Searching For The Best Iced Latte in Isla Vista

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Illustration by Echo Dieu

Linda Chong
Copy Editor

Coffee can easily be the highlight of your day. It’s just a matter of where to go. That’s where I come in. I’ve already done the walking, the spending, and the tasting so that you’ll know where to get your perfect cup of joe in Isla Vista. In order to keep things consistent across different coffee shops, I ordered the same iced hazelnut latte with oat milk in every store. If you have never tried oat milk, you have not lived long enough nor have you tasted the elixir of life. 

So without further ado, here is a guide to the best iced hazelnut latte with oat milk in I.V.

CAJÉ: 

The latte itself was well-rounded. The drink wasn’t grainy or too strong, but smooth and creamy. The syrup of the hazelnut combined with the oat milk brought that nutty flavor any coffee drinker would go crazy for. For those who prefer sweet coffee, you’ll be happy to find a small selection of simple syrup and other sugar alternatives at CAJÉ. The ice was a nice crescent shape that melted into bite-sized chips.

Everything seemed reasonable, but the only downside I found to CAJÉ’s latte was the bitter price of $6.62. The coffee was satisfying, but not worth the price.There’s an extra $0.50 charge for the latte to be iced. Unacceptable. My final verdict? 3.8 out of 5 baristas. 

 

i.v. drip: 

The famous place to get ice cream in I.V. surprisingly also has a selection of sandwiches, treats, and I oop — coffee. At first, the drink was a lukewarm, separated concoction of hot espresso and cold oat milk. As for the taste, the espresso in this coffee seemed a bit burnt — or bold I should say because technically, all beans are “roasted.” The hazelnut wasn’t too prevalent in this drink, but still nutty. 

In short, the coffee was average, and just satiating. The price of my latte came out to be five flat, which is acceptable, but not too thrilling. Final verdict? 3 out of 5 burnt coffee beans. 

 

Campus Point Coffee: 

Campus Point meets every mark that defines a coffee shop. It has good coffee, the price is average, and the vibes of the actual store is meant for studying, meeting, and socializing. The iced hazelnut latte with oat milk is truly set apart. The espresso has a strong presence in the drink, and is uplifted and amplified by the oat milk. The oat milk delivers an overwhelming, but anticipated nutty flavor, all in sync with the hazelnut syrup, a subtle backstage presence that packages the entire drink into one. The ice is that nice crescent shape, later sweet remnants of the latte. 

The overall cost of the experience was $5.66, which is the average price of coffee from your local coffee shop. Final verdict? 4.5 out of 5 days-I-debate-getting-campus-point-coffee. 

 

IV Bagel Cafe: 

Not only did Bagel Cafe have decent lattes, but they also had a surprising range of flavors and different alternatives for milk. The espresso tasted creamy and the hazelnut flavor combined well with their barista-blend oat milk. They hinted their eco-friendliness through paper-straws — we know how people feel about paper straws — and had a limited selection of sugars. Although they aren’t really known for their coffee, at least they serve one that wouldn’t disappoint.

For the price of $4.20 with the additional $0.50 for oat milk, this is a good option for those who want to enjoy good coffee for the price of boba or a sandwich. Final verdict? 4 out of 5 paper straws.

 

Spudnuts Donuts: 

Spudnuts unfortunately didn’t have iced lattes, but they did have iced coffee with available hazelnut cream. It’s not surprising that they didn’t have oat milk because they cater to an audience that comes for donuts. The coffee was $2.25, which is unreasonable for the quality. The coffee tasted old and burnt, almost like they refrigerated their old hot coffee and called it “iced coffee.” 

But with the purchase of a donut, the coffee wouldn’t be too bad. Think of it this way: Spudnuts’ usual audience wants a donut, not coffee. Final verdict? Donut get coffee here. 

This is the first of our series, The Best of I.V. Keep a look-out for upcoming articles! 

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