandatory but albeit dull part of living. And for some students, coffee is more than a caffeine buzz — it is a savory experience.

For Schwingler, ambiance is what draws her to coffee shops.

“I love to do homework in coffee shops because I like to have enough background noise to keep me focused on my own task but then still be able to take a break from it and look around,” Schwingler said.

According to Schwingler, one such venue that is ideal for studying is Moxie Java. Barista Callie Christianson, a 2014 Concordia graduate, said that the soft music and earthy colors of the cafe give the coffee shop a warm vibe that is ideal for evening study sessions.

“I think Moxie Java is unique because we give off a really warm vibe — (it is like) your typical coffee shop hang out place,” Christianson said.

Christianson also said the coffee shop is a good meeting spot for students and that, in her two months working there, has already noticed a group of graduate student “regulars.”

“There are students in here all the time,” Christianson said, peering out at the various customers seated with their notebooks and computers.

Though Moxie Java has a good atmosphere for studying, students like senior Ellie Beeson, another coffee aficionado, may visit multiple coffee house venues depending on the situation.

“What draws me to the different shops is usually what mood I’m in, who I’m with, (and) what I’m trying to accomplish,” Beeson said.

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Babb’s Coffee House in Fargo features a homey atmosphere for all customers. Photo courtesy of

Babb’s Coffee House, located on Main Ave. in Fargo, is the ideal location for those who are interested in meeting up with friends or holding other social events, according to Babb’s barista, Evan Higgins.

Higgins, a 2013 Concordia graduate explained that Babb’s vibrant and energetic atmosphere caters to those who are seeking a place to socialize with others and that the noisy setting may not be ideal for quiet studying. In addition to the spacious accommodations and couch seating in the cafe, Higgins said there is also a meeting room downstairs that can be rented.

Higgins also said that Babb’s is an interesting place because of the diversity he has noticed within the cafe. While working at the coffee shop, Higgins has noticed customers at the shop range in age as well as nationality

“There’ve been numerous times where we’ve had larger groups that are coming in here conversing with each other in Somalian, various Filipino languages , Spanish … it is interesting that you can find that kind of cultural diversity in Fargo-Moorhead at a coffee shop,” he said.

The Red Raven Espresso Parlor offers student discounts as long as an ID is presented at the time of purchase. Photo by Maddie Malat.

The Red Raven Espresso Parlor, another coffee shop located on Main Ave. in Fargo offers both a quiet atmosphere for studying as well as for entertainment, depending on the night, said Luke Safely, a barista and co-owner of the establishment.

“There are a lot of things for them (students) to do event-wise, but there are also a lot of off-days where they (students) can come in and study,” Safely said.

Safely also said that in addition to serving as both a space for study and entertainment, the space is meant to be place where everyone feels welcome.

“We try to be understanding to everyone whether it’s language barriers, cultural barriers, even mental barriers. We feel we should understand everyone and be accepting of everyone. We’re not people who kick you out because someone thinks you’re weird or off putting,” Safely said.

The library located inside the cafe is another example of the cafe’s stride towards communal accessibility. The library consists of books donated to the organization and all are sold for one dollar, regardless of their literary merit or worth.

“It’s just this idea of having accessible literature for everyone no matter what their financial background it,” Safely said.

In addition to a library, the Red Raven also has a stage and hosts a variety events that are free of charge and open to the community, such as comedy, jazz jam and open mic nights.

Senior Megan Schindler has performed at one of the Red Raven’s open poetry mics.

“I think they’re (the Red Raven) really dedicated to providing an independent experience, instead of a cookie-cutter model for making a profit,” Schindler said.

If you’re getting sick of the library, or your desk at home, change up the atmosphere. Each venue offers student discounts with a student ID.

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