What does coffee mean to you? For some, coffee is but a vehicle for caffeine. For others, coffee is an enjoyable part of their morning routine. But for us, coffee is a lifestyle. As self-proclaimed connoisseurs of the uplifting beverage, Elyse Andrews and I have searched far and wide throughout San Antonio to find the perfect cup of joe. In no particular order, here are our reviews of some local favorites.
Reviews are based on Ciara’s standard drink — iced soy vanilla latte — in addition to the wild card drink of Elyse’s choice.
Don’t be discouraged by the exterior — while Mila Coffee operates out of a food truck, it has what we believe to be some of the highest-quality coffee in town. What makes Mila stand out the most is its smooth, yet strong espresso and heavenly vanilla syrup. Of all the vanilla lattes we’ve tried, nothing quite compares to the velvety, rich flavor of Mila’s.
This is some of our favorite coffee in San Antonio. What makes Estate so unique is its specialty drink menu, which includes refreshing drinks such as the Cold Brew Shandy (cold brew, lemonade, Topo Chico) and the Frotus (cold brew, Topo Chico, maraschino cherry).
A classic. With such close proximity to campus, it would be a shame not to experience the sweet, sweet “moon milk” that makes Summer Moon’s lattes so beautifully rich. Just don’t go on Sunday mornings to study if you need silence, as you will be sharing the space with members of the Trinity Baptist Church after their worship service.
Pro Tip: Moon milk can also be made without dairy!
Local receives a lot of hype, and with a lot of hype comes mixed reviews. Reviews that might look something like this:
Elyse: Expensive and overrated, don’t waste your money.
Ciara: Nom nom here’s $7, I love crushed ice more than myself!!
Regardless, Local is always a safe go-to for quality espresso and is a cozy spot for off-campus studying.
Aside from the condescending “Do you know about our policy on milk” question you’ll get every time you walk in the door, Brown is a top notch spot to get coffee in San Antonio. It is only a Bird scooter ride away, and we have truly never felt more caffeinated in our entire lives. And if you weren’t convinced, Alton Brown has also called this the “best cup of coffee I’ve had in my life.”
You don’t have to like croissants to visit Commonwealth — this homey cafe offers a solid latte with balanced flavors and espresso that is strong and smooth. If you ever want to feel like you’re in the back of a Paris garden cafe, go to Commonwealth. Time truly feels slower there.
Press is definitely worth checking out, as they just opened their new location a mile from campus. Part of what makes Press so appealing is its environment — the open glass windows from floor to ceiling and different vertical levels of seating make the cafe feel very inviting. Their coffee is very bold, however, and the flavors not quite balanced. You may need a little simple syrup, but Press is overall a solid choice for coffee nearby.
Great date spot, especially if you decide to go to the San Antonio Museum of Art! Not our favorite coffee, but certainly a welcoming and quirky environment.
There you have it — Ciara and Elyse’s guide to our favorite (this is a very reduced list of our twenty-some excursions) coffee in SA. We wish you the best of luck in your coffee endeavors as you wait for Starbucks in the library to receive their shipments of … everything. Get sipping!