Teenagers at SLV are living on coffee these days. With all those long nights studying and waking up early preparing for the day ahead. Coffee is a must for many students, so fellow students and I went to find out what truly is the best coffee shop around. We traveled from Felton to Scotts Valley, on a mission to do just that. We ordered a popular Vanilla Iced Latte with two pumps of espresso at each location, and here’s what we found;
White Raven- Felton- Price-$4.50
We first visited a locally owned and operated coffee shop in Felton. Many students praise this business for being quick, accessible, and very high quality. The drink itself was not too sugary, but also not too strong, making it a great mix of both. The drink was slightly watery, but ultimately didn’t differ the overall taste. The drink overall was great, and for the price and location, it’s hard to beat. The atmosphere of this shop is very homey, and is a great place to relax, study, and distress. The order only took about a couple minutes to prepare, and the workers were extremely friendly. Students rave about this location, and we’d have to agree. Rate: 9/10.
Coffee Cat-Scotts Valley- Price-$5.50
When we walked into this shop, it was very silent, and almost awkward feeling. The shop had plenty of seating, far greater than others, but the hospitality and coziness were definitely missing. The menu was small and right to the point, which did make it easy for ordering. However, the drink itself was quite expensive compared to the other locations. The drink was very sour and bitter tasting, which some prefer but others do not enjoy. It had a strong aftertaste of bitter coffee and not much flavor of vanilla. The drink was made fairly quickly, but the atmosphere was lacking hospitality. It was very cold and slightly unpleasant. For the price, it definitely missed the mark for us. Rate: 4/10.
Students can never get enough Starbucks. Starbucks is known for its unique menu options and varieties that make it super easy to customize your drink. The seating options vary by location, but in the location on Mt. Hermon Rd. , there is plenty of room to work. The drink itself had a very strong vanilla flavor, yet it didn’t overpower the coffee entirely. It had no aftertaste and overall was great considering the price point. The mix of coffee and vanilla was near perfect, and we had nothing negative to say about the atmosphere or the beverage. Starbucks is a bit of a drive for students in the valley, but if you have the time it’s definitely a great place to pick up this drink or any other item on the menu. Rate: 8/10
Peet’s Coffee and Tea- Scotts Valley-$5.10
Pete’s is definitely much smaller than all the other locations. The menu was very simple, and the atmosphere was clean.. They offered free samples of their food items, and the employees were very quick and friendly. The drink itself was alright. The drink was very sweet at first and had a slightly bitter aftertaste. We had to mix this drink quite a bit ourselves in order to achieve a great taste. After the first couple sips, the drink turned out fairly good. It was more on the expensive side but was not a bad drink. The order came out very quickly and again, was not a bad drink. We do think though that it wasn’t completely worth the five dollars. Rate: 7/10
Overall, we all agreed that the White Raven had the best drink. The drink had a great price, and was made quickly. The atmosphere also comes in first, with the extremely cozy feel. This shop is a must for Valley students who need a quick morning coffee, or an after school pick me up. Starbucks came in second, with a great drink for the price also, just a slightly longer drive for those living in the Valley. The drink tasted great, although not as good as White Raven, it was for sure a close second. Pete’s came in third on our list. The drink was quite expensive, but wasn’t bad. Not our first choice for convenience or quality, but it’s definitely worth a try to see if you’d think different. Lastly was Coffee Cat, with this shop we were not impressed with either the drink or the atmosphere. The drink missed the mark in many categories, and it being in Scotts Valley, we’d definitely recommend trying Starbucks or Pete’s first. Now the ball’s in your court. What do you believe to the best coffee shop in the valley? Is your favorite on this list? Give your local shop a try today!
by Madison Reger
photo by One Sweet Appetite