Latte lovers’ guide to Walla Walla

caitlinhardee

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As coursework piles up and the daylight dwindles, you may find yourself craving a caffeine pick-up. But where to find your fix? I headed to three local coffee shops and tried a nonfat latte at each. Here’s the latte lowdown on Reid Espresso, the Main Street Starbucks and the Colville Street Patisserie.

Credit: Caitlin Hardee

Scaldingly hot and unfailingly acrid, the lattes at Reid are possibly the worst java for your buck in Walla Walla. The café brews Starbucks coffee, so the difference between the two products lies with the technique of the Bon Appétit baristas, the equipment, or both. The flavor resembles a burnt piece of toast laden with rancid butter. Most egregiously, these lattes are consistently devoid of foam. They appear to contain some kind of heated dairy product, but it’s decidedly lacking in froth––a disgrace to the name of latte. Meanwhile, the $3.25 price for a 12 oz. latte makes this not only the worst of the three lattes, but also the most expensive. The only conceivable reason to grab coffee here? Convenience. For students in a rush, Reid provides a more immediate location than the coffee shops downtown.

Starbucks’ nonfat latte simmers at a drinkable temperature with a nice layer of foam. The latte has a smooth flavor, although it’s a little bland. The Starbucks on Main Street offers a comfortable environment to study or relax with friends, and prices are fairly cheap at $2.72 for a 12 oz. latte.

The Colville Street Patisserie’s nonfat latte is bursting with rich, multi-textured flavor to satisfy even the most demanding coffee connoisseur. Every aspect down to the hue of the brew, swirling in soft shades of warm mahogany, shows more depth and dimension than either of the other two lattes. If you stay there to enjoy your drink, they’ll serve it with intricate designs in the foam in a nice ceramic mug. And with the Patisserie’s lovely modern interior design, done in stone and beautiful curving surfaces and adorned with art, hanging out for a few minutes is anything but difficult. $3.15 for a 12 oz. latte.

All prices are listed with tax included.

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