Monday, January 21st, 2019

Top Five Study Spots in Portland

Berkeley Elias

Posted on September 08, 2018 in Community
By USM Free Press

Berkeley Elias

By Asha Tompkins, Community Editor

After sitting in scalding hot classrooms with no airflow for long enough, you begin to ponder if you’ll survive the semester. However, there is a solution to this epidemic: finish class and study in an air-conditioned environment, more specifically, one of these popular Portland cafés.

Speckled Ax is located on 567 Congress St. Their hours are 6:30 a.m to 7 p.m.  Monday through Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays. They’ve received 4.6 stars from Google Reviews.

It’s an espresso shop with a specialty in their single-cup brews. With a small yet cozy atmosphere, this shop has a relaxing vibe and a fragrance of coffee that will keep you awake for hours before you even take a sip of their wood-roasted, organic bean creations. It’s an easy way to get your head back in the game when you’re stressed out by the workload during the day and need to revive yourself for a long night of sleeplessness.

Bubble Maineia can be found on 15 Temple St. They are closed on Wednesdays but open at 10 a.m.  every other day. They close at 9 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 7 p.m. on Sundays. They’ve received 4.4 stars from Google reviews.

It’s a Chinese and Taiwanese eatery, known for its vast selection of Boba teas -both hot and cold – [Boba tea is your choice of flavored soy-milk tea filled with chewy tapioca pearls] as well as their traditional, aromatic Chinese and Taiwanese dishes.

The store has comfortable booths, tables and high-top ledge seating, perfect for sticking in some earbuds, chewing on some tapioca pearls and attacking your five-page research paper.

Dobrá Tea can be found on 89 Exchange St. They are closed on Wednesdays but open at 10 a.m.  every other day. They close at 9 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 7 p.m. on Sundays., they’ve received 4.7 stars from Google reviews.

It’s a mellow tea house with an Eastern flare in its 70-page menu of global teas and vegan/vegetarian snacks. If you have a group project and your partners are already frustrated one-week into their education, bring your flashcards to this facility and collectively relax with a cup of Oolong tea in one of their platformed, pillow-to-floor seated tables.

The Salt Cellar is located on 172 Middle St. Their hours are from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sundays through Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays. They have received 4.5 stars from Google reviews.

It’s not necessarily a place where you can study, but it is certainly a place to rejuvenate your mindset. The Salt Cellar includes a spa and wellness room with walls made out of healing salt – a therapy trend that derived hundreds of years ago from Eastern Europe.  It’s called the Salt Vault. Simply put, you can schedule a 50-minute session to inhale salt.

According to, the session calms and cleanses you by using a “unique machine called a halogenerator,” which “measures, delivers and monitors the dry salt aerosol containing the exact-sized, antimicrobial, salt particles needed to effectively reach into the sinuses and respiratory system.” The only thing participants need to do is lie in a chair and breathe.

While it’s a form of individual relaxation, the Salt Cellar allows group-bookings, another way to get you, your roommates or your study buddies to emerge as people with a little more clarity and hopefully a greater will to learn.

Arabica coffee house, located on 9 Commercial St., is a comfortable and mellow coffee shop that opens at 7 a.m., has a rush hour at 1 p.m. and a closing time at 5 p.m. They’ve received a 4.4 star rating from Google reviews.

When entering the shop, you’ll immediately hear green, cushioned couches screaming your name. Walk up to the barista, order a quick bite of their baked goods and a coffee, then sit down with your books. Enjoy the Indie music projecting through the building.

As college progresses, it’s vital for students to keep in mind that even through all the pressures and excitement of these few years, self-care, good mental health and inhuman amounts of tea and coffee (sometimes even inhaling salt) are necessary for high chances of success.

For a map to each place, click here

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