Everyone knows that there's something so special about finding a cute new coffee shop to build a home-away-from-home in. Whether you go by to study, get out of the house, or just want that good good bean juice, it's important to find a coffee shop that feels like your happy place. If you're still on the lookout for yours (or have somehow made the mistake of thinking it's not this lovely little gem), I'm here to tell you why Opus Coffee at Innovation Square is what's missing from your life.

Why This Place "Slays"

Darya Molibog

Generally just referred to as "Innovation" by Opus employees (myself included), this place is truly the embodiment of hip coffee culture. With tons of natural light, fresh ingredients, locally-made pastries (shout-out to BakerBaker!), and just enough alcohol on tap to make studying somehow seem like an enjoyable idea, you really can't go wrong pulling up a chair here and staying for a while.

I spoke with one amazing barista, Opus Supervisor, and coworker of mine, Alejandra, about why Opus Coffee at Innovation is so rad, and she had a lot to say. She told me all about how this location in particular is so special, even just compared to the other Opus locations- and there are several. Not only was Innovation the first location to get some extra fun ingredients like matcha, but it also sports additional dairy milk alternatives (macadamia milk, anyone?) and features Vegan Sundays, when they bring in all vegan pastries! On top of that, the pride and joy of Innovation is its Slayer brand espresso machine. This machine serves as the inspiration behind an entire drink series, named the Slayer Series, that is featured only at this location.

All else aside, their drinks are phenomenal, too. Alejandra and Coralee, one of Opus' wonderful Shift Leads, talked me through some of their favorites, and I had the chance to explore the menu even more on my own, as well. I tried a bunch of drinks so you don't have to, but you really, REALLY should.


Darya Molibog

The first drink of our caffeinated journey from Opus' Slayer Series is the A.C. Slayter. A personal favorite of Alejandra, and suggested by Coralee as well, it features iced triple espresso, rice milk horchata, coconut cream, and just a touch of cinnamon. This richly caffeinated drink manages to still taste refreshing and full without ever being heavy, and has made it onto my list of personal favorites.


Darya Molibog

The Slay Queen is truly comfort in a cup. It's like a fancy white hot chocolate that wakes you up and calms you down all at once. Who knew you could have both? Another espresso-based drink, you also get the pleasure of enjoying white chocolate, caramel, AND vanilla all in one! Drinking this made me feel like a kid again, but like a kid who has very refined taste.

DRINKS #3, 4, 5, & 6: NITRO FLIGHT 

Darya Molibog

Okay, can I just say how cool this is? Opus' Innovation location has flights! Three different kinds of flights! Wild. One is your standard beer flight, another is called the Day & Night Flight (I've also heard it called the "Date Night" Flight), and this beauty above is the Nitro Flight, which lets you try four distinct nitro cold brew beverages in one go.

On the left is the ever popular Slay Like Bae, which is half nitro cold brew/half lemonade. Not only does the acidity in the lemonade break up the intensity of the cold brew, but it comes with pineapple in the drink and a little cherry! Yummy and cute- something we should all strive to be, am I right?

Next (second from left) is the Slayt. Does its edgy name accompany an equally edgy taste? Of course it does. This drink is a blend of cold brew and grapefruit juice, with a touch of rosemary to spice things up. If you enjoy grapefruit and generally mature flavors, the Slayt has your name written all over it.

Moving on to the Reign and Flood (second from right), I need to point something out: this is the only drink on the Opus menu that comes with a warning! No seriously, this drink has such a high caffeine content that it comes with a disclaimer. Nitro coffee, double espresso, and a splash of organic caramel make this drink delicious, simple, and maybe a tiny bit dangerous considering you definitely won't want just one! Know your limits people, and caffeinate responsibly.

Finally, on the far right is the Kelly Slayter. If you like lime and ginger, especially together, this option should excite you. The flavors in this drink are bold, so if you're looking for something that's going to taste really unique, don't be afraid to try out this spunky cold brew-based combo.

Wrapping Up

Darya Molibog

I could probably go on about this spot forever, but that simply wouldn't make for good journalism. All I can say is that if you live in the area, or just find yourself passing through, please do yourself a favor and stop by. Opus Coffee at Innovation Square is the total package and then some. Its drinks are delicious, its atmosphere is lovely, its employees are genuine, and you can feel in everything around you that its owners truly care about contributing to the local Gainesville and coffee community. If you're still not convinced, you'll see what I mean the minute you get there. I wouldn't be caught anywhere else, so you might as well get hooked, too. Catch you slayter!

Looking to explore more coffee options in Gainesville? Check out this article for some other great ideas.