Every week I, political communications junior Hannah Primeaux, will be visiting various local coffee shops in Baton Rouge and reviewing them based on atmosphere, taste, decor, seating and more.
Reviews will first be posted on The Reveille's official Instagram story and will feature a different LSU student each week. The full reviews can be found below and will be updated every Sunday! You can follow us on Instagram here.
Magpie Cafe: eight out of 10
Magpie Cafe is a small little coffee and baked goods shop located at 3205 Perkins Road, where all of the workers care about not just the drinks they make, but about every customer that comes through the shop.
The interior décor is simple and aesthetically pleasing; the outdoor lighting creates an atmosphere perfect for spending time with friends well into the evening. Digital advertising junior Jordan Holloway described it as, "a peaceful haven amid a bustling city." However, the café is located on a major highway, meaning there is constant loud noise and honking, making it difficult to hear the people you are sitting with.
There were many places to sit both inside and outside, for big and small groups alike. The chairs are comfortable, but a little hard, so staying for a while is not a great option.
The latte was creamy and smooth and the first latte I've tried so far that was not bitter. It was a nice pick-me-up without being overly intense. Their specialty drink, the Roosevelt, on the other hand was incredibly intense. A shot of espresso shaken with three ounces of cold brew and milk is enough caffeine to keep you up for quite a long time.
"Until trying the Roosevelt, coffee had yet to spur a party in my mouth," said Holloway. "I felt the energy with every sip, yet the drink forfeited no flavor."
Overall, I will definitely be visiting Magpie again, but I will probably sit inside next time.
Hannah’s scores Jordan’s scores
Atmosphere: 7/10 7/10
Iced latte: 8.5/10 7/10
Specialty: 7/10 10/10
Seating: 7/10 8/10
Decor: 7/10 10/10
Overall: 8/10 8/10
La Divina: eight out of 10
Visiting La Divina is like returning home for the first time in a while and having your entire family there to greet you. It's loud, but welcoming, personal and overall a good experience.
The walls of the shop are covered in local art for sale, which coastal environmental sciences junior Jacob Cheng said added to the "nice and calm" color scheme.
There are lots of seating options both inside and outdoors. On the inside, there is a separate section toward the back of the shop that has booths, which are great for studying when you want somewhere a little quieter than the front area. The only downside to having tons of seating options in a small building is that it feels incredibly crowded almost all the time.
The coffee was phenomenal. The espresso had a strong, bold flavor that was great on its own, but when coupled with almond milk created a texture and flavor that melted in your mouth.
La Divina's specialty drink is an affogato that features your pick of gelato flavor and a shot of espresso. Ours had the honey lavender gelato, which has an overwhelming flavor that matches the espresso. At first the drink was great but after the gelato had melted, the flavor lost its touch.
I will definitely be visiting La Divina again, if not for the coffee, absolutely for the workers and the food.
Hannah’s scores Jacob’s scores
Atmosphere: 8/10 8/10
Iced latte: 9.5/10 7/10
Specialty: 8/10 8/10
Seating: 8/10 7/10
Decor: 7/10 9/10
Overall: 8/10 7.75/10
Highland Coffees: eight out of 10
Highland Coffees, located at 3350 Highland Rd, is the easiest local coffee shop to access from campus.
The coffee shop has lots of seating options both indoors and outdoors for people to study or chat with friends. However, it is often crowded and loud, making it difficult to actually focus and study. The shop also plays classical music at all times–and while it is a nice touch–coupling that with the already loud volume of chatty customers makes it difficult to accomplish anything.
The shop features lively art along the interior walls and a large painted mural on the back, creating a pleasant environment. The outdoor mural is complemented by numerous plants found in the patio area. Some students, including communication studies and history junior Madeline Holmes, consider the plants to "look forgotten about."
While the name of the shop is Highland Coffees, the shop features more than just coffee, like their iced teas, their pastries and their specialty drink, the Highland Sunrise. This off-menu item is a refreshing green tea mixed with lemonade and raspberry. It was sweet without tasting syrupy, which is exactly what I look for in my iced tea.
The latte, on the other hand, was not sweet at all. It had a strong espresso flavor, leaning on the bitter side. Out of the drinks reviewed thus far, Highland Coffee's espresso blends better with the milk than any other. It creates a rich texture that adds another level to the drink.
Overall, Highland is a great place to study and spend time with friends, as long as you're not caught during the busy hours.
Hannah’s scores Madeline’s scores
Atmosphere: 8/10 8/10
Iced latte: 7/10 8/10
Specialty: 9/10 8/10
Seating: 8.5/10 9/10
Decor: 8.5/10 6.5/10
Overall: 8/10 8.5/10
Brew Ha-Ha!: seven out of 10
Brew Ha-Ha!, located at 711 Jefferson Hwy, is unlike any other coffee shop I've been to in Baton Rouge.
The inside walls display a large array of local art, creating an eccentric atmosphere that feels welcoming. The structure of the building is split into three sections with varying amounts of space and noise levels, providing individual areas for customers to study, chat with friends, etc.
While this concept is clever, the only area with size-inclusive seating is the backmost room, which is typically the quietest. This made it awkward to have conversation with elementary education junior Caroline Durr as we tried to respect those studying in silence around us.
The almond milk latte had a very bitter taste and an inconsistent flavor. Durr's drink of choice, a cold brew with pumpkin spice foam, had very muted, unsweet flavor since the pumpkin spice consisted of just a spice powder on top. While I wasn't a big fan of the cold brew, Durr said she enjoyed that the flavor wasn't overpowering, unlike most fall-themed specialty drinks.
My overall thoughts are that I would come again to either study or spend time with friends– if not for the coffee, at least for the cake pops and local art.
Hannah’s scores Caroline’s scores
Atmosphere: 7/10 9/10
Iced latte: 8/10 8.5/10
Cold brew: 6/10 8/10
Seating: 5/10 8/10
Decor: 9/10 10/10
Overall: 7/10 9/10
City Roots Coffee Bar: seven out of 10
City Roots Coffee Bar is an aesthetically pleasing brewery found on 1509 Government Street. The building is small but the large ceilings and exposed brick make the inside feel much larger. There’s plenty of seating for all types of groups, from big tables for large groups, to bar stools looking out over the window for individuals to study and get work done.
The atmosphere itself is great, the workers are very nice and the music is always good. However, when there are a lot of guests and the music is playing, it is very loud inside. Luckily, there is still seating outside to lessen the distractions, but these chairs are not very comfortable if you’re planning on staying for a while.
Psychology and criminology sophomore Susanna Schoek and I tried two drinks at City Roots: an iced almond milk latte and their specialty cold brew de crema. The latte had a good flavor but was incredibly strong. I recommend it if you like the taste of coffee, but, if you aren’t a fan of coffee and still need something to wake you up, the cold brew de crema is definitely the way to go. It features their in-house brewed cold brew and cream in a layered drink that tastes like ice cream. It’s amazing, but very sweet.
Overall I would definitely go to City Roots again, but probably not to study, just to visit with friends.
Hannah’s scores Susanna’s scores
Atmosphere: 7/10 8/10
Iced latte: 8/10 9/10
Cold brew: 7.5/10 7/10
Seating: 7/10 7.5/10