Amherst Coffee: not your everyday Starbucks

By Samantha Gillis

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Courtesy of Samantha Gillis

I should make it known that I am not a coffee drinker. Ever since secretly taking a sip of my mom’s coffee many years ago and promptly throwing up immediately after, I have avoided the stuff unless it was more or less sugar with a shot of coffee. Why do I feel the need to inform you of this? Because I went into Amherst Coffee recently and I liked it, and even if you’re a casual drinker of coffee you probably will too.

It’s a relatively small place with a limited number of seats, so if you go during a busy time, be prepared to take your drink to go. If you do stay, make sure you’ve got a beanie hat and Macbook on hand to blend in with the crowd.

If you go at the right time you might be treated to some live music. There were two musicians playing guitar and singing. It sort of faded into the background like a radio would. It was the type of music you might hear in the trailer of an independent movie. Think “Juno.” After they left, they turned on the elevator music.

I had looked up reviews before I went, and while most raved about the coffee, many were unsatisfied with the staff saying they were unfriendly and distant. They definitely weren’t jumping up and down for every costumer that walked in the door, but they weren’t unfriendly either. Even when I ordered multiple drinks at once and then sat down alone with all of them.

Now onto the drinks:

Coffee: Like I said before I don’t like coffee but I liked this. I asked the barista what type of coffee they sold the most and she suggested the dark Italian roast. It was very bold without being too strong. I would recommend it.

Hot Chocolate: For those who aren’t willing to try coffee or just aren’t in the mood they offer hot chocolate. It was relatively plain and very light on chocolate with a light layer of foam on top. So, while it may not satisfy a sweet tooth, it isn’t going to make you feel sick after drinking the whole thing, like some hot chocolate can. Not my favorite.

Tea: Again, faced with many options I asked the barista what the most popular tea was and she pointed me to the loose-leaf jasmine tea. I love the smell of jasmine so this tea smelt absolutely gorgeous. A nice change from the dark tea I’m used to but I probably wouldn’t get it again. It was very, very light and there was too much to it.

All in all, if you haven’t ventured past Starbucks to get a cup of coffee off campus, I would stop in the next time you’re downtown. If you don’t want to spend the money on something you aren’t sure you’ll love, you can get a coupon for a free coffee of their website by signing up for their newsletter.

Samantha Gillis can be reached for comment at [email protected]