Let’s face it, Rochester isn’t the biggest party city, hot spot for entertainment or hub of politics… but that doesn’t mean it’s a complete waste of time.

I take great pride in the fact that one of Rochester’s greatest claims-to-fame are none other than its cafs: Boulder Coffee Co., Java’s and Spot Coffee. Rochester has an abnormally high ratio of cool coffee shops to (for instance) grocery stores, and this should not be overlooked. Especially when you’re a college student desperately looking for a decent place to relax and try not to concentrate too hard on studying. That, and half the year here is spent in the cold, so it’s good to know where on and off campus you can go for a nice, hot drink and a cool atmosphere.

As a girl who should have an IV dripping coffee into her veins at all times, a connoisseur of comfy chairs and an English major who has spent more time spacing out with a novel in front of her instead of actually reading it, my qualifications have put me up to this daunting task of reviewing our many local coffee shops.

I’ll report to you on where to go to distract yourself from working too hard as you “study,’ where to take a girl on a date when you want to seem artsy and where to avoid because the coffee tastes like sewage.

First on the list: Muddy Waters Coffee House. Located on 752 South Goodman St., near the intersection with South Clinton Ave., Muddy Waters Coffee House is one of the most pioneering cafs in Rochester at this point.

Opened in February of 2008, the caf is making a good first impression in the area. From its goals of sustainability and helping the local economy to its decked-out interior design, Muddy Waters hasn’t missed one beat.

Muddy Waters looks inconspicuous and rundown from the outside (like a lot of places on South Goodman St.), but once you’re inside, the place is vibrant and rich.
The walls are deep browns and wine colors, smattered with mosaics and spotlights a good visual combination of soothing and eye-catching.

There is seating for every mood wooden stools at a high counter perfect for people-watching, small round tables by proportionally enormous bay windows or a deep, soft leather couch nestled in the back of the caf (there’s only one, though, so you have to be pretty lucky to snag it).

While it’s warm outside, try the frozen (not iced) coffee: a blended mixture of coffee and ice, almost like a coffee smoothie. Ask for peanut butter or chocolate mint to add to the frozen confection for something new to delight the coffee-drinker’s palate.

Not a coffee fan? Muddy Waters does an excellent Chocolate Chai. When their cookies are in stock, chocolate chip is an excellent way to go.

Pros: A wide variety of drinks (Ever heard of a wolverine? Neither had I.), and an attractive place to sit and look around. Well put together in terms of drinks served and space provided.

Cons: Difficult to spot from the road. Baked good selection can be sparse and sporadic.
For more information, visit www.mwcoffeehouse.com.

Ryan is a member of the class of 2009.

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