Southeastern Connecticut’s Local Coffee Shop Gems


Mack Jackson, Reporter

People often argue about where the best place is to get coffee.  Some shops are notorious for sweeter coffee while others are known for their bitter coffee.

Starbucks, one of the most well-known coffee shops internationally, is one of the two chains I rated. In each coffee shop, an iced latte with almond milk was ordered; in which, not only was the coffee ranked, but the ambiance, cleanliness, and customer service in the stores as well. All of these rankings are out of 10 points. Overall, Starbucks’ coffee ranked an 8.3 out of 10. The energy of the store was a 7, as well as the cleanliness. In regards to the customer service, the majority of workers are very welcoming while only a small handful are not. Another chain store in this experiment involved Panera Bread, mainly known for its soup and famous bread bowls. An iced latte with almond milk was ordered here too and earned a 6.5 out of 10. When it comes to the energy of the store it receives a 9 out of 10 as it has a very welcoming atmosphere. The majority of the time the workers are kind and get 7.2 and the cleanliness obtained a 7.8. Out of the two, Starbucks ranks higher as the overall cleanliness of the store and quality of the coffee is better.

Downtown New London is filled with many local businesses to support. This includes Muddy Waters Cafe, a cozy little coffee house nestled in downtown New London. Their iced latte with almond milk receives an 8.5 as it had a strong flavor and was not watered down by the ice. As for the ambiance, Muddy Cafe ties for first, as it has a very welcoming environment. The customer service was fantastic as all the workers were friendly and more than willing to help. Cleanliness also receives a 10 out of 10 as the cafe was well spotless and organized. Heading to Niantic, guests are greeted by Cafe Sol. In this cafe, the cleanliness and customer service acquired a 10 out of 10 as the quality could not be better in this case. However, the coffee only gets a 7.5 because a coffee concentrate was used in place of espresso. This affected the flavor as it did not have a strong coffee flavor. Comparing Muddy Waters to Cafe Sol, the shop with the better overall visit was Muddy Waters.

Despite the convenience of Starbucks, Muddy Waters receives the win for the best coffee shop. Despite Starbucks being an easier option in the mornings, Muddy Waters’s ambiance and overall experience makes it my go-to when I’m looking for a pick-me-up in the morning.