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Category Archives: Connecticut

Yoga Shopping Coffee

Yesterday I started my day off right – yoga, shopping in West Hartford Center, and a coffee date with the lovely Amanda (and then more shopping)! We met up at It’s A Grind in Blue Back Square in West Hartford, CT.  We got a mocha for me and a tea for her in cups the size of our heads. Here is what I thought of their mocha latte:

Taste: 3

At first taste I thought they had mistakenly made me a vanilla latte instead of a mocha latte! Why does this taste so sweet? This ‘mocha’ was basically 90% milk and 10% coffee. I would have liked to taste more chocolate and more coffee, especially because this small cup of milk mocha latte set me back a whopping $3.40.

Appearance: 3

I am a sucker for BIG coffee cups. 1 point. I also appreciate it when a barista makes the extra effort to make my mocha look pretty – notice how the pretty steamed milk takes center stage. 1 point. And lastly, the simplicity  in the white cups plus the rich mocha colors compliment each other so well. 1 point. 🙂

Store Ambiance: 5

This place was busy. There was a great mix of people – students, parents, young adults – and a great mix of seating options – comfy couches, tables with chairs, and some sneaky tables in the way back. There was upbeat music playing softly in the background and there was lots of laughter to be heard. By the counter there was about a half dozen choices of flavored coffee that you can pump yourself. Basically, this is a place where I would have come to study if I went to school around here; however, I would probably have just ordered a regular coffee instead of a mocha.

  

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Posted by on November 28, 2011 in Connecticut

 

America Runs On…

On Thanksgiving Day I went to Dunkin’ Donuts on the Berlin Turnpike in CT. Now, as you may already know, I am more of a Starbucks gal than a Dunkin’ gal.  At Starbucks I believe the quality of ingredients is superior, their atmosphere is calmer, and there is a DIY bar full of milk, soy milk, and nutmeg (oh my!).  However, for the sake of research, I opted to try Dunkin’s mocha lattes on for size. Lucky for me I had a coupon for a free latte. Unlucky for me this was one of the grosest mocha latte’s I have ever encountered…

Taste: 1

I could not even finish this. It was like drinking chocolate syrup, the super sweet kind. Ugh, it was oh so sweet. If you ever want to try a mocha latte at Dunkin’ Donuts do yourself a favor and either ask for half the syrup or just do not order one.

Appearance: 1

This mocha was nothing special. I ordered my mocha in my standard fashion – for here cup, no whip cream. And that is exactly what I got… plus an extra cup of chocolate syrup. On another note, I promise I will keep trying to perfect my novice photography skills 🙂

Store Ambiance: 2

This place was empty. Granted it was Thanksgiving Day and people were not out for coffee, but this place was eerie quiet. The chairs look so uncomfortable I could not picture myself sitting here, mocha in hand, studying or reading.  Perhaps a big comfy chair would make this place more of a hang out than a drive through. I must commend DD for being so clean and colorful – not many people can pull off a pink-orange combo!

    

Are you more of a Starbucks or a Dunkin’ Donuts kind of person?

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2011 in Connecticut

 

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

 

Hello World!

Hello fabulous readers and welcome to Del Mocha Vista.  If you like mochas, like to try new things, and like to travel, then this online journal is for you! What started out as a delicious hobby has transformed into a personal mission – to find a better mocha latte than those made at Starbucks. ‘What does she have against Starbucks?’ you might ask. The answer to that is simple: I have nothing against Starbucks (other than that they have yet to start recycling). I am just amazed that with the thousands dozens of mocha lattes I have devoured in my 26 years, Starbucks continues to rank #1 in my book. Here are the criteria I use to rank my mochas:

– Taste: 

– Appearance:

– Store Ambiance:

Throughout this delicious mocha latte quest, I will sample mochas and rate them on a 1-10 scale in the above categories (1= awful – 10=perfecto). So grab a mocha and stay awhile, the journey is just getting started!

I figured that for my first entry I will start with the triumphant Starbucks Mocha Latte. I order mine extra hot, no whip cream, in a ‘for here’ mug (or I bring my own). There are two reasons for the latter part of my order. First, to cut back on making more garbage in the form of a throw away cup.  And second, to get 10 cents off of my drink purchase! I took a few photos of my mocha and a book I just finished AND highly recommend. Read it and find out how Starbucks got its name 🙂 (I promise to work on my photo-taking abilities!).

Here is how I rank the Starbucks Mocha Latte:

– Taste: 8

The taste is like a grown up version of hot chocolate. Somewhat bitter chocolate, not too sweet. Steamed milk with lots of foam. I almost needed a spoon to get at all of the milk foam but I opted to be lady like and I used my finger as a spoon instead 🙂  This heavenly beverage instantly warms me up and wakes me up!

– Appearance:  7

It may be hard to see but there are actually some beautiful swirls of chocolate, cappuccino, and milk (again, trying to work on my photography with this little Nikon Coolpix S8100). Starbucks does not get crafty with their whip-free mochas, unfortunately.

– Store Ambiance: 5

The vibe at the Wethersfield, CT Starbucks was just okay that day. It was busy – every table was full, customers chatted with barista’s (coffee makers), and there were laughs to be heard. But something was missing. The appearance was quite bland. No fun art on the walls and no fun music. Just basic cookie cutter tables and chairs. You can be more unique than this, Starbucks!

Overall I so enjoyed my inaugural mocha latte here at Starbucks. A delicious drink, a relaxing day, and an inspiring book – what could be better? Thanks Starbucks for setting a high standard in the world of mocha lattes. See you again soon.

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2011 in Connecticut