How To: Create a Dorm Room Coffee Shop

So you have finally found a place to study? The coffee shop on campus lets you get into your “element” while you complete massive reading assignments which are due tomorrow. Unfortunately, the coffee shop is crowded, no seat in sight, with fellow procrastinators &mdash classmates &mdash ready to conquer work with caffeine. The solution may be to become chummy with a stranger and crowd in on their table, but maybe it’s better still to have your own space. In other words, create a coffee shop in your dorm room.

Yes, a coffee shop in your dorm room is super convenient and an affordable approach to studying (who has $4 for coffee anyway). Plus, the background music is your choice and you can stretch out and make yourself at home – no one will be offended.

**Tips and Tricks**

Ambience. Key to making your dorm room coffee shop inviting and cozy is achieving a laidback atmosphere and soft lighting. Pile up throw pillows and blankets on your futon and pull up a small table for your work space. While dorms are not necessarily quiet and soothing environments, soft music, courtesy of your laptop (discover a station on Pandora), can create a serene feeling. The harsh overhead, florescent lighting has got to go while you are in coffee shop mode. Lamps are a must.

Channel your inner barista. Part of the fun in going to a coffee shop is meeting up with friends. A dorm room coffee shop is not meant to replace social interactions, so invite friends to your shop and show-off your coffee-making skills. After serving iced coffee done right or a true Pick-Me-Up treat, they will soon realize that your skills rival the local barista’s, and you do not create just an average cup of joe. Of course, a simple cup of coffee works quite well most of the time and it’s especially convenient if you are lucky enough to have one of these.

Don’t forget tea! Tea is an excellent option for a dorm room coffee shop because it is fun to mix things up and not everyone loves java…yet somehow they still make it through college! Tea bags make preparation and clean-up super easy and if you are looking for something different and delicious, try creating an iced chai tea latte.

Create the bakery case. Any good coffee shop provides not only an excellent selection of drinks, but plenty of tasty baked goods for snacking. This espresso biscotti pairs perfectly with a hot drink and is far better than any typical coffee shop fare, while this apple crumb cake makes for a delicious breakfast or midmorning snack.

Caroline Ariail is a senior at the University of Georgia where she studies journalism. Iced coffee has always been essential in her study routine and she gives it credit for any good grade.

Originally posted on Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

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