The Sunbaked King

Coffee Shops of Wisdom

Studying is an art. You have to find the perfect table (just about chest high so that you don’t need to crouch down to write, preferably one with a rectangular surface), the right chair (nothing too padded lest you’ll feel lazy and sleepy), the right spot (near the sockets if you’re typing on a laptop), the perfect drink (something hot if the place is freezing cold), the right type of music (Enya is not a good idea unless you plan on daydreaming; Metallica isn’t an option, either), the right clothes (a jacket is a must), and the perfect accessories (three pens, a whole sheet of yellow pad paper). Of course, all this won’t matter if you’re not located in the perfect place. And in my opinion, coffee shops are the perfect haven for all study-philes, a nexxus of inspiration, a temple for concentration.

Here’s a list of the coffee shops I frequent, popular (to me) because of their uncanny ability to provoke insight and provide the right frame of mind. With exams only a few months away, you’ll probably see me here more and more each week. 

[Note: The coffee shops are not written in any particular order of importance.]

1. Starbucks 6750. Located near Glorietta, this huge Starbucks branch is a study-phile’s blessing because of its wide space, myriad sockets, and yellow lights. Boasting two floors and a dedicated smokers’ area outside the establishment, there’s almost always a place for everyone. For those wanting to relax, the couches are distributed evenly between the floors, and the spines of the seats located along the back wall are padded for a more comfortable seating experience. 

Things/people to beware of: groups of kids loudly discussing games during the weekends; dealings with obnoxious but important-looking foreigners

2. Starbucks Powerplant. There are two Starbucks in Rockwell, each within spitting distance of the other. I study in both. The first one, the one inside Powerplant, is jampacked with people, particularly law students and graduate students in the nearby Ateneo Professional Schools. There’s a delicate balance between an academic and a posh mall atmosphere inside the cafe, and if you’re not careful, you might find yourself staring around rather than studying. People-watching is a game that is hard to resist in such an exposed location, but once you’re over it, this particular coffee shop is still a good place to study in.

Things/people to watch out for: the above-mentioned people-watching; the above-mentioned people

3. Starbucks Rockwell (Jungle). It’s called the Jungle because there’s a hedge of sorts separating the coffee shop from the road beside it. The place is more private as compared to the one inside the mall, but it’s also a rather busy one. Best to come early, preferably before all the law students storm in. They usually take long hours hoarding the tables, so hoard one before they’re all gone (Ahhh! My roommate’s a law student here once, I’m just kidding! Back off, law students!). 

Things/people to watch out for: law students; bar examination takers (My father’s a lawyer! My brother’s aspiring to be one! We’re friends!)

4. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Makati Avenue. A recent discovery, primarily because it’s a recently constructed place. The wonderful thing about this coffee shop is that it’s just a few minutes’ walk away from the house (just like the two before it), almost devoid of humans during weekends (unlike the other two before it), and close to the best restaurants this side of Makati Avenue (Foccacia and Fluke!, for example). 

Things/people to beware of: the eerie quietude may remind you of slasher films and ghost towns

5. Seattle’s Best Coffee, Katipunan. Probably because it’s located in front of the Ateneo, this coffee shop along Katipunan Avenue has a more academic feel to it (see number 2 and 3), as opposed to the corporate aura emanating from the coffee shops in Makati. This is a good thing. You’ll probably be flanked by students studying for their exams, and the discussions will probably be more mind-stimulating than irritating. Some of the other big pluses– rectangular tables (a big deal for someone who wants to have his entire study materials spread in front of him) and sockets per table (four per table, amazing)– are in abundance. 

Things/people to beware of: rapidly diminishing number of empty seats after lunch; conversations that are too mind-stimulating they distract

That ends the list. I’ve studied in other places, but these are the few that I really seek out whenever I study. Of course, more than the place, the conscious decision to study is the more important aspect of studying. Without it, you’ll probably be too lazy to stand up, prefer to blog near your bed, instead, and not even be attentive enough to realize that you used the word “study” five times in a single paragraph.

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Filed under: Rat Race

14 Responses

  1. White says:

    Oi! Starbucks boy? Hehe When my office was still in Ayala, I used to hang out at Starbucks 6750 after office or during my lunch break. People-watching? Yep.

    Have you tried Bo’s in BHS? It’s more quiet there than any other coffee shops I know which makes it more conducive to studying. Cozy place for me. And with virtually free wifi. I have my favorite place there actually.

  2. makmak says:

    Amen to all of that save for the Katipunan bit. Haven’t been there. It’s foreign land to me. But… there’s a Starbucks in QC, if I’m not mistaken along Tomas Morato (?), that I like. I’ve been there twice but I think the place is neat. I saw DingDong Dantes there, with a guy.

    6750. My spot is the table by the wall… the one near the socket. It’s mine! Ahaha.

  3. JM says:

    puro starbucks. libre mo kami dun! hehe

  4. Ryan says:

    Ui libre daw… libre!libre! hahaha ;p

  5. kerwinray says:

    @ White: It’s hard not to get distracted, especially when there are pretty people around. 😛

    What’s BHS, and where is it? I might go there sometime.

    @ Makmak: Haha. Is that an intrigue I read in there somewhere?

    The left-side wall? Check the socket. It has my name on it. 😛

    @ JM: Ikaw dapat ang manlibre e. Hehehe. Yihee.

    @ Ryan: Nakabasa lang ng libre, sulpot kaagad. Hahaha.

  6. Jacques says:

    Oi tell me if you happen to study in Katipunan! Okay? Okay!

  7. makmak says:

    I just checked earlier. Didn’t find your name (but I put in mine!) Ahaha.

  8. White says:

    BHS is Bonifacio High Street. Hehe beside Serendra. There’s also Starbucks there.

    And yes, you’re right. It’s hard to concentrate when there are pretty people around especially when some would gaze at you. Hi hi. But I still don’t have to study about in a coffee shop except people and blog. 🙂

  9. kerwinray says:

    @ Jacques: Okay! 🙂

    @ Makmak: I just came from 6750. My tag’s been tampered with. Tsk tsk.

    @ White: Ah! Haha. I studied once in Starbucks Fully Booked. It’s great! 🙂

  10. tristan says:

    And at Rockwell one of those above-mentioned people might invade your study session – bringing their tables and charts into your cozy, little and erstwhile private corner of table hoardsmanship. Whaaat?!

  11. Ryan says:

    hahaha ganun talaga… cue ko yun eh… hahaha;p

  12. kerwinray says:

    @ Tristan: Hahaha! Nice one, Tris. But the distraction was welcome. 😛

    @ Ryan: May cue talaga? Si JM dapat nanlilibre, di ba? 🙂

  13. Ryan says:

    hahaha so naghahanap ka talaga ng kakampi? hehehe para mas maganda pareho nalang kaya kayu manlibre para fair…;p

  14. kerwinray says:

    @ Ryan: Haha. Wala nga akong dahilan. 😛

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