Amuse-Bouche: Teas and Javas

Straight shot of sugar.

Nutella cupcake!!!!!!!!!

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 Javashad 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.

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It’s the Great Pumpkin (Shortage), Charlie Brown

Okay, okay, we get it. You’re thrilled that it’s finally fall. The leaves on the trees are changing colors, the air is getting colder, and your favorite treats are returning to all retail locations. Whether you’re craving candy corn or turkey and stuffing, we know that what really excites you: pumpkin-flavored EVERYTHING.

One of the most popular of pumpkin treats is, without a doubt, the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks. Sure, everyone is crazy about these things, but I didn’t know that people are actually insane when it comes to getting their hands on one of these “sweet, spicy, pumpkiny” treats.

This weekend, the Wall Street Journal published an article about the widespread uproar among patrons who were unable to purchase a Pumpkin Spice Latte, as stores had run out of the pumpkin-flavored syrup. A “pumpkin emergency” was declared in Starbucks stores across the United States, and indeed, by the way these customers have reacted to this shortage, one would think that this “emergency” was on par with a global disaster: One customer tweeted that his “world almost ended this morning when the local Starbucks told me they were out of Pumpkin Spice Latte,” and another claimed that he “just left, depressed.” These fanatics described the latte as tasting “like fall,” and “like a sweet, liquid pumpkin pie,” but they need to relax—in reality, there isn’t any actual pumpkin in that $4.50 Grande Latte they’re craving.

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Psych, Jokes, & Rock ‘n’ Roll: What’s a date?

George Carlin said a comedian’s job is to remind you of things you were too busy to laugh at the first time. In our daily college routines, we do things that we take for granted—stuff we hate, stuff we love, stuff that makes us downright uncomfortable. This column observes these minutia, combining observational comedy with the psychology of the people, objects, and interactions we all share.

Was that a date? At one point or another, you’ve asked yourself that question. Some nights you want to answer yes, others no. Thanks to our society’s abstract language, chances are a few of your evenings out have fallen into that weird iffy zone. When it comes to dating and relationships, we cower behind euphemisms and flat-out goofy language.

Have you been on a date?
Let’s see—I’ve gone out three times, I’ve grabbed lunch four times, twice I’ve done coffee. I guess that’s zero dates.
But weren’t you just seeing someone?
Well, I was seeing Gertrude, but then my glaucoma kicked in.

Being on a date is like belonging to a Fight Club: You don’t talk about the date (plus the boy thinks he is Brad Pitt.) So you don’t say date, you say, “Would you like to get coffee?” since there’s no better first impression than having coffee breath and jitters. You say, “I was wondering if you’d like to grab lunch or something.” If there is any WONDER involved and an OR SOMETHING, the person is interested. Also, GRAB plays the meal off as insignificant and quick—two words that hopefully don’t describe you. Continue Reading

The 12 Foods/Drinks of SW: Power through

funny_coffeeThe big week(end) is rearing its party face, but all you can think about is that big Orgo exam on Thursday… Even worse, your professors are giving you thesis and homework deadlines the Monday after Binder! Rude!

So to help you get through your studying, may we suggest a simple black coffee? Aside from keeping your awake, it’ll help against migraines and headaches, among other things. No need for all the Starbucks variations (they’re all bad for you anyways) or the “sugar-free” energy drinks — remember, you still need to be in premium shape for all the activities to come.

As for all the seniors, make it a Hoegaarden (pronounced Who-Garden, not… the other way) tonight at the Geec.

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Coffee Exchange: Milk or creeper?

How many times have you peed at Coffee Exchange? If you’re a normal human being, probably a lot, because caffeine is a natural diuretic, duh.

But perhaps next time you’ll think twice before you use the restroom at this hamster haven. A CofX employee has been allegedly videotaping users of the cafe’s unisex bathroom, according to The Providence Journal. A RISD student found a hidden camera below the sink Friday, and yesterday the employee was charged with video voyeurism, the Projo reports.

It’s too bad, because a totally scientific BlogDH poll two months ago voted Coffee Exchange the second-best coffee on the East Side…and we love their Kid from Brooklyn blend! Keep frequenting the spot, just make sure you use the bathroom before you leave the house.

Then again, who knows? Maybe this is all an elaborate hoax for some avant-garde voyeuristic film by a RISD student. Art, people, art.

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Cup o’ (Holiday)Jo: Happiness in fluid ounces

The holidays got to Providence way too early. But now that we’ve reached the Thanksgiving turning point, we can officially pull out the festive pajama pants without being met with confused stares. I personally like to celebrate the holidays with some drank— and by drank, you know I mean coffee. If you’re like me, most of your college budget goes to coffee, which unfortunately has resulted in my becoming somewhat of a coffee snob. So I’m here to help you quench that festive drink craving by compiling a list of where to go and what to order at some of the East Side’s finest warm beverage establishments.

Tealuxe’s Tea-Infused Hot Chocolate: Before you judge me for not choosing their famous Chaider, allow me to explain. Yes, their Chaider is the bomb. Yes, you can find it elsewhere, from Blue State to your very own kitchen. Hot Cocoa with tea, however, is an interesting specialty. If you’re still not convinced, try it with Caramel Crême Brûlée and then get back to me (or Royal Coconut or Peppermint). Available with skim, whole, or soy milk. Price: $4.44 for a regular  Continue Reading