A lot of latte in LaGrange

Marin Worley 

National Coffee Day was celebrated on Sunday, September 29th. As the love for all things coffee grows, cafes and coffee-house chains are growing in number and offer varying experiences from grabbing a coffee to go, or sitting down to a meal and studying for hours. 

I set out on National Coffee day on a quest to find the best coffee shop in downtown LaGrange, in hopes of informing students of the best place to enjoy a cup and be productive at the same time. 

OWL & LARK- 41 S. LaGrange Road

The first stop was Owl and Lark. This cafe is known for its inviting, calm and modern atmosphere. Upon arrival, I was greeted with ambient music, along with trendy decor scattered throughout. 

The set up of the café is quite nice, as there are a few tables that would be sufficient  for one to two people to study. There is also a large table in the center of the space that would be great for working on a group project or a group study. 

After ordering a small iced vanilla latte, I was informed that the smallest size the drink came in was 16 ounces (as opposed to a 12 ounce tall at Starbucks). This may be a plus for some, but too large of a drink may be off-putting to others. I paid $4.50, and waited for my drink to be made. 

The only con to Owl and Lark was the wait time for a drink: it took about five minutes. This will be disappointing for those who hope to quickly grab a coffee. The taste of the drink was very good however, as it was not too sweet, and still maintained the integrity of the coffee flavor.

 Overall, I enjoyed my experience at Owl and Lark: the drink was very good and the study space was nice, but the wait time for the drink may be a problem for some. 

STARBUCKS – 38 S. LaGrange Road

Only a stone’s throw away from Owl and Lark, Starbucks is another popular coffee shop that is usually reliable. I crossed the street and ordered a tall iced vanilla latte, paid $3.45, and waited only a couple minutes for my drink to be made: it was quick compared to Owl and Lark. 

Upon first taste, the drink was much sweeter than the drink at Owl and Lark, and also had a stronger vanilla flavor. I would recommend the Starbucks’ iced vanilla latte for those who enjoy sweeter drinks over stronger coffee. 

In terms of study space, there are small tables along with high-top tables near the back of the store. The tables are better suited for one or two people, rather than a large group. However, the small tables may be pushed together to create a larger study environment.

 There is ambient music playing, which some students may find helpful, whereas others may find it distracting. The interior of the café was similar to a standard Starbucks, as there were interesting paintings and pictures hanging on the walls.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Starbucks: the drink tasted very good, and there were many seating options for one or two people. The only downside to studying at Starbucks is the lack of larger tables which makes it hard to study with a group. 


My last stop was just a few doors down from Starbucks. Blackberry Market offers a competitive study space and an iced vanilla latte on the menu. I ordered a small and paid $4.75. My drink was delivered in about a minute and a half. Blackberry Market clocks in as the fastest of the three cafes and I was impressed. If you’re looking to maximize your study time, and minimize your wait time, this cafe is the place for you.

After tasting the drink, however, I noticed that there was a lack of vanilla flavor, and that the aftertaste was very strong cinnamon. 

The space of Blackberry Market was very inviting: there were varied types of tables throughout. For example, there were tables suitable for two people, all the way up to four to six people to sit and study. This is a great place to study individually or with a group. There was ambient music playing in the background, offering a comforting environment. I believe that Blackberry Market offers the best environment to study with a group. 

Overall, I loved the atmosphere of the café, the seating options and the speedy service. The drink was okay, too, but lacked the vanilla flavor of the others.