Brewing up Green Bay’s caffeine scene
Measuring out the coffee shops in the area, one coffee spoon at a time
By Rachel Sankey
Let’s face it – working in a coffee shop always seems to be better than working from an office or at home. As a recent college graduate at UW – Green Bay, my favorite place to study was inside Common Grounds with a latte and my laptop. On Mondays and Tuesdays I’m typically across the street from The Press Times office at Kavarna Coffeehouse working on stories. The buzzing and whirring of an espresso machine and small, distant chatter alongside a big cup of caffeine is great motivation.
As it turns out, there’s a reason behind that. Onno van der Groen is a neuropsychology researcher from Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia who coined the phrase the
“coffee shop effect.” Coffee shops, among other places, tend to have a lot of background noise, and the noise, as it turns out, is what boosts productivity – not caffeine (though a little caffeine never hurts). Van der Groen discovered that coffee shops are filled with “stochastic resonance” which stimulates sensory signals to the brain, increasing mood and perception.
In a time where working from home is more common now than ever, and college students are looking for new places to study, the staff of Green Bay City Pages and I decided it would be great to create a round up of coffee shops in the Green Bay area. This week’s cover is the first installment and focuses on the coffee shops centered right downtown.
If you don’t see your favorite coffee shop highlighted, don’t fret – keep an eye out for the second installment!
Sit down, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy,
*Note: all the drinks I ordered were within the $5-6 price range. For specialty espresso beverages and subbing for alternative milk, I think that is a very reasonable price!
Daily Buzz Espresso Bar
Daily Buzz Espresso Bar, located at 124 E Walnut Street, opened in 2007. Owner Taylor Perry said that the shop prides themselves on being a creative espresso bar in the specialty coffee industry. They claim what sets them apart from other shops is their experience with their perfection of the craft, connecting with their customers and developing new fun and creative recipes for their drink and food offerings.
The staff said Daily Buzz has a great study and work atmosphere, offering a cozy and chill space with free WiFi, plenty of seating, and an outdoor patio during the summer.
The Buzz’s season drink specials are their most popular. They develop each drink recipe to celebrate the current flavors of the season. The Bee’s Knees Latte is the year-round favorite, Perry said. It is a blend of espresso and milk with their house-made vanilla honey syrup.
Daily Buzz is a great place to go to if you’re looking to get some studying done or need a change of scenery from your WFH (work from home) job. The black and white contrasting walls, white brick wrap-around bar and various forms of ambient lighting give the shop a big city, Minneapolis-like feel. The hip and modern vibes make it a great place for college and high school students to get some studying done. The mix of pop indie and folk music helps with the overall ambience and is set at a perfect volume.
The WiFi can get spotty at times and cause slow connection but is overall reliable.
What I ordered
I had an iced dirty vanilla chai with oat milk. For those who love chai but have a bit of a sweet tooth, I highly recommend it. The oat milk makes it extra creamy, too. It’s my go-to drink for the Buzz.
Kavarna, located at 143 N Broadway, opened in 1999. Kayla Viste and Mike Hastreiter took over ownership in 2019. Kavarna is the only vegetarian/vegan cafe in the region and is known for their healthy and locally sourced coffee, Viste and Hastreiter said. The two said the shop’s atmosphere is open to everyone, from those looking for a quiet place to study or to catch up with old friends.
Kavarna’s most popular drink depends on the season, Viste and Hastreiter said, but their honey lavender latte with oat milk was such a big hit back in 2019 that they made it a year-round drink.
Kavarna has the most amount of seating out of all the coffee shops in the area, which means you never have to worry about not finding a spot to sit down and work. The exposed brick walls and different levels provide an open and airy space that’s perfect to get some work done or enjoy conversation with a friend over (several) cups of coffee. If you’re planning on staying for multiple hours, Kavarna offers both bottomless cups of their drip brew and iced coffee. They also roast their own coffee beans, which is a plus. And, if you want to do a little local shopping, Sparkhaus Vintage is inside the shop right when you walk in.
The coffeehouse closes at 2 p.m. daily, which means depending on your class or work schedule, you may not have the opportunity to get to the shop in time to work.
What I ordered
An iced white chocolate lavender mocha with oat milk. It’s the perfect amount of sweetness with some floral hints from the lavender. On the days where I’m working on City Pages for an extended amount of time, I get their bottomless iced coffee with a little vanilla and a splash of half-n-half.
Glas, located at 228 N Adams Street, is one of three locations in Wisconsin. Glas also has a shop in Shawano and Sturgeon Bay.
Charly Sparks, the manager of the Green Bay location, said that Glas prides themselves on local, high quality coffee that is roasted a few miles down the road and is delivered fresh to them on a daily basis. One of their main priorities, Sparks said, is their green initiatives – Glas composts almost everything and what is left they recycle. Glas has a small and cozy environment, which Sparks said makes it a popular place for college students to study. The shop also offers goods such as beeswax candles and silverware jewelry from local artisans. It is also a venture of Cellcom, so the shop always has high speed internet. The majority of Glas’ regulars are college students, Sparks said.
Glas’ most popular drink is the Full Monkey, which is a blended beverage that contains bananas, peanut butter, pecans, chocolate, vanilla and espresso. Sparks said it’s best when whipped cream and caramel drizzle are added on top.
Glas’ shop sits on the corner of Adam Street with windows that wrap around the entire building, bringing in plenty of natural light and a large view of parts of downtown Green Bay. The staff is friendly and personal. Seating is varied from tables that would be great for group work, and bar-like table settings for those who prefer to sit higher up. The wifi is fast and reliable. The customer flow is constant, but the shop never feels overcrowded and remains quiet, with the familiar hums and whirs of the espresso machine in the background.
Glas is only open until 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday and is closed on Sundays, which tends to be a prime time for customers to venture out to coffee shops. Though Glas sits downtown, it’s a little harder to find if one doesn’t already know where it is.
What I ordered
I ordered their strawberry cheesecake latte with oat milk, and, let me tell you, it is delicious. The hints of strawberry and white chocolate lift the flavor of the espresso instead of drowning it out. I would drink it all day if I could.
The Attic, located at 730 Bodart Street, specializes in both their coffee and wide selection of loose leaf teas. Ashley Martin, the manager of The Attic, said that they have the largest selection of loose leaf teas in Green Bay–over 100 and counting. The Attic is also a used bookstore, which Martin said makes for a cozy atmosphere alongside the smell of coffee, perfect for a business meeting and quiet study groups alike.
The Attic also changes up their drink menu every few weeks to match the season or current holidays, but Martin said their most popular drink is their Morty the Moose Mocha, which honors the Morty the moose mural on Cedar Street. It’s a dark chocolate mocha with toasted marshmallow and a splash of hazelnut, served well both hot and over ice.
The Attic has one of the coziest atmospheres for coffee shops in Green Bay and is the epitome of a Midwestern, homey coffee shop. The bookshop/coffeeshop combination is perfect for students looking to get some work done. The tables are spacious and have a variety of options, from larger tables for group work, smaller tables alongside the windows for individual studying and even tables with built in tabletop games like checkers and chess. Staff members are friendly and always in a good mood.
During busy periods, it can be hard to secure a spot in the shop to work. Their alternative milk selection is a bit small, offering only almond and soy.
What I ordered
The Attic currently has drink specials for Mardi Gras, so I ordered their Bourbon St. Vanilla latte with almond milk. The blend of vanilla and amaretto help to highlight the espresso and balance out it’s bitter notes for a well-rounded, semi-sweet latte.
Rachel Sankey is the Arts and Entertainment Reporter of Green Bay City Pages. She can be reached via email at [email protected]