Making our way into the fall season, Da Vinci students have expressed a wide variety of autumn drink tastes. Ranging from the warm and fuzzy, to icy and spiced, Davis can fulfill flavors from either end of the spectrum. In order to determine the best, we visited three locations to test their fall flavors: a Davis exclusive known as Mishka’s Cafe, a local chain called Philz Coffee, and an international chain, Starbucks.
For junior Gemma Bertain, the ideal fall drink doesn’t have too many wild specifications. She noted, “I like things that are exclusive for fall…like, I want to drink it while I can. In Davis, on days when it is cold, I like a drink that will warm me both mentally, spiritually, and physically.” Can a local cafe meet her expectations?
With our first stop at Mishka’s, we ordered a Chai tea and a Jasmine tea. Upon first impression, the cafe’s dim, warm light helped to create a relaxed and welcoming environment. There are many seats inside, but for those who prefer the outdoors, there are tables available as well. Ordering was fast and the wait was short. The Chai tea was smooth, with a sweet spice and a warm after-feeling. As for the Jasmine tea, Gemma commented, “I ended up adding a little bit of cream and sugar to it.” Upon later reflection, she recalled that the drink did not satisfy, stating, “I think I was doomed from the beginning because it was a hot day, but it also didn’t have the spices of a fall drink. It tasted kind of flat and it was really hot.” Leaving the shop, it was clear that the Chai tea was the superior fall drink from Mishka’s Cafe.
Da Vinci senior, Becca Wittman, also has a specific criteria for a good fall drink. She says, “It has to be iced – I never drink hot drinks.”
Moving onto Philz Coffee, one of the first impressions was the amount of natural light, brought in by the windows that lined two faces of the shop. Another Chai tea was ordered. This time, with a modification – it was iced. The spiced tea was surprisingly refreshing with the new addition, but it quickly became watery. Upon reaching the final quarter of the drink, the consistency had changed from smooth and pleasant to sandy and undrinkable.
The final stop was Starbucks. Becca has tried both of their signature fall flavors, but prefers one over the other, commenting, “My favorite of their fall drinks is the salted caramel mocha. I just enter a new state of consciousness.” It’s no wonder Starbucks has fans across the world.
Through these experiences, it is clear that there are many different characteristics that can go forth to construct the ideal fall drink, and that Davis can provide for those ideals. At the end of the day, a fall drink can be made with spice or ice, and or broken by Davis’s fall weather.