I really like coffee. Not so much for its effect but more because I think it tastes delicious… when it’s well made of course. My quest to find the best coffee on campus started as a taste-testing experiment but I quickly realized that most of the coffee tastes the same: pretty bland. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement as I began desperately surfing the web for an affordable Nespresso machine (note to self: does not exist).

I’m not denying that I am a coffee snob. After all, my drink of choice is a cappuccino, and I like my coffee strong. To give UCLA coffee some credit, it does give you that much needed energy boost, especially during midterms and finals. And, if you manage to avoid rush hours, these little coffee shops provide nice study spaces.

1. Kerckhoff Coffee House

Photo by Leilani Gaugin-Rosenthal

Everyone knows Kerckhoff. With an East-Coast coffee shop vibe, the place is irresistible. It also has probably the best coffee on campus, with a slightly stronger brew. But beware, it gets really crowded throughout the day. To ensure you get the best coffee, go before or after the rush to classes.

2. Music Cafe

Photo by Leilani Gaugin-Rosenthal

Second best coffee found here. The service is also very friendly and quick, which is a plus. However, if you want to get a table to sit and study, make sure you go early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

3. Northern Lights

Photo by Leilani Gaugin-Rosenthal

I once got a drink here that was strong, which made me happy until I realized the cup was only filled halfway. But do not despair, the friendly service, ample study space, and proximity to food makes up for it.

4. Jimmy’s

Photo by Leilani-Gaugin-Rosenthal

The coffee here is drinkable. The upside to this shop is that it’s right next to Luvalle’s food court, and if you get there before noon you’re pretty much guaranteed a table.

5. Untitled

Photo by Leilani Gaugin-Rosenthal

The coffee is pretty unimpressive, but the study space is awesome. Very clean, and definitely appeals to your inner artist.

6. Il Tramezzino

Photo by Leilani Gaugin-Rosenthal

Tucked inside the Business School, Il Tram is perfect for those looking for a quieter study space. It has a clean space and nice outdoor patio for studying and people-watching. The coffee tastes just about the same as every other campus cafe, but it does the job.

In conclusion, if you need a good boost of energy to get you through the day, UCLA coffee makes the cut. If you’re a coffee snob like me, you’re not entirely out of luck. To make the coffee more flavorful, add some honey and cinnamon and voilà.