The Plight of Finding a Coffee Shop

I’m sure you are all familiar with Starbucks and likely have one or two drinks that you are willing to pay an exorbitant amount of money for. I love their Frappuccinos, and I try to justify the caloric content by getting the “skinny option.” While these are great treats every once in a while, I have come to realize that I can get my caffeine and coffee fix by going a little more simple and getting plain coffee. This, however, is a little easier than it sounds. I also like to spend time in coffee shops, either reading for fun or doing school work. And let’s be real, as graduate students we are all always doing schoolwork. So I think it’s about time to kiss my dream of reading for pleasure goodbye.

I went to undergrad at UNC Chapel Hill, and I learned pretty quickly which coffee shops I liked- both product and ambiance wise. This was easy because it was a small town that didn’t have very many.  Charleston’s coffee scene has been a little more difficult to conquer. While the Starbucks locations are really convenient, they are far from ideal to do schoolwork in because they are so crowded. I tried a couple places throughout the city, but none of them seemed to “work” for me.


I was fortunate enough to have a meeting for my thesis project at Hope and Union. I had never heard of it, and truthfully I was a little skeptical, but I immediately fell in love. It’s located on St. Phillip St., between Spring and Cannon Streets. The place is quiet, has plenty of seating, lots of windows, outlets for your computers, an outside seating area, and most importantly, good coffee! I am also obsessed with their cookies (so much for reducing caloric intake). But they have a sea salt chocolate chip cookie that is amazing. If you are wary of the combination of salt and chocolate, I strongly suggest trying it.

This coffee shop may sound a little far away, but walking is good for us all. It provides time to clear your head while getting a little exercise. It is getting incredibly hot out, but we need all the Vitamin D we can get. So next time you want to find a quiet place to read or do work, or you want to get really good coffee, or you want a really good cookie, take a walk down St. Philip Street and try out Hope and Union.

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