The Filtered Five: Coffee Shop Reviews for Your Best Studying – Corvallis, Albany and Lebanon

Photo courtesy of Margin Coffee

 Here’s the deal. You’re going to need to do a lot of homework this year, and you’re going to need to be awake for pretty much all of it. While the iconic duo of coffee and studying needs no introduction, I would like to officially present a few of the top spots to find the codependent pairing. You’ll have enough assignments to try them all, I promise.

Margin Coffee: Clean lines meet comfort at downtown Albany’s spacious and airy coffee shop. The high ceilings and devout congregation of plants make for a very breathable environment (a hot ticket in pandemic season). 

Pros: Variety of seating options, from couches to benches to counter space. Though baristas will fulfill all your latte art dreams, coffee still has substance and depth behind good looks. Management has somehow mastered the balanced combination of natural lighting and the electric kind.  

Cons: Music was a little on the club-y side, so bring headphones if you find it challenging to do math to an amplified bass beat. Food choices are relegated to pastries and bagels. Thriving plant collection may make you feel insecure about your own measly home variety, all of which are hanging on by a single leaf.  

Located at: 206 SW 2nd Ave, Albany, OR 97321

Check them out online:

Interzone Cafe: The alt-90’s cafe, that is somehow timeless, is located right off of OSU campus. Interzone offers vegetarian and vegan food, along with a wide array of drinks that live and die by pulling espresso ‘the traditional way.’ 

Pros: Classic and strong espresso without all the pomp and circumstance of ‘new wave coffee.’ Reliably good playlists on shuffle. Welcoming environment to every human under the dying sun.

Cons: Not a late-night study spot, as they close at 5pm. Table space gets snatched up quickly, so have a plan B if you’re headed there with homework. Sometimes the Wi-Fi goes out.

Located at: 1563 NW Monroe Ave, Corvallis, OR 97330

Check them out online:

JavaStop/Memorial Union: Hidden in plain sight on the campus of Oregon State University, Java Stop is a small, overly air-conditioned coffee shop conveniently placed within Memorial Union. Though there are some resemblances to a hospital gift shop, Java Stop is an unassumingly good choice for a caffeinated study session because of its close relations to the grandiose but comfortable Main Lounge.

Pros: Main Lounge is top of its class for study locales; free wi-fi, solid writing surfaces, and lengthy operating hours. Ornate decor plus spiral staircases will convince you you’re in the calm parts of a Harry Potter movie. Occasional live piano playing, but not the annoying kind. 

Cons: Drinks are on the weak side (opt for the extra shot). You’ll need to bring 3 sweatshirts if you plan on sitting in the coffee shop itself, possibly a small afghan. Outdoor patio seemingly belongs to territorial bees.

Located at: MU, 111 SW Jefferson Way, Corvallis, OR 97331

Check them out online:

Hazella: Lebanon’s heart of downtown houses this Scandinavian bakery where everything in the case is handmade, thoughtful, and impossible to find elsewhere in The Valley. Look for the blue-striped awning. 

Pros: Welcoming staff who will be genuinely excited to see you. Wide variety of sweets and savories alike, allowing for seamless meal transitions: breakfast to lunch, lunch to dessert. Cardamom Scandi Buns are on a level only written about in pamphlets on enlightenment and self-improvement.

Cons: This is a wi-fi-free zone (not to be confused with free wifi zone) — best for screen breaks and a non-working lunch (Pro: fewer crumbs in keyboard.). Closes on the early side, so if you have time-management skills, this would be an opportunity to use them.

Located at: 878 S Main St, Lebanon, OR 97355

Check them out online:

RoastRunners: LBCC’s very own coffee shop conveniently located a true hop, skip, and jump away from your Albany campus classes, is currently closed. Don’t panic. Roast Runners will be up and running again in Winter Term, so let the anticipation build now while keeping an eye out for that reopening! The slow burn is always the best burn. 

  Cozy in. Drink up. And study your guts out.

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