As a new student to Mount Mary University, I needed to find the closest coffee shops to campus to make sure I had enough caffeine in me before classes, homework, or even to browse Pinterest! After using everyone’s favorite tool, Google, I was able to find several places to caf-up. I wanted to limit my search to 2 miles, because not many students have a car to drive long distance for coffee.
Thankfully, two of these places are right down 92nd Street – better known as Swan Boulevard – and the last one is closer to Mayfair Mall, but not inside so you’re not tempted to do some shopping after coffee.
My first stop was Colectivo in Wauwatosa, Wis. As a Milwaukeean, I am no stranger to Colectivo, however I haven’t really paid attention to my food or drink – other than whether I like it or not!
Colectivo offers a variety of options. They have all day breakfast (*slow clap*), sandwiches & wraps, tea, traditional espresso and blended drinks. Traditionally, I opt for the iced matcha latte with honey. I decided to venture out and try one of their traditional espresso drinks – I’ve got night class, so why not?
Medium White Mocha – Need I Say More? Well, I actually do. What a creation by Colectivo. I know there are other white mochas out there, but what makes this specific one so decedent was not only its beauty, but the flavors.
I am no coffee expert but what I tasted was a medium roasted coffee bean, mixed with 2 percent milk and the sweetness of the white mocha. I’m not a huge fan of white chocolate myself and that is why I went for the white mocha.
I wanted to see what the barista could do with something not high on my favorite flavor list. She topped it off with a little foam – but not too much because that would take away from the flavor of the steamed milk and the luscious white chocolate.
While consuming my yummy white mocha, I wanted something salty to balance out the sweet, so I ordered the avocado BLT. YUM. This did not disappoint! I was headed to class before I ordered this and I didn’t hear my stomach grumble for hunger once. Made from local ingredients, this BLT was filled with bacon, avocado, lettuce and tomato, and housed on perfectly toasted sourdough bread. Think I’m lying? See for yourself!
My second stop on this delightful trip was Starbucks. We all know Starbucks is within an arm’s reach, but have you ever stopped for a second to appreciate what they have to offer? I know they get a bad reputation for being overpriced and not the best quality, but I can assure you, Starbucks doesn’t vary in price or flavor as many are led to believe.
What is unique to Starbucks is the absolutely impressive variety of drinks and drive-thrus! Located near Mayfair Mall, but thankfully not inside, this Starbucks was hopping with patrons constantly. The orders that were placed varied from a breakfast sandwich, to a blended Frappé or even just a plain cup of joe.
Since I ventured out previously at Colectivo, I wanted to stay simple this time. I am not new to regular coffee, although I prefer the fancier, sugary filled drinks. Starbucks is known to be the place where you grab & go or you can sit & sip!
I ordered a Grande blonde roast with a little room for cream. I know, I broke the rules of coffee but I really needed a taste of sweetness in my blonde roast. Let me tell you – this coffee was piping hot. So hot in fact that I had to let it sit for almost 20 minutes before I could give it a taste; this is something Starbucks has had a bad reputation for.
As I waited and people watched, I took this time to take in the rich aromas that the coffee released. What I noticed was how light this coffee smelled – which made sense because I picked the lightest roast. Starbucks blonde roast is made with beans that are mildly roasted.
Do you ever walk past a coffee shop and smell that deep, golden roasted smell? Well, that comes from beans that are roasted much longer than the blonde ones! Although I enjoy that deep smell, I learned that I don’t prefer that dark of coffee.
I thoroughly enjoyed my blonde roast with just a hint of cream! My biggest takeaway from Starbucks is that if you need a quick jolt in your day, definitely head to your nearest Starbucks and order one of their house blends. My coffee was rich in flavor and full of caffeine – just what I needed! Their free wifi and house music blended perfectly with my blonde roast and allowed me to focus and study for hours. Although Starbucks doesn’t have as exquisite food as Colectivo, it is a great place to help you get through your day.
Some say you save the best for last, and I have to agree with this! Miss Molly’s was my final stop on my coffee journey. I have to say, ending at Miss Molly’s was the icing on the cake. Before I get sentimental, let’s get down to the basics.
Miss Molly’s was the coffee shop I noticed when I came to my new student orientation. Without fail, I went there during my first week of classes and was not disappointed. What I initially noticed was the quiet neighborhood feel of the location. Although it is placed on two rather busy streets, Miss Molly’s has a vibe that cannot be disturbed by traffic.
My second visit to Miss Molly’s was when I met with the owner herself, Molly! This time around, Molly gave me a free cup of joe to enjoy during our conversation. Naturally, I asked for a light roast and room for cream.
What I found to be different ab
out Molly’s coffee compared to Starbucks or Colectivo is how the flavor is not as bold as the other two. At the cafe, Miss Molly’s serves Anodyne coffee. Similar to Colectivo, Anodyne coffee is a local Milwaukee roaster.
Unique to Miss Molly’s is the large menu options that they offer. They serve breakfast, lighter fares and now a lunch menu! When I spoke with Molly, she described the lunch menu to have recently transitioned into Fall tastings. Aside from their tasty lunch menu, Miss Molly’s is also known for their ravishing bakery items. These items range from quiche to decadent cupcakes! Take a look at their tasty treats for yourself!
The important takeaway from these three different coffee shops is that their atmospheres, menu items and cost vary. While Starbucks is a grab n’ go kind of place, Colectivo is where you go after school with your girlfriends to sit outside and chat, and Miss Molly’s is the place to eat a sweet treat that is paired with your favorite roast.
For us Mount Mary Students, it is important to find that one place where you can study for hours, grab some dinner and get caffeinated for your next class. It may not seem like there are many options out there, but I promise when you step off this campus, there is a world filled with coffee just down the street.
If you are new to coffee, which I fortunately am not, feel free to ask any barista at Colectivo, Starbucks or Miss Molly’s what coffee-free options they carry. I hope you go explore Wauwatosa just like I did – I promise you won’t be disappointed!
PS – Make sure you ask for a student discount at Colectivo and Miss Molly’s!