I need caffeine to be productive. It’s a bad habit that I’ve developed since senior year of high school, but I need to fuel myself with tea and coffee to keep myself going throughout the day. During the school year, I have to have an Americano in the afternoon to get me through the afternoon slump, along with tea every few hours in order to not crash. In the summer, I get more sleep so I can get away with a cup of coffee and a cup of tea in the morning.
The coffee at Caltech is pretty standard cafeteria coffee. The tea though is decent TAZO brand from Starbucks. Our kitchen has French presses for the real connoisseurs to use, but I don’t have the money or time to buy and brew fancy beans. That being said, I do enjoy quality coffee, so I treat myself by going to nice coffee shops on the weekends to get work done, all the while trying some gourmet brews.
This past weekend I went to Groundworks Coffee in the Arts District. Since the owners founded it 25 years ago near Venice Beach, it has grown into a mini chain in LA and Portland. If you are in another region of the US and you want some sustainable, certified organic beans roasted with solar-powered, low-emissions technology, you can purchase through their website. Usually chain coffee stores compromise their quality, but Groundworks has managed to preserve it.
I love their stores since it has what my mom describes as a “California hipster vibe”. They have free WiFi, great seating and the optimal setup for productivity. They have a variety of cool roasts and blends to select from and you can buy bags to go. In fact, if you buy a bag, you get a free drink!
The pricing is reasonable, the drinks are top quality and I leave happy and jittery every time. I’ll keep you posted on my coffee adventures while (somewhat) trying my best to limit my caffeine intake.