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Emily Osborn, a freshman in psychology, reaches for her coffee at Court St. Coffee, the during the Tuesday meeting of the Coffee Club.

What’s the best cup of joe in Athens?

Although Uptown Athens is known for many well-loved local eateries and bars, it is also home to some amazing local coffee shops that are beloved by students, faculty and local Athenians alike. 

The three local shops that college students frequent in Uptown Athens are Brenen’s Coffee Cafe, Donkey Coffee and Court Street Coffee. Each seems to have its own special beverages and food options as well. 

Natalie Drotleff, a senior studying biology, is a barista at Donkey Coffee, 17 W. Washington St. She enjoys her job because she interacts with members of the community in a personable environment. She also enjoys drinking either a power chai, a chai tea latte with espresso in it, or a cortado, a drink with espresso and steamed milk.

Donkey Coffee is known in the Athens community for its variety of drink options, community involvement and cozy, warm environment. 

Evy Wirth, a junior studying pre-physical therapy, believes Donkey Coffee is the best cup of joe in Athens. 

“The environment and the people are great,” she said. “Everyone’s very friendly.”

Donkey Coffee does not just boast a well-loved environment and menu, it also sources its beans from a farmer co-op, called Dean’s Beans. The co-op is organic and fair trade and gives profits back to the farmers who grow the coffee beans they serve. 

Donkey also hosts a variety of community events, like Designated Space, an open-mic poetry, prose and spoken word event. They also host a weekly open mic night for musicians of all types. 

Overwhelmingly, Donkey seems to be a fan favorite, because of its warm and inviting environment. 

Brenen’s, 38 S. Court St., is a more well-rounded option for someone wanting a coffee and a sandwich. Brenen’s boasts a wide variety of food options, from a selection of around thirty sandwiches, salads and soups, too. 

They also offer their customers a wide array of bagels and other baked goods, like croissants and cookies. It also has the counter seats that overlook Court Street, which is perfect for avid people-watchers.

Natalie Schneider, a sophomore studying integrated language arts, believes that Brenen’s has the best cup of joe in Athens.

“They just have the best coffee,” she said. “They are the kindest people ever, and they have the best sandwiches.” 

Schneider mentioned that she enjoys the environment at Donkey Coffee, but appreciates the breadth of food options that Brenen’s offers its customers. 

“I love the environment at Donkey Coffee, and I love the environment at Court Street Coffee and Front Room,” Schneider said. “I think I prefer Brenen’s, but Donkey is a really great environment, and I really enjoy the atmosphere they make an effort to create.” 

Similarly, Drotleff advocates for Donkey Coffee’s commitment to the community. 

“We hold a lot of events where you can meet people, and I think we excel compared to other coffee shops in that way,” she said.

While the best cup of joe in Athens is disputed by the community, it is evident that the employees, community events, and environment each coffee shop offers, keep customers coming back for more. Whether one prefers Donkey because of its comfy seating and variety of events, or would rather people watch from the Brenen's patio, there isn't a wrong choice when one is looking for a delicious cup of coffee in Athens.

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