Icy coffee cools already cool teens

Austin Hille and Caitlin Stein

What says summer better than wasting money on overpriced coffee?

Summer is not complete without a basic coffee to-go cup in your hand that’s filled with some brand new quaranta triple-brownie-chocolate-chip frappuccino the large-chain coffee shop just came out with.

Incorrect! It is of the opinion of these two staff writers that those cups are just way too mainstream. Definitely not on fleek.

As any proper coffee connoisseur knows, the proper places to get coffee are the places that nobody knows about. The ones that blast indie music and whose baristas spit in your coffee if you order with terms such as frappuccino, chai tea, or decaf.

Due to our obsession with coffee, we went on a search for delicious roasts and blends that we can claim as drinks “we liked before they were cool.”

Our first stop was Medleno Coffee Shop & Roastery in Danville. This quaint, adorable coffee shop consists of a small counter and only a handful of options. We ordered the iced latte and the iced connoisseur.

The iced latte was sweet, yet was severely overpowered by the milk, leaving barely any coffee flavor whatsoever. However, if anyone has any knowledge about what a latte is made of (milk and a shot of coffee) this is no surprise.

The iced connoisseur on the other hand had a strong and delicious coffee flavor. We chose the Ethiopian blend, but a Colombian blend was also offered. The strong flavor of the drink can be attributed to the fact that it has a Turkish coffee base, an unlikely method for brewing coffee, which is notoriously strong.

Our next stop was Pacific Bay Coffee Co. and Micro-Roastery in Walnut Creek. Here we ordered a cafe freeze and another iced latte.

The cafe freeze was slightly sweet and extremely refreshing, perfect for the warm summer days that are associated with global warming and the apocalypse.

The iced latte had fewer flavors due to an overpowering amount of milk that did not balance well with the shot of espresso. In other words, this drink was very disappointing.

After finishing four cups of coffee within an hour, we decided to further our caffeine buzz at a new spot, The Coffee Shop in Walnut Creek.

We were ambitious and stupid enough to try all of the different blends and brews they had available that evening.

We recommend everybody try this, just not all at once, because you will regret it immediately.

Each of these coffees were hand prepared in the drip method, meaning they pour small amounts of hot water over the grounds until an entire cups worth of coffee drips through the filter.

The first brew they had available was the George Howell. It was definitely a lighter and  more sour roast, but lacked any sort of substantial flavor. Also, it was bitter.

The next roast we tried was Café Grumpy. This super mellow roast wasn’t very strong. We recommend this brew for those who prefer a light coffee without the typical bitter taste that is associated with black coffee.

Following Café Grumpy was the local Sight Glass roast. This was probably the lightest roast that we tried, but also had some very unique flavors to it in addition to being incredibly smooth.

Next up was the JBC brew. This roast was delicious, and not as bitter as the George Howell. It was wholesome and comforting, but not too overpowering. This was one of the top coffees we tasted.

The highlight of the night was tasting the Zolo blend coffee. This unique roast was a blend of coffee and blueberries. If it’s unmistakingly blueberry aroma doesn’t entice you, it’s sweet, rich taste certainly will. This was a favorite that is surely worth the drive to Walnut Creek.

The Four Barrel roast had some fruit notes to it, which was interesting, but overall was quite a forgettable cup, especially in comparison to the other options available at Coffee Shop.

The last roast that we tried was The Bard from Portland, Maine, and it was by far the best available. As the darkest roast on their menu, it had a very rich and smoky flavor. The positive about this dark blend is that it’s extremely flavorful, yet not overpowering and very smooth.

That was it for us. The caffeine had gotten to our heads, we were talking awkwardly fast and our hands were shaking, but we pushed on. Our miserable search for uncommon coffee shops took us to Barnstormers in Dublin located in a Christian Bookstore.

We ordered the iced latte and mocha freeze, which were both delicious. The iced latte had the perfect balance of coffee flavor and sweet, rich milk. Out of all the iced lattes we tried, this one was certainly the best.

The mocha freeze was also quite delicious. It might be a bit too sweet for some, but if you treat it like the coffee flavored milkshake that it is, then you won’t be disappointed.

Overall, the East Bay Area has a lot of great options for coffee outside of Starbucks and Peets.

If students take a step outside of their comfort zone, they won’t be disappointed.