Emily Goldberg, Staff Writer

Lakeland (n) – a mecca for adorable shops, restaurants and galleries.

You’re working on studying for that exam that will make or break your grade for the semester, hoping that you’ll keep that awesome GPA to make Mom and Dad happy. You need a pick-me-up to keep yourself from falling asleep and drooling all over your notes.  But where to go?

This past week I visited the three most popular coffee shops in town in hopes to answer the age-old question of, “Where do I go to get the best cup of coffee?”  Whether you’re a die-hard Starbucks junkie or prefer to get your energy from Dunkin, there’s nothing like taking a load off in a cute coffee shop drinking the best refreshment in the world.  So where will you go?  Concord, Black and Brew or Mitchell’s?

Concord Coffee:  

Definitely the most convenient of the three, as it is only one mile from campus, but the weirdest coffee shop I’ve been to yet.  The menu, quite perplexing, allows customers to create their own coffee by picking between two blends, the type of espresso they want (espresso, espresso and water, espresso and milk, etc.) and any desired added flavors.  While the concept in theory was inviting, I just wanted a simple cup of black coffee.  It takes me no time at all to order a Tall Americano at Starbucks, but at Concord I had to have the menu explained to me.

Also, the price was a little ridiculous.  I spent $5.25 on a coffee that was probably half the size of a Tall at Starbucks.

The atmosphere had a very modern, trendy, barn style vibe.  I saw a few Florida Southern students studying there, which proves that it can be a nice study hub to use off-campus.

It wasn’t anything special.  I definitely wouldn’t recommend them if you’re in need of a serious energizer. The taste was a little too sweet for my liking.

Black and Brew:

It’s a little bit farther away, but five minutes from campus still isn’t too bad.  The menu was normal and easy to understand and even offered some interesting holiday drinks that I’ll definitely have to go back to try.  What struck me the most was that it was really comfortable and everyone there was very friendly.  There was soft music playing in the background and the whole rustic, downtown theme of the restaurant gave it a great homey feel.

The coffee was $4 and it was bigger than a Tall at Starbucks, and they also offer a pretty extensive selection of sandwiches, soups, and salads.  To me, it seemed like the perfect place to cram for that exam.


Similarly to Black and Brew, Mitchell’s is right in the middle of historic downtown Lakeland, five minutes, 1.6 miles from campus. What is an adorable, charming shop, might not be the ideal place to have a study session.  The tables are arranged in a way that isn’t the best to work with a group of people and they are also pretty small.  If you’re working alone and just need to get off campus, it works perfectly fine, but I wouldn’t meet there for a group project.  I did see a few students studying there, which was reassuring.

They offer a variety of food options and coffee blends all at extremely cheap prices, it’s perfect for a college student on a budget.  The service was fast and the workers were really friendly, especially when they bring your food to your table for you.

Overall, I felt very comfortable and enjoyed everything that I had there very much.

The winner:

So who wins?  While, I love my coffee and love exploring Lakeland, the clear-cut winner is Black and Brew.  It was the most comfortable place, spacious but still cozy and I got the best bang for my buck.  All of that in addition to wonderful customer service, they will definitely be seeing me studying in their shop in the near future.