COLUMN: A cafe connoisseur’s guide to Charleston area coffee shops

Ci+Richardson+is+a+music+education+major+and+can+be+reached+at+217-581-2812.

Rob Le Cates

Ci Richardson is a music education major and can be reached at 217-581-2812.

Ci Richardson, Columnist

If you heard a loud gasp and squeal last night on Lincoln Ave., it was me. I have never been more excited to see a Dunkin’ in my life.

I am a self-claimed cafe connoisseur and I drink way too much caffeine. I was always sad about the coffee options in this town. Jackson Avenue Coffee is probably my favorite place in this whole town, but they close early and they don’t have matcha.

One of my favorite pastimes is to sit in a coffee shop from open to close. I did it at the coffee shop I worked at for years. It was the comfiest and coziest vibes and now I can do that at more than JAC (as a traditional barista, I don’t condone Starbucks).

I know some people love Java, but I don’t because they don’t have oat milk. Also, their hours aren’t consistent or convenient, so I only personally go there when I am near it.

As I said earlier, I was a barista. I worked for two years and it was my favorite job I have ever had. I was able to have a cafe beverage whenever I wanted and try many drinks.

My favorite beverage is an iced chai latte with oat milk, but a close second is an iced matcha latte with oat milk. That’s why I’m so excited about Dunkin’ coming to town is because their iced matchas are better than Starbucks and cheaper.

Plus, there’s more options for food at Dunkin’ than the rest of the coffee places in town. Highly recommend the pesto grilled cheese for lunch, and a chocolate croissant for breakfast.

Most people will probably go for the donuts, but sadly I am not a sweets type of person. There are many other cafe beverages that I personally love and could list forever.

I’m also not a pumpkin spice person, but I understand the appeal. When it’s the winter season, I’m the way most are about pumpkin spice lattes with peppermint mochas. I love mint, and that brings me to my third favorite drink.

If you are a peppermint mocha fan like me, I highly recommend the “Creamy Mint Mocha” at Jackson Avenue Coffee. You may need to ask for a bit more mint in this mocha than JAC normally puts in it, otherwise it tastes the exact same as a peppermint mocha.

I don’t stray from my usuals because it is hard for me to change up routines. I want to start trying more drinks at JAC and Dunkin’ but there’s too many options.

If you have any suggestions on what to try from either of those places I’d love to hear.

Ci Richardson is a music education major. They can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.