Coffee in a College Town

coffeeFrom frothy dessert-flavored, caffeine-delivery concoctions to the purest taste of finely roasted black coffees, this town is blessed with a wrench for every kind of coffee nut. You even get a choice of environments in which to stop and sip if you’re not looking to simply drive and dip. So, here’s a sorting of C-Town joes.

Interzone, 1563 NW Monroe Ave.
The coffee at Interzone is good, sure, but that’s not why you go. You go to sit in a vintage flower-print plastic chair at a vintage yellow Formica table that takes you back to your Aunt Alma’s kitchen. You go for the creepy-yet-intriguing hyena-corpse-bride dressed in gauzy black hanging from the wall. You go for the sweatshirt-wearing, white-bearded man who always—I mean always—occupies the red chair in the corner, hunched over his laptop. You go for the special, mac ’n’ cheese and a bagel, a carbo-loaded steal at $6.95. And you go because this is one of the few places in town that feels genuinely alternative, not a too-earnest imitation.

Coffee Culture, Multiple Locations
Looking for your perfect morning pick-me-up? Head into one of Coffee Culture’s four Corvallis locations for a quality coffee, fresh baked goods, or any number of other specialty drinks. With a laid-back atmosphere and rustic décor, this coffee shop offers up the perfect place to get your caffeine fix. Coffee nerds rave about the black coffee here, but I love, love, loved the pumpkin spice latte last week before Halloween.

Tried and True, 160 SW Madison Ave.
This hip coffee shop is a Saturday favorite for those who want a little caffeine while they support local farmers and artisans. Though seating is very limited, this cozy shop features friendly baristas and local Bespoken beans. If you’re looking for a little taste of Portland, Tried and True is your beacon for big-city flavor and small-town charm. A second location in South Corvallis is opening soon.

Imagine Coffee, 5460 SW Philomath Blvd.
Despite its location on busy Philomath Boulevard and its less than remarkable corrugated steel exterior, Imagine Coffee is perhaps the coziest coffee shop in town. A combination of track, hanging, and string lighting adds depth and warmth to the interior, and the tables are set with butcher paper and colored pencils, ideal for creative doodling to bust writer’s block. A small stage hosts live music and community events, and the shop regularly donates a portion of its proceeds to charity. Even better, for those looking for a late-night fix, Imagine is that rare Corvallis coffee shop that stays open late: until 9 p.m. every night but Sundays, when it closes at 2 p.m.

Dutch Bros., Multiple Locations
Oregon’s answer to the Starbucks mega behemoth is a mini mega behemoth all its own here in Corvallis. These guys are known for their coffee and tea drinks more than their classic coffee or espresso. But they are popular for a reason and they have many locations throughout town.

Allann Bros., Multiple Locations
Allann Bros. Coffee, aka the Beanery, has three locations in Corvallis serving consistently quality coffee alongside a wide range of menu options, with the most choices for food at their 2nd Street location. Do note, however, that their espresso shot is not quite consistent with the typical “American” espresso style. Allann Bros. coffee is instead made with a more European-style espresso, which is far stronger. When you order your triple-shot 16-ounce Americano, latte, or what have you, remember you’re getting the potent dank here, so you may want to tone it down a notch and stick with a single shot.

Purple Moon, By the South Co-Op
You can be sure that each cup of joe the folks at Purple Moon are whipping up is organic and awesome. If you’re not into coffee, don’t fret because they  have an array of equally tasty juices and smoothies. Not to mention they have a special nearly every day of the week, and they top that smooth and rich espresso drink with none other than a chocolate-covered coffee bean. You can find their quaint coffee stand in the parking lot of the South Corvallis Co-op, or visit them on Saturday mornings at the Corvallis Farmers’ Market.