A Spring Guide to Iced Coffee

By

BY RITCHEY HOWE

Where to find the most refreshing blend.

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Ah, Spring…a time when I will not be perpetually cold, when I can finally send my black puffy jacket to the dry cleaners after living in it for five months, when I no longer have an excuse for wearing Uggs. It’s a time to rekindle my friendship with my shoes other than boots. Another hallmark of Spring? Iced coffee.

While most people associate spring with flowers and pastels, I think of iced coffee. Now that the temperature is above freezing, I can treat myself with iced coffee without being covered in goose bumps. As an avid coffee drinker, spring presents an opportunity for me to expand the ways in which I can obtain my caffeine fix. If you don’t drink hot coffee within a few minutes after it’s poured, you will be left with a highly unsatisfying room-temperature drink. Although thermoses claim to maintain the heat of a drink, there is no way that a beverage can remain steaming after a trek to class in the brisk Cambridge air. I want to enjoy my coffee, not feel pressured to chug it in fifteen minutes and risk scalding my tongue. Therefore, iced coffee is the perfect answer; the beverage can be carried for hours, and my tongue will be free of (basically) third-degree burns.
While I often choose to buy my coffee wherever it is convenient, certain coffee shops and dispensaries offer variations on the beverage. For those of you who are similar to myself and indulge in a daily iced coffee, this article may help you choose where to spend your precious Board Plus or earned money on your next coffee. For those readers who are less aware of the beauty of iced coffee, this guide could help you establish an undying love for this classic spring beverage.

Lamont Café
Pros: The café is strategically right inside the library, and open until 2 AM. The coffee is tax-free for students and uses Starbucks beans. You are likely to find someone you know within the café, which can create a nice study break.
Cons: Sometimes the study break can last for almost an hour. Because this location is so popular, there are often no lids or straws after 8 PM. Stressed students hurriedly mix sugar and milk into their beverages, which creates a mess on the counter.

Greenhouse Café
Pros: This café is centrally located, accepts Board Plus, and the baristas are aware of our rushed schedules and typically dispense coffee quickly. Similarly to Lamont, this coffee is produced by Starbucks.
Cons: Due to the central location of the café, the line is quite long during our seven precious minutes between classes. This café also closes at 8 PM so make sure to get your caffeine fix before going into the Cabot Library for an evening study session.

Café Gato Rojo
Pros: The baristas are fellow Harvard students who play good music from opening to closing. The genre of music playing within the café ranges from T.I, to Mariah Carey, to S Club 7, to Third Eye Blind. Tazo Starbucks Tea cannot compete with the large assortment of teas at Gato. The café also exhibits wonderful works of student art.
Cons: This café is full throughout the day so it is difficult to get a seat, nonetheless a table! While the iced coffee is decent, the café is more known for its teas.

Crema Café
Pros: In my personal opinion, this is some of the best coffee in the square. They use George Howell Coffee, a company based in Acton, MA. They additionally have rotating “guest roasters” that come from various countries. All of these coffees are light-roasts.
Cons: Although I have asked multiple times, Crema will not accept Crimson Cash or Board Plus. However, the taste will make up for the splurge.

Dunkin Donuts
Pros: There are two locations around the college (one on JFK Street and the other next to Grafton Street Restaurant). It is well priced and claims to be America’s coffee.
Cons: On March 25, 2014, Dunkin came out with three new coffee flavors: Peach Cobbler, Toasted Almond, and Coconut. According to the Huffington Post, the Coconut “aftertaste lingered when we were really ready to move on”, the Toasted Almond was “just gross”, and Peach Cobbler “was just all wrong.” Enough said.

Clover
Pros: A fun, modern atmosphere. Clover ensures that the coffee served comes from roasters who “meet Clover’s standard”. And all of their utensils and cups are completely compostable. Clover also houses one of the new Bitcoin ATMs.
Cons: At Clover you must order through an employee who uses an iPhone to place the order. This process can often take a long time. Yet if you have patience, you will not be disappointed.

Peets Coffee:
Pros: This is most likely my favorite coffee in the Square. Although it may seem somewhat out of the way for some students, if you are walking back from practice and need a pick me up before studying or class, Peets is your answer. There is also seating outside in the park.
Cons: Never enough free samples!

J.P. Licks
Pros: You can get a sample of frozen yogurt and order their organic coffee that all comes from their Jamaica Plain store. The coffee also comes in a pretty cup with a cow on it…where else can you get that?
Cons: Sometimes the sweet smell of cake batter ice cream is too much to handle in the morning when all you want is iced coffee.

Other coffee sites include Panera Bread, Au Bon Pain, Oggis, Algiers, and Darwin’s. After reading this guide, I hope that everyone will enjoy the oncoming spring with an iced coffee in hand.

Ritchey Howe ’17 ([email protected]) likes coffee, in case that wasn’t clear.