That’s the tea: Swemromas offers calm, enjoyable space for students

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FILE PHOTOS/THE FLAT HAT

As an avid tea drinker, I spend copious amounts of time and dining dollars in Swemromas, the coffee shop located within our very own Earl Gregg Swem Library. This year especially, when my tea addiction truly blossomed, I started to find myself in Swemromas on a daily basis. This caused my realization that Swemromas is hands down the most interesting place on this campus for a variety of reasons.

Sitting in Swemromas for even just 10 minutes can tell you a lot about the juicy lives of students here at the College of William and Mary — and boy, are they juicy! Now, I’m not saying that you should eavesdrop on other people’s conversations on purpose, as I think we all know that’s not polite. However, with tables just so close together, it’s almost impossible not to hear a snippet here and there. On days where I have a long, boring reading to get through before class, it’s hard not to let my brain wander away with the constant hustle and bustle that is Swemromas. Home to countless first dates, rant sessions, job interviews, breakups, group projects, study breaks and more, Swemromas is the hottest social scene on campus. Whether you’re catching up with a friend over coffee or meeting up with someone from Tinder, Swemromas is the place to do it. Long story short, I am not the only one spilling the tea (literally and figuratively) in our beloved local coffee shop.

One instance comes to mind when a friend and I were diligently trying to write our respective papers, but could hardly focus with the first date happening at a table six inches away from ours. Exchanging texts on our laptops, we gushed about how cute the couple would be, and how we hoped it would work out. Don’t you just love love? Months later, I am happy to report that we still see this couple around campus.

Next time you’re stressing and happen to find yourself in Swemromas, take a look around for a reminder that there’s a lot more to life than that midterm you’re cramming for.

This leads me to another reason why Swemromas is so alluring — you can rarely stroll in without seeing a friendly face. If you’re a regular like me, it can even be the face of one of the fearless baristas. Since so many students at the College rely on a Swemromas drink or snack to get them through busy school days and long weekend study sessions, you’re bound to see someone you know. If not, you’re still sure to be met with a kind greeting or meaningful smile from at least one of the welcoming students at this school, especially those who are overjoyed to finally have their iced vanilla latte.

However, like many things that come with going to a small liberal arts college, this can be a blessing and a curse. Sometimes seeing an old freshman hallmate or your lab partner from last semester in the line for coffee can make your day. Other times, you may just want to blend in with the surroundings and pretend you (and your three midterms) don’t exist. Whether you’re as chatty as I am or would rather lay low, a visit to Swemromas will spice up your day whether you like it or not.

Something I love about Swemromas is that the baristas always have a bopping playlist playing as the soundtrack to your studying. Just the other day, they had the ladies of the eighties inspiring me to finish studying for an exam. During finals last semester, they loyally played Ariana Grande’s entire “Sweetener” album. It’s almost like they knew it was my favorite. So next time you stop by for a quick caffeine pick-me-up, I suggest you pop out those AirPods and let those coffee-grinding DJs work their magic.

Swemromas is just such a versatile place, with the potential for so many beginnings and endings. So even if you’re just popping in for a coffee — or in my case a steaming cup of Kyoto Cherry Rose green tea with honey — let yourself get caught up in the buzz for a minute or two, you won’t regret it.

Email Lauren Cohen at

lhcohen01@email.wm.edu.