The coffee houses of Auburn
By Erin Slay
For The Corner news
Coffee shops are timeless and multi-purpose. For the city of Auburn, the six main coffee shops hold the key to finding the perfect study spot, going on a first date, meeting a client for an interview, or for satisfying your caffeine craving.
Below you’ll find a local’s guide to the coffee shops of Auburn- the good, the cool, and the tasty.
For a community feel, head over to Toomer’s Coffee. Their homey atmosphere will charm visiting parents and the oatmeal will charm your stomach.
“The atmosphere there is welcoming and calming," Rachel Berube, senior at Auburn University, said. "I love to study and catch up with friends while enjoying my favorite breakfast food in Auburn, the steamed oatmeal. I always get it fully loaded with almonds and berries.”
Toomer’s Coffee has two locations, one on South College and one in the Hamilton Place shopping center in Auburn.
“Because it is a small, family-owned business, it feels like family here,” Tyler Harris, Toomer’s Coffee employee, said.
Harris is a student at Auburn University and mentioned that Toomer’s gets large waves of students each day.
Toomer’s Coffee is open 6:30 AM to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It's closed Sundays.
For more info, visit toomerscoffeeshops.com .
If you’re counting on grabbing some quality coffee on the way to class, Prevail Union might be your stop. Located on South College directly across from Landgon Hall, it is the closest shop to campus. Prevail Union is one of the smaller coffee shops in Auburn, with bar seats and about eight tables in the store.
“[Working at Prevail] is the best possible college job because it’s people focused so you get to see a lot of pals and you’re learning a valuable craft,” Prevail Union barista Anne Spooner said.
Prevail Union’s proximity to campus and late hours makes it an ideal student hang out. Their specialty drink that entices most customers is the Honey Vanilla Raspberry Latte.
“Prevail has the best atmosphere for just hanging out with friends," Nathan Edick, Prevail Union customer, said. "They have these big tables that are great to spread out your stuff and socialize,”
Prevail Union is open from 7 a.m. until midnight Monday thorough Friday); 8 a.m. until midnight on Saturday; and 1 p.m. until midnight on Sunday.
For more info, visit prevailunion.com .
Boasting one of the largest spaces in Auburn, Mama Mocha’s is also a roastery. They supply their own customers’ coffee needs, as well as Coffee Cat in Auburn. Mama Mocha’s baristas are small-town famous, hosting dance parties and offering customers life and style advice as they wait for drinks.
“I met Trev and Joey (Mama Mocha’s baristas) my freshmen year and they’ve turned into real friends," repeat Mama Mocha’s customer Amelie Marohn said. "I have learned a lot about life from them.”
Joey Falcon, longtime Mama Mocha’s barista, said he enjoys the variety of culture of the shop.
“It is a little off beat from other places in Auburn," he said. "There is a funky and alternative vibe.”
Falcon pointed out one of their many signature drinks, the “Latte that shall not be named,” which includes four shots of espresso and a little brown sugar.
Mama Mocha’s is located on Gay Street next to Amsterdam Cafe. It is open 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday through Sunday.
For more info, visit mamamocha.com .
The Cat, as locals call it, is located right behind The Hound restaurant. One of the more casual coffee shops in the area, Coffee Cat allows dogs (and cats) to come into the shop.
Barista Nathan Coker described working at Coffee Cat is "fantastic."
"I get to choose the music that gets played, the clientele is really nice and the space is one of my favorite places to be,” he said.
Nathan and the other baristas have a GroupMe, a mobile group messaging app, and hang outside of working at Coffee Cat.
Students are the primary customer base of the coffee shop, around 80 percent said Coker.
“I got referred to Coffee Cat and I finally went," James Heidel, dedicated Coffee Cat customer, said. "It’s a nice little quaint area, and they greeted me immediately. The service and quality were spot on,”
In addition to serving students, Coffee Cat sells local artisan goods and merchandise. Coffee Cat also has a partnership with The Hound, making specialty drinks for their brunch service.
Coffee Cat is open from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Sunday.
*Check their Instagram for changing times due to gameday schedules during the fall.
For more info, visit facebook.com/CoffeeCatAU.
Located on Gay Street by Auburn United Methodist Church, The Bean is a retro-themed coffee shop tucked in between two other local businesses. Repeat customers immediately mention the warm and welcoming environment.
“The coffee is always really great, but I like coming here because it feels so comfortable and homey," Thomas Rogers, junior at Auburn University, said. " They treat you like family if you are a regular here.”
Owner Sydney Nichols reiterated what Rogers said.
"[The best thing about owning a coffee shop in Auburn is] building relationships with students, just the day-to-day getting to know them,” she said.
The Bean’s coffee is loved by customers, especially because of the special fall menu items that the owners invent each year. In addition to the coffee, nearly every person who frequents The Bean raves about the cinnamon rolls made fresh each day.
The Bean is open 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday and is closed Sundays.
For more info, visit thebeancoffeeau.com.
The Caffeine Machine
The Caffeine Machine is a renovated van that sells espresso drinks and coffee on campus six days a week. Once owned by Prevail Union, it is now independently owned, but still uses Prevail’s coffee and some of their speciality drink recipes.
For Auburn University students, the Caffeine Machine is easy access to quality coffee in a hurry - and they accept Tigercards (Auburn University’s dining dollars).
“I love the fact that there is an alternative, local place on campus that I can use my Tigercard money,” Crisitana Shipma, Auburn University senior, said.
Enoch Ortega is one of the Caffeine Machine’s baristas. He is from Spain and hopes to become an Auburn student next spring.
“I like that it is a chill job and I can talk to people and work while I’m talking to them,” he said.
The Caffeine Machine is open 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and is typically located in the intersection of Haley and Thach concourses.