If you are like many working Americans, you probably take your morning coffee on the go, except for weekends when you can enjoy slow mornings sipping your cup of joe out of your favorite mug. When people don’t have the time or energy to make coffee at home before work, coffee shops are there to save the day. Here’s how to choose the right coffee shop to visit for your morning brew.

Test the Coffee First

There’s nothing worse than paying five dollars for a coffee that turns out to be terrible. Before taking your chances with a new coffee shop on a busy work morning, test out the brew on a weekend or your day off. You could also buy a 2 lb bag of whole bean Colombian coffee to take home from the shop and try at home.

Check the Price

Everyone knows Starbucks is expensive, but some local coffee shops can be just as pricey. If you are on a budget, you may want to find out how much you can expect to pay for your latte every morning. In some cases, cheaper coffee can be just as delicious as high-end java.

Ask About Sustainability

Many coffee shops are adopting eco-friendly and ethical practices. To-go cups create a lot of waste, so most coffee shops have adopted recyclable cups and sleeves. They may also opt to use organic, fair-trade coffee that is better for the Earth and the people who help grow the coffee plants. Do your part and choose a coffee shop that cares.

Get to Know the Baristas

When you are choosing a coffee shop, it’s important to pick a place with helpful, friendly baristas. If the baristas are rude or sloppy at their job, you may want to choose another coffee shop. You will interact with your barista each morning, so you want to ensure you have a positive experience instead of dealing with unpleasant, inefficient people every day before work. Once you become a regular, a good barista will know your name and drink order by heart. This will make your morning trip to the coffee shop a lot easier and faster.

Like the Location

If you are grabbing coffee every morning on your commute to work, you don’t want to have to fight traffic or go out of your way to get it. It’s best to choose a shop that’s on your way and close to your workplace, so you don’t have to worry about being late.

By Lizzie Weakley

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.

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