Studiability Series: Stovetop

By Zoya Kovacs

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

Dearest reader, 

Are you growing tired of studying in your usual study spot, devoid of colour and joy? Are you longing for that spark? On my quest to find the perfect cafe study spot, I visited Stovetop, a vibrant cafe tucked away on Leicester Street, Carlton, so close to the law school you can practically smell the coffee beans roasting. 

Wait Time: Following a short wait, I was quickly greeted and seated. The minimal wait time is quite ideal as you do not have a chance to change your mind and escape back home, where you will probably avoid studying by watching Bridgerton. 

Aroma: Whilst a number of cafes tend to distract you with the enticing scent of pancakes, Stovetop does not engage in such trickery. The large open doors allow for constant fresh air to flow through the cafe which keeps you energised and focused. Very ideal if you ask me.

Temperature: Is there anything worse than the horrors of slowed typing capabilities upon braving the Melbourne cold? Stovetop’s warm interior does not allow for this. I arrived shivering from Carlton’s cold autumnal morning, but left feeling like I was swimming in a cup of chamomile tea. 

Customer Service: Have you ever been to a cafe where you can’t get any work done because staff are constantly visiting your table asking you questions? Staff at Stovetop are super considerate. Upon seeing me whip out my trusty laptop, they gave me plenty of space and did not distract me with conversation. This is amazing when you’re like me, incapable of saying no and always getting caught up in a lengthy chat!

Study Space: We all know the importance of being able to fit your laptop and notes onto the table that you’re studying on. Stovetop allows for just that. I was led by staff to a lengthy and wide countertop where I could not only fit my whole tote bag but also my notes, pens and laptop! Exceptional.

Noise Levels: There are not many things that are worse than trying to study in a cafe that believes itself to be a nightclub. Stovetop played slow melodies that Smooth.fm would be envious of. The music not only complimented my studying but also placed me in a good mood to tackle my dreaded property readings. 

Lighting: Perhaps the only downfall of Stovetop is its lighting. Although the cafe has ample natural light, the artificial lighting was bizarre and had a strange effect. Stovetop mixes a top row of white light with a lower row of yellow light bulbs, an effect that left me confuffled and wanting to leave. Not a vibe. 

Tech: If you, dearest reader, are at all like me, an overworked law student who binged The Office for the twelfth time instead of completing OLAM, you often wake up with a laptop that is only half charged. Midway through my very delicious oat milk cappuccino (that I do highly recommend) disaster struck as my beloved laptop made the dire announcement that we all dread, ‘10% battery, plug in now’. I hastily whipped out my charger to plug my laptop in only to find that there were no powerpoints near me! Disaster. Chaos. As I considered the ethics of asking a beautiful elderly couple to swap tables with me as they had access to a powerpoint I quickly reconsidered, accepted my fate and got up to leave to go to the library.

Overall Rating: 8/10

Staff, coffee and atmosphere all work in favour of a good study environment. However, one cannot easily get past the lack of power plugs and distracting lighting.

Dearest reader, I invite you to leave recommendations for future escapades to cafes local to MLS!

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