I love coffee. Whether it be boiling hot or served over ice, it makes for both the perfect early morning pick me up and the cure to exhaustion during a late night of studying for the finals that are steadily approaching.

The first step in studying for finals is to find a coffee shop with not only a great brew, but also with a great off-campus study spot. There are many great coffee shops in Starkville, but three favorites are Strange Brew, Nine Twenty-Nine and SAGE Coffee & Books.

Strange Brew’s coffee is incredible and offers a variety of coffees that can be served both hot, over ice and frozen. My favorite drinks at Strange Brew are their signature drinks, the Albino Squirrel and the Maroon and White, both frozen and with whipped cream.

In addition to having a fantastic coffee selection, Strange Brew offers a large studying area extending to an upstairs area equipped with couches and tables and chairs. I have frequented Strange Brew many times to study and it offers a great study alternative to the library. If you need to study late, Strange Brew is open until midnight.

Strange Brew also sells bags of their coffee you can make in the comfort of your dorm or apartment. One problem with Strange Brew, however, is that during times such as exam week it can get a little crowded, especially later in the day as many stay until closing to get their coffee and studying fill.

Adding fuel to the fire that is my love of Strange Brew is Churn & Spoon, which is located next door and can satisfy late night ice cream cravings.

Nine Twenty-Nine is also a fantastic coffee shop in the Starkville area.

They offer a variety of coffee options served hot and over ice. However, if you are looking for sweeter coffee and are wanting something like a frappuccino, Nine Twenty-Nine may not be for you.

Their coffee is simpler in ingredients and has more natural, bitter coffee flavor than sweet, but the coffee quality is incredible, and I absolutely love their chai tea latte and cappuccino.

Like Strange Brew, Nine Twenty-Nine has a great area for studying extending into their basement which often fills up the later it becomes in the day.

If you can find a parking spot downtown and are able to find a spot to study inside, it is easy to spend all day in the coffee shop. The shop itself has a calming and aesthetic atmosphere drawing in students who need to work on assignments or study major exams.

Nine Twenty-Nine also hosts bands from time to time providing an opportunity to unwind after a long week of classes and studying.

Finally, SAGE Coffee & Books provides a great cup of coffee and study spot for students.

SAGE Coffee and Books is a charming little coffee shop full of used books, vinyl records and local art.

SAGE has a special place in my heart due to two of my favorite things being in-house: coffee and vinyl. 

Lara Hammond, the owner, has a lovely selection of records customers can peruse while she makes coffee. She also prides herself on her organic products and eco-friendly coffee cups.

The coffee shop is also extremely affordable, which is a blessing for students on a budget. For $5, I was able to buy a cup of coffee and a John Grisham novel I have been dying to read.

In addition, there is also an adorable little sunroom with some seating creating the perfect little study spot.

No matter where you go, Starkville has an excellent variety of coffee shops off campus delivering both amazing coffee and atmosphere for studying or doing homework.

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