Mocha Musts


Part of the reason I wanted to go to college in the city was because I wanted to be surrounded by food. I love walking around on weekends and scoping out that one place I heard about from a classmate. Peers’ suggestions and my passion for mocha lattes have led me to some really cool coffee places. I’m not addicted….and I’m no expert, but mocha lattes are my signature drink. They have just enough coffee to make me feel like an adult and enough chocolate to hide the coffee taste. This month, I tested mochas, accompanying snacks, and everything in between.


After a Halloweekend for the books, I woke up around lunchtime and headed to Tatte. This bakery is what Instagram dreams are made of. Not only was my mocha the most delicious (and creamy) coffee I have ever had, but the bakery on 70 Charles Street is beautiful. There aren’t many places to sit, but fortunately there are multiple locations in Boston. This is great in case you have beef with one of the baristas. In reality, my barista and I got along amazing; she complimented my sweater and we had a cute conversation about vintage clothes.

Along with my mocha, I had a fresh mozzarella sandwich that I plan on making my mom buy for me the next time she comes to visit. College, am I right?

George Howell

I DEFINITELY have beef with this barista, after he neglected to offer me the student discount that this coffee shop offers. The coffee here is one size, so I was hesitant to pay $5.25 for a mocha. Thankfully, it was a big beautiful cup with creamy goodness inside. My mocha tasted like shopping fair trade feels.

Caffè Nero

Some of my best studying has taken place at Caffè Nero with my trusted mocha. This mocha latte is a bit more bitter than Tatte’s, but I still love it. Ask for that bad boy ‘for here’ and let the work begin!

When I’m at Caffè Nero I feel like I’m in a movie, and a man is about to walk up to me and tell me he loves the book I’m reading (Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman). Commence “Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop.”

If I were to complain about anything, it would be that I think the guy sitting next to me last week was observing me for character inspiration for his novel. I could tell by his tiny pencil and leather bound notebook. Then again, is that really something to complain about?


When I walk into Explorateur, I know I’m about to drop some money I don’t have. You know it’s a fancy place when the water dispenser is infused with fruit. This mocha was just not for me. I respect it, but I would not buy it again. I think I was just so upset about the cost (as if I have $6 for an 8 ounce coffee) that it literally put a bad taste in my mouth. Also, there’s a three hour wifi limit. I found this somewhat oppressive on my end, and optimistic on theirs. I could never stay in a coffee shop for more than three hours, regardless of what I’m doing.  If I was looking for a good place to hunker down and study, though, their hours would be perfect: 7:00am- 12:00am.

Newsfeed Café at the Boston Public Library

I really wanted to love this place. Newsfeed is home to a shiny WGBH studio, with floor to ceiling windows and headlines rolling across a monitor. I thoroughly enjoyed my chicken salad sandwich, but it was served on a paper plate. I feel like they can do better, no? I didn’t finish my mocha, because it didn’t have enough chocolate in it.

Photography by: Laura Kanihan