Quick stops provide caffeine kicks


graphic by Jocelyn Wang

Jennifer Gao, Forum Editor

Baron Barista: Waiting in line to order an iced vanilla latte, I looked around and took in the white industrial walls that were complemented by slender black pipes and a minimalistic interior design. The shop was spacious and well-lit, with plenty of space to work. The clean, modern atmosphere also flaunted a vertical garden, relaxing music and cute coffee cups. I appreciated how accessible and airy the room was, and how I could clearly see my iced coffee being made. After receiving my beverage, I sat down at one of the shiny white tables at the side of the store and tested the Wi-Fi—it was a bit slow, but it worked well enough. If you’re looking for a nice place to study, Baron Barista is an undeniably viable choice. The latte was strong enough for my liking, and it was overall delicious. There were very few people in the shop, and I noticed someone eating some avocado toast, which I immediately wished I had ordered as an accompaniment to my coffee.

Philz Coffee: As I entered the Philz on Middlefield, the smooth, rich scent of freshly roasted coffee beans wafted past my nose as I stood still and inhaled deeply. With vividly colored murals of brilliant greens, yellows and blues juxtaposed with the muted brown of the coffee cups and walls, this quaint, cozy shop brings a timelessly classic atmosphere that anyone will enjoy. There was a huge chalkboard listing the extensive menu in cursive chalk letters, and I was unsure about what to get for a good minute or two until it was my turn to order. The baristas were friendly and asked if I was a first-time or returning customer. I told them that I had never been there before, so I had no idea what drinks would be good. I was given several recommendations, including their iconic mint mojito drink. I ended up ordering the mint mojito and did not regret it; I got my caffeine fix, and the drink was sweet, creamy and topped off nicely with a little sprig of mint. In terms of noise level, it tends to be a little loud due to the coffee grinders at work and the baristas shaking drinks. There are tables and places to sit, but I wouldn’t recommend going there to get work done

Peet’s Coffee: I was immediately enveloped in a comforting wave of low chatter as I strolled into my neighborhood Peet’s Coffee. This particular shop, among many others, boasts an atmosphere of comfort and warmth through the yellow-brown and rustic hues of its decor that are only bolstered by the constant, invigorating scent of brewing coffee and delectable pastries. Ordering my regular iced mocha, I calmly waited for my drink while scanning the wide expanse of space available for patrons to get work done in. The noise level was quiet enough for a good study session, and with the addition of a caffeinated beverage, Peet’s is perfect for a typical high school student like me. I also cannot stress the quality taste of the drinks enough; my mocha had a robust, decadent flavor that intermixed with rich chocolate undertones—simply sublime.