Java & Mug: Cafe for the studious

Cecilia Hernandez, Staff Writer

After I transferred to NEIU last fall semester, I was looking for a place with good vibes and light chatter to host me while I worked on my papers. There are many places at NEIU that would have sufficed, like the library, computer labs, study rooms or on the comfy couches in the Jerome Sachs Administrative building (affectionately dubbed the Beehive). However, a colleague of mine had asked if I wanted to grab a smoothie from a place east of campus on Bryn Mawr. Eight minutes later, I encountered Java & Mug.

At first, I did not notice the coffee shop. The outside looks pretty low-key, as if it tries to not call attention to itself. If my colleague hadn’t pulled my arm to stop me, I would have walked right past it. Located at 3247 W. Bryn Mawr, Java & Mug eschews any negative distractions like flashing signs or annoying lights, which is essential for any student attempting to focus on their work. We walked in and instantly I knew I had found my place.

Filled with many comfy couches, loveseats, chairs, and living room tables, Java & Mug’s atmosphere felt like home away from home.  Overall, a welcoming environment awaited me at Java & Mug. I was awestruck by how calm I instantly felt, which made my colleague laugh. She knew exactly how I was feeling. “Welcome to my little safe haven,” she said.

The hostess came to greet us happily. She handed us the menu, and left us to decide on our order. Java & Mug offers a variety of beverages, from coffee and espresso, to smoothies and bubble tea. They also offer light paninis and desserts that would satisfy most appetites. What surprised me most was how great their turkey panini tasted.  I fell in love with their mango and pineapple smoothie. It was amazing!

As we found an empty couch to relax on, I kept looking around the nicely lit coffee shop. I observed the people interacting with each other. I noticed a few friends playing Uno while a few others worked on their laptops intensely. Many people chatted while others calmly finished their lattes. We started up a conversation with a group of students next to us. We were surprised to find out that not all of them attended NEIU. Some of them studied at Wright College while others studied at UIC. By the time we bothered to check the time, we had spent two hours conversing with no sense of time passing.

I left Java & Mug smiling, knowing I would be back again soon to enjoy its quiet elegance.