Autumn has descended upon us, and the Pumpkin Spice Latte has once again jumped to the forefront of the American conscious, packing a punch equivalent to about four dollars per 8oz. With its sugar content, seasonal rarity, and insidiously pervasive marketing campaign, the PSL is perhaps the greatest symbol of American coffee culture. If you would prefer to avoid Starbucks long lines snaking like Disney queues around library lobbies this holiday season, here are a few alternatives. Removed from the commercial insanity these alternatives offer, in the words of the great Dale Cooper, you can get a “damn fine cup of coffee” for a reasonable price. These three locations are no great Tallahassee secret, but do make great coffee.
1122 Thomasville Road
Nestled against Thomasville Road, RedEye Coffee is a great option if you work or live near Midtown, and is a short 6-minute drive from campus. If you need some peace and quiet to study or caffeinate you may not find a better place. The entire storefront is paneled in floor length windows and long pendant lights hang from the ceiling, creating an ambiance that is, all at once, bright and cozy. RedEye’s motto is “Drink Coffee Locally…Change Lives Globally,” and the equal exchange coffee they sell is as delicious as it is sustainable. Their Peruvian Dark Roast put me out just over two bucks for a large (because what good does a small coffee really do anyone?) and it gave me the strength of will to spend the next five hours behind a desk—no small praise. RedEye’s menu runs the gamut of coffee from traditional to seasonal, if you get your PSL here you’re putting money into the local economy and supporting a fair trade market for coffee.
229 Lake Ella Drive
Looking to enjoy a cup of coffee overlooking the beautiful Lake Ella without having to contend with the treacherous odor of duck feces? If so, then Black Dog is the perfect place. Grab a cup of coffee and head out to Black Dog’s patio, where you can contemplate the sun filtering through the Spanish Moss, the plight of the deeply misguided fitness enthusiasts running in circles around the lake, or observe courtship behavior of college students on first dates. Black Dog is a great place to go on a beautiful day, and a large cup of their delicious Tanzania Peaberry roast will only set you back outside of two dollars. They don’t offer Wi-Fi on the weekends, but Black Dog is a great place to take a date, meet friends, or catch up on some readings especially as the weather cools down. The Railroad Square location also hosts poetry readings and events, be sure to check their Facebook and bulletin boards for details.
All Saints Café
903 Railroad Ave.
All Saints will support your caffeine needs from dusk until dawn. The split-level café is open 24/7, crucial for those of us whose caffeine dependency isn’t exactly in line with the traditional circadian rhythms. All Saints is a great place to hunker down in a booth and arm yourself with a giant cup of coffee and some food against the slow but steady assault of assignments. All Saints is a great place to meet for group projects, to finish that soul-crushingly long essay, or to refuel before shopping along Gaines.
These locations are all within reasonable distance of campus and do everything from the simple black to the pumpkin spice right. Coffee is a cheap and simple way to support the local economy and get your daily fix. Catch up with friends or on your homework at any of these convenient locations and you certainly won’t regret it.
SYDNEY SMITH / Contributing Writer