Coffee Waves on South Alameda Street offers a cool, relaxing atmosphere and a variety of space that makes it ideal for any college or university student seeking a place to escape the stress of academic life.
Of course, environment isn’t everything, if you’re looking for a cup of joe, here is what to expect:
It is to my understanding that drip coffee is the baseline for all other coffee beverages. This is because it is by far the simplest form of coffee, the quality of which being determined more by the equipment at hand and the quality of the coffee beans rather than the experience and skillset of the staff.
On that note, the drip coffee at Coffee Waves sets a good example. The flavor was balanced, though lacking any discernible flavor notes. It was neither bitter nor sour, implying the grind they use was on the mark.
My only complaint would be the presence of grounds in the coffee. Though they are unnoticeable until the last sip, it can leave an overall pleasant experience with a sad ending.
CAFÉ AU LAIT; DOUBLE ESPRESSO, CANE SYRUP
Double espresso is bitter, especially so if you do not like coffee. The milk in the café au lait was lovely, although it was not sweet enough for my tastes.
I was given the opportunity to try the double espresso when the barista making my drink accidentally pulled two shots instead of one. They offered to remake the drink, but part of this adventure is trying new things, and so I impulsively accepted the coffee. In trying the café au lait, I would not recommend it to the beginner coffee drinker; even with the added milk and sweetener it was rather intense.
I added three packets of sugar and the flavor was improved, but it then tasted like plain coffee with milk, which I guess was the goal, given my order and the name of the drink.
ESPRESSO SHOT; PLAIN
A good espresso is perfectly bitter, taking on a sour note only in its final moment. The espresso shot at Coffee Waves was almost the exact opposite. From the first sip, I felt my tastebuds reject it. The sourness was overwhelming, even compared to my arch-nemesis: The Americano.
Had I been at the café solely for pleasure, I would have set the cup aside and gone to order the drip instead.
On a positive note, the espresso is unique in that it comes in a small ceramic cup, which both me and my partner found enjoyable. If you are looking to wake up, this one will certainly do it for you, but it might not be a pleasant experience.
I had always found lattes to start pleasant and become less and less so over time, the latte at Coffee Waves continues the pattern of turning convention on its head in terms of espresso.
In my first sip I found the bitterness that was missing from the espresso shot.
Over time, the bitterness receded, leaving behind a smooth and pleasant beverage that seemed to get better over time. While first impressions were a little bit rocky, it ended up as one of the best lattes I have had in a long time. I believe the kids on the internet call this an “Enemies to Lovers” dynamic.
EARL GREY TEA; WHOLE MILK, THREE SUGARS
The Earl Grey with milk felt like a comfort. Drinking it in the cold comfort of the shop allowed me to pretend it was a rainy morning instead of the relentlessly sunny afternoon I drank it on. The tea was made to my liking.
The tea was a joy to drink, but it took over 10 minutes for it to come to temperature and be cool enough to drink. Keep that in mind before going for a first sip. Numi brand Tea was served.
“SWEATER WEATHER”; ICED (BARISTA’S CHOICE)
The Sweater Weather is a Chai Latte, served with soymilk, brown sugar, and cold foam.
The sweet foam was very nice but also incredibly thick. You must fight to get to the chai latte below.
The battle past the cold foam was rewarded with a cold, sweet, and spiced drink. A delight for those who enjoy creamy drinks with a bit of dimension. However, while I believe I have demonstrated my preference for sweet drinks, this drink is almost too sweet for me. It may be necessary to request less brown sugar.
Contributions by DMC Alumna, Ana Guerrero.