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UNH area coffee shops foster creativity, offer warm welcomes

By Melissa Proulx, Staff Writer

Coffee, and the caffeine rush that it provides can be a life-saver for many students; the much-needed pick-me-up to help  power through whatever academic hurdle students need to overcome before the next chance to nap. While the dining halls might have a wide variety of fresh brews, sometimes students need more than just a cup of joe. There’s something about going to a coffee shop and having a drink custom-made that’s enough to spark some creativity.


A 2012 study by Ravi Mehta, Rui (Juliet) Zhu, and Amar Cheema from the University of Chicago found that basically, the atmosphere of coffee shops helps to promote creativity, making it an obvious choice for students to go to get their work done. The slight ambient noise offers just enough of a distraction to allow anyone working in the room to get what they need to do done.

The coffee shop is a common sight on many college campuses, and UNH is no exception. The Durham area has its fair share of coffee shops, all of which offer a unique outlet for students to go alone to get work done or with friends for a relaxing time.

Located right in downtown Durham at 50 Main Street, Breaking New Grounds has been a local favorite of students since 1997, with a mission to serve the freshest and highest quality beverages and food. According to Todd Govoni, owner of the Durham location, this concentration on freshness is only one characteristic that makes them an ideal spot for students to come to.

“Our ambiance is very conducive for students to go and hang out, either inside or outside,” said Govoni.

With rustic wooden tables, comfy leather couches, outdoor seating and a menu consisting of a variety of loose-leaf teas, baked goods and gelato during the warmer months, there’s no shortage of choices for customers looking for some sort of treat.

“All of our pastries we bake off in the store fresh every day,” he said.

The shop itself is also open from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m., making it accessible for both early birds and late risers.

While Breaking New Grounds might be the choice option for those on campus, caffeine cravers can find another coffee haven just over four miles away. In downtown Newmarket stands Crackskull at 86 Main St.. The coffee shop, which doubles as a used-book store and, according to owner Michelle               referred to as “the town’s living room”, has a long list of great qualities.

“The great atmosphere, the crazy cliental, the late hours, the used books…” said Lesmerises. “We have amazing espresso. We’re very local.”

Like Breaking New Grounds, Crackskull offers a variety of loose-leaf teas and baked goods. They get their tea from White Heron, a local chain with roots in Portsmouth, and the baked goods are kept fresh on site. With the convenience of classic coffee shop seating in the front of the store, guests are invited to wander the aisles as well in order to find a copy of their next favorite read.

“We’re a crazy, weird coffee shop,” Lesmerises said.

Another option for coffee connoisseurs can be found in Dover, at 3 Hale Street. Adelle’s Coffee House, open until 8:00 p.m. almost every night of the week, is what owner Nova Mullineaux likes to call “a club house”.

“We have a really nice community here,” she said. “We really cater to a friendly environment.”

With all baristas trained in the art of latte making, Mullineaux says that customer can trust that every element of their drink is made with skill and to perfection. To contribute to the atmosphere, the walls are lined with pieces from a feature local artist that changes monthly.

“People can expect just a warm feeling,” she said.

Whether you live in Durham, Dover or Newmarket, your local coffee shop is sure to provide a cool and creative atmosphere. In the UNH area, students, faculty, staff and visitors have multiple options at which they can find a delicious drink that’s both perfectly made and just the right grind. They can walk into any of these shops and become a warmly welcomed member of the community, even if it’s only for a short while.

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