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Monthly Archives: October 2011

It’s Witchcraft

Last weekend in Boston a few girl friends and I went to Salem, MA for some Halloween fun, psychic readings, and mocha lattes (of course!) We quickly realized that we were the odd balls because we were among the few NOT walking around Salem dressed up as a witch, a sexy witch, or a zombie Steve Jobs.  After a few laughs and “what the heck’s?!” we stumbled upon the Front Street Coffehouse. This bizarre little place had a lot of creative food and drink options – hello organic wheat grass shots, half order vegetarian sandwiches with names like Veggin Out Pixie, and local MA farm milk! In addition, the interior was like a mix between a big, random, antique shop + Tim Burton movie scene . Very cool. Very Halloween. Here is what I thought of the Front Street Coffeehouse mocha latte:

Taste: 5

SMOKEY was the first flavor that hit my taste buds. Can espresso beans have a smokey taste? Besides the smokiness I also enjoyed the mocha flavor – kind of like the chocolate used by Starbucks. It was a bit bitter and no traces of sweetness. Overall taste was pretty good but I would have preferred to taste a bit more mocha and to have a bit more steamed milk.

Appearance: 3

Nothing too special about this one. It just looks warm and cozy. I have become slightly more picky about the appearance rating after oohing and ahhing over the pretty mocha at L’Aroma Cafe & Bakery in West Newton, MA. 


Store Ambiance: 6

By far the coolest mocha latte shop I have been to on my mocha quest. There was lots of Halloween inspired local art, comfy couches, rickety old tables, and Halloween decorations. This store also attracted a diverse crowd – hard to tell whether this is the normal crowd or if it looks a bit different now that we are so close to Halloween.  People in 70’s bell bottoms and vests, people in witch costumes every day attire, hipsters, and Salem tourists 🙂  You could sit inside or outside, but either way you are guaranteed some great people watching.

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2011 in Massachusetts

 

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A Pretty Face

This weekend I went to Boston to visit some friends and family! After a busy afternoon I was able to sneak away for a pedi and mocha date with Liz –  a wonderful woman, friend, mentor, and mother. We went to L’Aroma Cafe & Bakery in West Newton, MA and boy was I surprised with their mochas! Here is why:

Taste: 3

2 words: warm milk. While this drink used to be a childhood favorite of mine (hello susie bee!), I have to say that I no longer like plain old warm milk. ESPECIALLY when I think I am about to taste a mix of milk – espresso – chocolate. All I could taste was warm milk with a teensy weensy hint of chocolate and espresso. Disappointing.

Appearance: 8

Did you see the picture?! This mocha latte was a piece of art! A tree or a heart?! I don’t know, I just like it! Decorative coffee designs make me so happy. I don’t know how they make these designs! Genius. What do you think this design is supposed to be?

Store Ambiance: 3

The store itself is rather bland. Paint on the walls. A community board of the goings on in Newton. A do-it-yourself table with different milks, creams, cinnamon, and sugar. There were two other people in the entire store. Not much umpf! There are two cool things about this store. One thing is that there is a secret upstairs tea room that you access via a tiny spiral stair case in the corner of the store. And secondly, another cool thing about this store is that it is attached to an arts and crafts store (used to be attached to a great clothing store that has now been replaced by the kiddie arts and crafts store). So you can grab a coffee and spend some time in the artsy store!

  

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2011 in Massachusetts

 

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What The What?!

Last weekend I went to NYC for my birthday! I spent the day having lunch with friends and family, seeing a new show called Relatively Speaking, picking up Carnegie Deli, and of course, trying a mocha latte 🙂 Since we were in Midtown W/Theater District, I grabbed a quick mocha at a chain called Europa Cafe.  I ordered an iced mocha latte, no whip cream. I have to say this was one of the weirdest tasting mochas I have ever had! Here’s why:

Taste: 5

I was not expecting this! This iced mocha latte tasted more like burnt caramel than chocolate. As a matter of fact, I do not remember tasting much mocha flavor at all.  I can’t say I liked this ‘mocha’ but I’ll give it a 5 for its bizarre taste.

Appearance: 3

It looks deceptively normal, no? This drink has yet to be shaken so you can see the chocolate/burnt caramel on the bottom.  Definitely lighter in color than the Starbucks iced mocha. All in all, it’s just ‘ehh’, nothing super special.

Store Ambiance: 3

Either the store just opened or I walked into a vacant factory. There was no on here, no music, no nothing. The people who worked here appeared angry and in a rush, or maybe they’re just New Yorkers? Kidding.. sort of.  I did like some of the interior decorating  – notice the colorful mosaics on the walls in the photo below.  With or without the mosaics, I did not like the vibe in here so I couldn’t wait to get my photo and get out.

Where are your favorite coffee shops to grab a mocha in NYC?

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2011 in New York

 

Mini Self Indulgences

Why limit yourself to celebrating your birthday to only that one day? While I strongly believe in making a birthday a special day, why not make a birthday celebration last for a whole weekend or an entire week?  In the spirit of my upcoming birthday, I have spent these past few days treating myself to mini self indulgences. For example, yesterday after Yom Kippur services I treated myself to a beautiful afternoon of pleasure reading and mocha drinking! I received a birthday card for a complimentary drink from Starbucks and decided to use it sooner rather than later! For yesterday’s sunny, cloudless, 80 degree, mini self indulgence day, I went to the Newington, CT Starbucks and ordered an iced mocha latte with no whip cream. Sadly, I do not own a reusable mug that can hold a venti’s worth of deliciousness, so I had to order my drink in a throw away cup (sorry Earth!) Here is what I thought of my mocha:

Taste: 5

First thought – this tastes a little chalky. It was like the milk and the chocolate had not mixed all the way. Oddly enough, the chalky taste did not disappear as I repeatedly shook and sipped this icey treat. Oh well, maybe I’ll stick with the regular hot mocha latte.

Appearance: 5

Doesn’t this look refreshing? It is simplicity at its finest. No glitz, no fancy chocolate drizzle, just a BIG basic mocha. Looked as good as it tasted – surprisingly average.

Store Ambiance: 5

This is Starbucks so we know what this means – just another cookie-cutter Starbucks cut out. Same set up everywhere; no uniqueness, no character. I didn’t care because I sat outside 🙂 I was much too into my book to care about the blandness of my surroundings. By the way, I highly recommend picking up this book! If you want some concrete business ideas on how to turn a passion into reality or if you simply want to be inspired, go grab Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie.

   

A big THANKS to my dad for taking the below photo (that’s me in my TOMS). Among his many talents he is a gifted photographer!

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2011 in Connecticut

 

A Whole Latte Celebrating!

Last night my beautiful friend Angela got engaged! YAY! I had to hear all of the details of course, so today we walked to Aroma Cafe in Old Wethersfield, CT to catch up and to enjoy a celebratory mocha latte! Here is what I think of their mochas:

Taste: 5

This was a hard one to rate because there was one thing I really liked about this mocha and two things I really did not like. I love lots of milk foam in my mochas, and without even asking for it I received a mocha latte packed with steamy foamy milk! YUM! On the down side, this mocha was made with disgustingly sweet chocolate and the cappuccino tasted a bit watery. EW! These factors balanced each other out to create a mediocre mocha.

Appearance: 5

I had to smile when I saw this mocha.  I mean, how can you not smile when you see this little chocolate swirly thing? From first sight, it was hard to tell whether the chocolate swirly thing was sitting on top of a cloud of steamed milk or a cloud of whip cream.  When I realized it was actually a mountain of heavenly steamed milk I was immediately impressed. For a second.  Because then my thoughts shifted to that important yet unasked question by the Aroma coffee creator – ‘would you like whip cream with that?’ I did not tell her I abhor whip cream on my mochas and she did not ask! We could have had a serious problem that ghastly topping arrived on my mocha.

Store Ambiance: 5

Lots of people + too few tables = one crammed coffee shop. It was nice to see so many people out and about in this sleepy little town. However, there really is nothing unique about this coffee shop. Plain paint, little to no art, cliche coffee house droopy lights. Borrring. They do get one bonus point for having recycling bins in the store! Luckily it was a beautiful day so we sat outside at a great shady table that was perfect for people watching.

 

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2011 in Connecticut