Now I truly believe the statement that time really does fly faster the older you get. I just finished up my junior year at Texas A&M and I think that I might be in actual shock. I feel like my parents just dropped me off in College Station yesterday, I really do. And after this week is up, Madison will be officially done with her freshman year of college, which is ridiculous! Finals week was crazy and stressful-do you expect anything less? But one incredible thing about finals week and the week leading up to it is that both Madison and I have absolutely NO CHILL when it comes to drinking coffee during this time. I drank coffee like it was literal water (which is probably so incredibly bad for Me-I know) at all hours of the day. But before all of this craziness occurred, Madison and I were able to make an enjoyable stop in Waco, Texas on the way back to College Station. Waco has recently really been put on the map by a popular couple from HGTV, Chip and Joanna Gaines. I am a huge “Fixer Upper” fan and I love visiting Magnolia in Waco any chance I get. But I am a firm believer that you CAN’T go to Waco and like coffee and not go to “Common Grounds”.
“Common Grounds” is a coffee shop that is basically on the campus of Baylor. It is so convenient for the students to get to but it is right off of the high way so it makes it simple to get to for others as well. “Common Grounds” is super cozy and has a little bit of a hipster vibe to it. It has just the right amount of quirk and cuteness to keep me coming back. If I had to guess, I would venture that “Common Grounds” used to be a house. I have no idea if this is true, but it has a front porch that you can almost guarantee is going to be packed with people chattering and sipping their great caffeinated drinks. A feature I love about “Common Grounds” is the front door. The front door is bright red and has stained glass on it. I absolutely adore stained glass, so I think this is the cutest touch and definitely makes the shop different than others. “Common Grounds” has different sections, almost like little departments within it. In all of these sections you are pretty much guaranteed to find students nestled in and studying their little hearts out. To the side of the shop there are doors that lead out to a covered outside area where there is seating. This is a great place to kind of retreat to, and I didn’t even realize it was there for the longest time. “Common Grounds” also has an outside kind of backyard area. The backyard is full of cute picnic tables, and other than being absolutely amazing (what other coffee shop has a back-yard), serves as a place to host small concerts. Through the semester “Common Grounds” hosts different concerts some evenings that highlight artists from Ben Rector to Judah and the Lion. I have yet to go to one of these concerts, because many of them are week nights, but I’m making myself for sure go to one this next school year. I think it is the neatest concept, drinking some of your favorite brew under the strung up lights in such a cute and fun environment.
At common grounds I got their original drink (can’t find it anywhere else) called “Cowboy Coffee”. They have a “secret sauce” that they put in it to make it what it is. They have eight different ways you can get your “Cowboy Coffee” and have funny and informative descriptions of each on their menu. I got the iced Cowboy that includes the secret sauce, their daily joe and half and half. I drank every sip and it was incredible. It was strong but not too incredible strong. Madison got the “Milky Way” which is one of the shop’s house specialties. The “Milky Way” is mocha plus caramel syrup blended. I have had this drink before and it is definitely a must have. I love caramel and when you add that with mocha I am guaranteed to be a fan! I love that “Common Grounds” has original names for all of their drinks. I’m a big fan of personal touches and that is exactly what they have. They even have a section called “Sleep is Overrated” where they have drinks like “The Meltdown”, the “All-Nighter”, and the “Nervous Breakdown”. You can definitely tell that they cater to the multitude of College students in Waco, especially during finals week. Something fun about “Common Grounds” is that it is so incredibly close to (and is basically on) Baylor University’s campus. I am obviously an Aggie and extremely proud of my school, but I do love visiting other college campuses and seeing what they’re all about. Baylor has a gorgeous campus with incredible trees and live mascot bears you can walk by! Another perk of “Common Grounds” is that it has a mini location at the Magnolia Silos. There is a “Common Grounds” food truck stand kind of thing at the Magnolia Silos. At the Silos there is a large grassy area where you can chill, swing, throw a football, and just hang out and grab something from the many food trucks. It’s awesome that “Common Grounds” is there and it is also served in the Magnolia bakery called “Magnolia Flour”. It is very neat that the Gaines couple in charge of Magnolia choses to endorse and use local Waco products. I adore that!!
I highly recommend taking a day off and visiting Waco!! Don’t forget to grab a Cowboy coffee to start the adventure!
, Allie Boykin