Serving coffee and drinks for 16 years, Cafe Kopi is no new face to downtown Champaign. They’ve learned a few things over the years and have whipped together a fine establishment to earn itself the title of the Best Coffee Shop of CU. If you simply want to study, Kopi has background lull of conversation and sweet jams to focus your thoughts on that 16-page paper due tomorrow. Want to catch up with a friend? Kopi’s a perfect setting with its intimate small tables. If you have more than one friend, don’t worry — there will be room for all of you at larger tables spread throughout the two rooms. If you’re at a loss for things to do, grab a table by the window or outside on the sidewalk to observe the local crowd.
Kopi barista Kate explains that Kopi’s products are what helps distinguish it from other coffeehouses around the CU area. She said the house coffee is unique because it is roasted locally at the Columbia Street Roastery. Kopi’s chai tea latte surpasses the standards of other cafes’ chai because they use actual tea leaves rather than concentrate like most other places. Their food items such as pesto, egg salad and chicken salad are all homemade.
Previously, Kopi was one medium-sized room with espresso machines and a kitchen squeezed in, but about a year ago Kopi opened up the entire space next door and more than doubled the amount of tables to host patrons. Kate said before the renovation, you had to get there by 7 p.m. to hope for a table in the evening, but now with all the extra space you don’t have to fight for the space. Hardwood floors, high ceilings and an array of mirrors and windows give Kopi an open yet cozy feel. With warm colored walls covered with local artists’ artwork, your eyes soak in something new with every glance. Before you sit down and settle in, take a tour of the walls to be inspired by local artists’ pieces.
A small jaunt from campus, Café Kopi is situated on the corner of Walnut and University Streets in downtown Champaign. If you’re looking for an escape from the daily routine of bustling about campus, escape to Kopi for a more real-world feel. Grab a unique house coffee or drink of choice, maybe a treat, settle in, chat it up and enjoy the surroundings of this friendly and warm café.

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