Just my cup of tea
Compiled by Airi Gonzales, Tech editor, Bryan Wong, Editor-in-chief, and Natalie Jiang, Sam Compolongo and Kevin Arifin, Staff writers
The pleasant aroma of coffee came over me as I entered Jameson Brown Coffee Roasters. I immediately felt calm and relaxed in this cozy cafe with comfortable couches surrounding the hearth. I ordered the Vienna Latte and a cappuccino, which were both served quickly. The artistic design of leaves and hearts created with the cream make the drink appear more appetizing. The honey and cinnamon combination create a perfect balance, so neither flavor is overwhelming. If you have a sweet tooth or you’re just a coffee enthusiast in general, Jameson Brown Coffee Roasters will definitely satisfy your cravings and keep you comfortable in its home-like setting.
By Airi Gonzales, Tech editor
The exterior of Oasis Tea House is a cozy, calm picnic area with several tables next to decorative plants. The inside, however, is packed with minimalistic pop art decor and contrasts with the nature-centric theme of the patio area. With electro pop music playing in the background, Oasis Tea House gives off the trendy, hipster-y vibe that makes it a good hangout spot.
I ordered a papaya milk tea and the store’s specialty “mocktails.” The mocktails, including Pink Paradise, Green Lantern and Citrus It Up, are drinks designed to look and taste like cocktails but do not contain alcohol.
The papaya milk tea’s taste surprised me. I was prepared for an overpoweringly sweet flavor with no traces of papaya, but I was pleasantly surprised by the organic taste of the drink. It’s easy to tell that the only ingredients in the drink are papaya, milk and tea.
The mocktails come in glass jars, which show off their vibrant colors. The mint included in each drink is homegrown and comes straight from the planter next to the tables. The Pink Paradise, a blend of guava, mint and lime, has a soft pink hue mimicking the drink’s mild flavors. At the same time, the Pink Paradise has refreshingly tart hints, and the guava and lime balance each other out perfectly. The Green Lantern is a bright teal color, bubbling from club soda. The mint flavor, coupled with pineapple and orange, is especially highlighted in this drink. However, the combination of flavors does not blend as seamlessly together as it does in the Pink Paradise. The lack of synergy between the mint and citrus is ultimately what makes the Green Lantern mediocre. Lastly, Citrus It Up isn’t a terrible drink, but the overpowering orange and lemon flavors are just too strong. However, the acidic taste is subtly balanced out by hints of salt in the drink that make the citrus bearable.
The drinks are reasonably priced at $4 each, considering how generous they are in volume. Each brings interesting twists and flavor to the table. Oasis Tea House is the perfect place to bring family and friends and impress them with dynamic flavors and beautiful aesthetics.
By Natalie Jiang, Staff writer
Eating at Cocohodo is like eating that homemade lunch you’ve been bringing to school every day for the past three years — unexciting but comfortable. But that’s not to say that the dining experience is boring or lacks substance. The dessert cafe achieves a happy medium between a relaxed and lively atmosphere that makes it a great place to study or hang out.
The store is discreetly tucked away among a variety of other tea places on Colima, making it an easy place to miss. When I walked in, I was greeted with the pleasant familiarity of a simple yet warm coffee house. The place gives off mellow vibes that made me feel comfortable and the subdued tones of music matched the soft shades of beige and blue throughout the interior. I also noticed some cute cartoon chalk drawings of various Halloween items on a blackboard in the back, which added an element of liveliness to the decor and made the atmosphere more homey.
The first thing I did was ask the cashier for the store’s specialties. He recommended an Iced Americano, which was reasonably priced at around three dollars. The coffee offered a vague taste of bitterness, but lacked depth in flavor and left something to be desired.
But who goes to a dessert cafe in Rowland just for the drinks? The ambience was pleasing, and I felt relaxed as I enjoyed my figuratively dark gray coffee. I could easily see myself sitting down at one of the many tables to type up some headline assignments, study physics homework or even write up that personal statement I’ve been putting off for the past two months. Cocohodo provides an atmosphere comfortable and quiet enough for studying, yet animated enough for hanging out.
By Bryan Wong, Editor-in-chief
Canabru is a little coffee shop that specializes in coffee and homemade fudge. The comfortable chairs and soft lighting create a nicely decorated area that is great for long study sessions. I ordered the Zebra Mocha Latte, which is a mixture of both white and chocolate mocha, and The Parent Trap, a peanut butter fudge with Oreo toppings. I do not recommend these to people who don’t normally drink coffee or to people who like bitter flavors more sweet than ones. The Zebra has a white cream and chocolate mixture that blends well with its syrupy complement. The Parent Trap brings just the right amount sweetness with the peanut and Oreo mixture that makes the fudge pleasurable. Canabru’s welcoming environment and quiet atmosphere make it a great place to hang out with friends or to do homework.
By Samuel Compolongo, Staff writer
Known for its Creme Brulee Latte, award-winning espresso and seasonal drinks, Klatch Coffee promotes an environment in which people can gather and chat. Sofas, huge tables and other comfortable furniture invite relaxation and conversation. To me, Klatch Coffee is a different version of Starbucks that lets customers stay and feel at home instead of serving them as fast as possible for convenience.
For drinks, I ordered its best-known items: an iced Creme Brulee Latte, a seasonal Real Pumpkin Latte and an iced Sweet Shot espresso. The iced Creme Brulee Latte impressed me the most. The drink was not as bitter as I expected it would be, and it did not rely on sweetness to impress me. The Creme Brulee Syrup complemented the coffee so well that I couldn’t stop myself from drinking the whole cup. However, while the heart-shaped foam on top of the Real Pumpkin Latte is appealing, the bitter taste overpowers the aesthetically pleasing presentation. The latte only hints at the pumpkin spice flavor, and I was left wishing for more. Finally, the iced Sweet Shot Espresso was disastrously bitter. I could only stand one sip because of its overwhelming coffee flavor. If the goal was to wake me up with the bitterness, the Sweet Shot espresso certainly did its job.
For a total of $13.15, I would say the price of three drinks is worth it for a one-time experience because it is relatively cheap and affordable. I will definitely be coming back sometime in the future, but not anytime soon. I strongly recommend that any coffee-lovers try Klatch Coffee, as they might find a different experience depending on their own personal coffee preferences.
By Kevin Arifin, Staff writer