Amherst Wire

Amherst Coffee: hidden in plain sight

(Chichacha/Flickr)

(Chichacha/Flickr)

Zach Hammer, Contributor

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The Atmosphere

Just a short walk down Amity Street in Amherst Center, a unique coffee shop with a little more than just a common cup caters to students and locals alike. Amherst Coffee is well worth the walk from the University of Massachusetts.

Wooden tables line every inch of open floor, leaving just enough space to walk around. A long table, like one that might be found in your dining room, rests in the dead center of the room. A newspaper lies in the middle of the table, awaiting someone to pick it up. Many different groups of people are seated around the table, involved in their own lives. They sip their chai tea or their French coffee, lost in the world of economics, world politics, or whatever studies are preoccupying their lives at the moment.

Of course, the strong aroma of coffee beans wafts throughout the shop.  You can hear the grinding of beans, the hissing of the machines, the low murmur of conversation as well as the occasional shaker mixing some type of special, adult beverage. Jazz plays at a low volume in the background, creating the perfect environment to do your work.

Seating can sometimes be hard to find due to the coffee shop’s central location between Amherst College, Hampshire College, and UMass Amherst. Still, they do a great job creating a lot of seating with the many wooden tables inside the café and the black mesh, metal tables surrounding the outside of the shop.

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The Coffee Bar

When arriving at the shop, you enter directly into the coffee bar. On this side sits those studious individuals working on essays or reviewing their class material, as well as the occasional professional reviewing their work for the day.

Walking up to the cashier, you’re presented with an array of tea options, coffee options and an assortment of pastries.

“What can I get you?” the man behind the counter asks.

In the plastic display case sits the fresh daily pastries of chocolate and plain croissants, almond meringue, and even a simple toast and butter.

There are 11 loose leaf teas to choose from including Black Earl Grey, some white teas, and even Chai Tea. You have the choice of ordering the tea by the cup or the pot.

The coffee options is much easier to pick from. Unlike Starbucks, their coffee menu is short. They offer a black coffee which can be chosen from their “coffee of the day” choices, a French Press and a Chai. They also serve espresso shots plain, with hot water, or with steamed milk.

“I’ll take a regular French Coffee with a chocolate croissant,” I finally decide. I take my coffee, add some half and half, grab my croissant, and head to an open seat near the front windows.

Whether it be for that late-night cramming session, writing that essay that happens to be due at midnight tonight, or just enjoying a regular cup of coffee, Amherst Coffee is the perfect spot. The variety of coffee, tea, wine, and spirits available give the business professional a standard location for his before, midday and after-work stop. It attracts all ages and backgrounds, while bringing in a friendly and welcoming environment to the Amherst area.

Amherst Coffee is located on 28 Amity Street, next to Amherst Cinema. For more information and hours, you can visit their website here.

Zach Hammer can be reached at [email protected]

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Amherst Coffee: hidden in plain sight