Those of us who were
old lucky enough to know The Edge, that beloved Wayland Square coffee shop, mourned all the more heavily when, totally out of nowhere, it closed last year. Its amazing coffee, full wall of windows, and tucked-away-ness all made it a fantastic hidden study spot—and don’t even get me started on its granola. So when I heard that a new coffee shop, Teas and Javas, had opened in the same space, I was equal parts amped and skeptical. Could it ever fill the empty place The Edge had left in our hearts?
First impressions didn’t have me convinced. Compared to The Edge’s cozy, college-y feel, T&J’s is more sleek and grown-up. It’s decorated in mostly blacks and silvers, with big glass dome lights and simple black chairs that make it feel very modern, clean, and hard. In a different way, though, it’s also very conducive to work: There are plugs everywhere, and a tall 10-seat table is especially accommodating to everyone who shows up to study. And they’re open ’til 11—hurrah. Another holdover from before is the huge wall of windows that looks out onto Wayland Avenue, which can be opened when the weather’s nice to make everything feel all breezy. While that won’t be happening for another few months, the windows will let in plenty of natural light in cold, dark winter.
The coffee menu is just as diverse as before (although, coffee geeks will regret, Intelligentsia beans are no more). These guys get their java (who even calls coffee java, honestly?!) from Mills, Rhode Island’s
only oldest roasters. It’s still pretty good, and any coffee shop that serves espresso con panna gets major kudos from me. (Take the hint, Blue State.) There’s also a wide variety of loose-leaf teas and three kinds of hot chocolate, including salted caramel: This is fantastic news. But what I’m most psyched about is the chai, which they stock from the same people as did The Edge. Let me be clear: This is not normal chai. I seriously doubt it has any caffeine at all. It also isn’t really spicy, which makes “chai” feel almost like an arbitrary name. But what’s great about this drink is that it’s honey-heavy and extremely comforting, “love in a cup,” to borrow T&J’s motto.
Oh, also on the drink front: They have a liquor license, so the menu also includes several wines and dozens of coffee drinks (hot and iced) that are doctored with spirits. Intriguing.
Food-wise, there are plenty of options, although food really isn’t T&J’s strong point. For breakfast, there are the standard bagels and pastries, as well as two fascinating parfaits, one of which includes maqui berries and chia seeds. Supa hip. For lunch, sandwich standouts include smoked turkey and Brie with cranberry mayo on cran-walnut bread or roast beef with goat cheese, arugula, and horseradish. At $8 a pop, there are plenty of sandwiches that are both tastier and a better deal (looking at you, Frigid Bitch from Geoff’s)—I won’t be rushing to eat these ones—but they’re exactly the thing that we’ll rejoice over during finals-time study marathons when a break for the Ratty (or our off-campus apartments) will feel like too big of a distraction from our
time-wasting hard work. And for dessert, there’s a whole smorgasbord of treats: cupcakes, personal tarts, big black-and-white cookies, local gelato from Cold Fusion. The cupcakes are ungodly sweet, but if that’s your thing, you’ll want to snap up every last elaborately decorated one.
Teas and Javas
199 Wayland Avenue
High: It’s a nice change of scenery, but at the same time it’s only a short walk from campus.
Low: It isn’t The Edge // food’s mediocre // sometimes it just feels sort of eh (again, it isn’t The Edge; first loves never die).
Bottom line: While it’s not endearing or cozy the way the best college-town cafés are, Teas and Javas is a good lil spot to have in your caffeine repertoire.