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The Monthly Grind: Philz Coffee

What do CPS kids need? There’s probably one word that comes to

every single person’s mind: sleep. Let’s be real, it’s probably one a.m., we don’t know half the answers to our science homework, our essay is a blank page, and we spend most of our time snapchatting our friends anyway. At least we wrote our names (does that qualify for an A)?

Time to ingest unnatural amounts of caffeine to make it through at least 2nd period! But, where does one go to the best caffeine near campus? We decided to find out – starting with café Philz (recently opened on College).

The best way to describe Philz Coffee is ‘classic Berkeley.’ From the carefree vibe, to cheerful baristas, to the abstract flavors of coffee, Philz is the epitome of a hipster hangout.

Service: ★★★★★

Despite the obvious annoyance that would come in response to two eager teenage girls asking a handful of questions about coffee, the barista was more than happy to help us out. She addressed our lack of knowledge when it came to blends and brews by thoroughly explaining our options: out of the four favorites, we could choose between sweet & creamy or black.

Tesora: ★★★

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Description: Butter; Nuts; Caramel; medium

Price: $3 (small)

Reviewer: Ori

Review: For their most popular brew, Tesora didn’t quite live up to our expectations. While it was not, in any sense, bad, it simply wasn’t as groundbreakingly sensational as we had hoped. As we soon learned, these brews lose their intended flavors (in this case, butter, nuts, and caramel) when ordered black rather than sweet & creamy. After adding milk and sugar, the listed flavors (especially butter) became much more perceptible. While it was still enjoyable for lovers of black coffee, we are confident that, if ordered sweet & creamy, it would better live up to its popularity.

Jacob’s Wonderbar: ★★★

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Description: Chocolate: Nuts: Clove; Medium Brew

Price: $3 (small)

Reviewer: Alexandra

Review: Jacob’s bar was good, but we would not describe it as “wondrous” (hahaha I’m not funny). We ordered it black, no cream no sugar. The taste and smell was overpoweringly bitter. After the addition of milk and sugar, we could taste dark chocolate undertones and a slight scent of clove. Although the new flavors weren’t prominent, they did definitely make the coffee more enjoyable.

Mint Mojito: ★★★★ ½

Description: Minty; Sweet; Creamy

Price: $4 (small)

Reviewer: Ori

Review: The classic favorite (and our favorite) was the Mint Mojito.

My first sip was almost unpleasantly minty, as it was a mouthful mostly made up of mint leaves, the abundance of which hadn’t settled to the bottom yet (where they ended up comprising a third of the entire cup). This is where my only complaints lie. After that first sip, however, it was a delightful breeze. It more than lived up to its sweet and creamy description. Even after the leaves had settled, each sip mainly tasted like sweet, milky, smooth mint; but the aftertaste was of satisfyingly rich coffee. All in all, it was a beautiful cup of coffee, inside and out.

New Manhattan: ★★

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Description: Cinnamon; Citrus; Cherry; Light Blend

Price: $3 (small)

Reviewer: Alexandra Blanter

Review: What looks like an innocent cup of coffee has been generously renamed as the “Cherry Doom.” Our taste buds were attacked by an acidic cherry flavor which overpowered all the other flavors including the coffee itself. It was the only drink that we poured straight into the drain after a couple of sips. Hours and multiple gurgles of mouthwash later, we can still taste the medicine-like flavor in our mouths. Please help. Overall, we enjoyed going to Philz. Although not every drink appealed to us, they were all unique. We recommend you know which flavors you like before choosing your beverage.

More Friendly Advice: do not try to consume four different cups of coffee in one sitting. Zandra claims she could hear her heart pounding and could only type in CAPS for an hour.

And finally, do not try to balance four cups of coffee on your lap in a moving vehicle. Especially when this moving vehicle is fairly new and spotless. You will try to protect the car with your sweatshirt. You will try to protect it with your hands. You will spill, you will get burned, and you will fail.

“The hipster burnt his tongue. He sipped his coffee before it was cool.”

photography and review by: Oriana C. and Alexandra B.

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