Highsmith’s Roasted provides new coffee option for students

Madelyn DePodesta 

Opinion Staff Writer

mdepodes@unca.edu 

On a college campus, there’s almost no such thing as too much coffee. It seems like students everywhere drink it: to get through that 8 a.m., finish a paper or stay up to study for a test just a little bit longer.

Although coffee pulses through the bloodstream of the campus community, when I heard Roasted was opening, I was a little skeptical; I did not understand why we needed another coffee place on campus when we already had Argo Tea. Yet, I decided to give it a try and ordered a drink and a muffin.

Instead of having tables, they have large, squishy chairs for students to sit and relax in, creating a comfy atmosphere about the place. It is a very welcoming and cozy space open to students while Highsmith Student Union operates. Roasted promotes an atmosphere for studying with a group, or even just grabbing coffee with your friends and hanging out rather than the quieter, independent study environment of Argo Tea.

Roasted, the new coffee shop in Highsmith has later hours to cater to late night students looking for a bite. Photo by Madelyn DePodesta

“I think the biggest reaction we’ve gotten is they’re all really satisfied with us being open really late,” said Nevada Russell, an employee at Roasted and sophomore at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. “Being on a college campus is really beneficial, when midterms or finals roll around you’re gonna have a really cozy spot to come, and have it be really warm and inviting.”

Prior to our interview, I had no idea that Roasted was open so late for students and I was pleasantly surprised. It’s great that Roasted will be open for students when they need it most.

UNC Asheville juniors Alex Schneider and Justin Condry both agree that having a coffee shop located in Highsmith with extended hours increases convenience, and said they frequent Roasted about three to five times a week.

“I think it’s great,” Schneider said. “I’m in Highsmith a lot, so having a coffee shop in Highsmith is much more convenient for me than having to walk all the way to Argo or walking back to my room to make coffee.”

Roasted calls the second floor of Highsmith home, but limited access due to construction makes its only entrance on the first floor.

“I think once construction is done on the bridge, it’ll be way more accessible,” Russell said.  “Once that’s done, I think it’s gonna be more inviting, you’ll see us right through the window, you’ll be able to walk right in here. A lot of people don’t know we’re up here yet, once construction’s gone, not only students, but anyone passing through will be able to see us.”

Once the construction on the bridge finishes, Roasted will be easy to pop in and out of, especially with it being located right at the front of the second floor entrance to Highsmith.

Now, to get to the question on everyone’s mind: how are the drinks and pastries at Roasted? Overall, I thought they were pretty good! I ordered a chai tea latte and a chocolate chip muffin, and I was really impressed by how much I enjoyed the chai.

“I love our chai, it’s not super strong,” Russell said. “All of our syrups aren’t super sweet which I really like. I like to taste my coffee, and not have a ton of sugar. Honestly, I like almost everything on the menu, but chai tea is my favorite.”

While offering a variety of coffee, Roasted also serves pastries such as muffins, bagels and cookies.

“One of my favorite things is either the bagel, or the Loco Mocha frappuccino,” Schneider said. “It’s delicious.”  

After trying some of the items offered at Roasted and talking with Russell, Schneider and Condry, I think Roasted is definitely a beneficial addition to UNCA’s campus. It’s super great that there will now be a place accessible for students to get coffee or hang out whenever it’s convenient for them.

 

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