Stillwater Style Spring 2019 - Page 10

The Heart of a College Town? It’s the coffee STORY & PHOTOS BY ROSEANNA ALICE BOSWELL STILLWATER STYLE O ne of the first things I look for when moving to a new area is the local coffee shops. Finding them is one of the ways I find myself at home in strange places. There is probably a scientific reason for this – perhaps the smell of coffee is related to some singular memory of home for me that I have since forgotten. Or maybe it is just that many coffee shops have similar features, and so walking into one creates a feeling of safety and familiarity. Either way, it is a habit that has stuck with me throughout the years as I moved from upstate New York, to Ohio, and finally, to Stillwater, Oklahoma. Upon moving here, I was delighted to discover that Stillwater, despite being a small and cozy city, has a large number and variety of coffee shops, ranging from cafes, to coffee houses, to tea rooms, to gelato and coffee venues, speckled throughout the the town. One chilly and cloudy Sunday in February, I decide to take a walk through downtown and stop into a few of them. My first stop is at Aspen Coffee Co. Downtown, a small coffee shop, on 7th Avenue. The atmosphere is cozy and busy, as customers come and go. The chalkboard menu on the wall above the counter advertises lattes, smoothies, bagels and sandwiches, and a glass case of baked good stands at eye-level to the right of the cash register. I purchase a chai latte and remark to the barista about how busy it is today––there are almost no seats available. She says there is a race in the area today, and it has everyone stopping in, which certainly seems to be true. A couple walks in 10 Stillwater Style | SPRING 2019