Coffee has been a long time love of mine. Honestly, I don’t know what I would do without it. My biggest inspiration in this category is hands down my nana. Although my entire family is pretty impressive when it comes to caffeine consumption, this outstanding woman can drink a whole pot of coffee and then go straight to bed. I’m pretty sure she ends every meal, conversation or just general gathering of any type of audience, with the phrase “should I put a pot of coffee on?”. I love it. I strive to be on her level.

If you don’t already know, I am currently located in Columbus, Ohio. As a fast growing city it is definitely not lacking in fresh finds in the caffeine department. I realized that for the entire month of October, I spent five dollars every day at Starbucks getting the same. exact. drink. Every day. Grande pumpkin chai latte with skim milk, please! I know, I just lost all of my street cred from true coffee fans. Don’t give up on me yet, I promise I realize how wrong my ways have been…

I decided it was time to explore the underground coffee scene that this city had to offer. To be completely honest, these places aren’t really underground at all but that sounds so much cooler, right? Naturally, I forced my roommate and one of my best friends, Lucia, to join me on this mission (huge shoutout to Lucia, this definitely wasn’t the first time I had volunteered her for a task she’d never signed up for). We’re still on an active hunt for the best coffee in Columbus. However, we’ve found it very, very difficult so far, seeing as every single one of the cafe’s we’ve been to has been so incredible in their own unique way.

Okay, let me stop babbling and let’s talk coffee! Below you will find the ratings (on a very official letter grading scale) from both Lucia & I, along with a few comments about why we gave our grade. These reviews are brought to you by an avid coffee drinker since the age of 12 (I pin this as the reason I’m only 5’1) and the expertise of an Ohio State University barista (shouts out, Lucia! word on the street is you give people six butters for their bagels… you just know what the people want). Alright, let’s get brewin’!

The Roosevelt Coffeehouse

Courtney’s Order: Cranberry Cinnamon Iced Coffee

  • coffee: B+ . Loved the thought behind the mixture of flavors!
  • food: N/A
  • aesthetic (coffee): B+ . Really liked the fact that they took the time to top with fresh cranberry & cinnamon.
  • aesthetic (interior): A . Definitely the best destination if you’re looking for a study spot!! Great lighting, big tables and respectful atmosphere.

Lucia’s Order: Iced Vietnamese Coffee

  • coffee: B+ . Overall enjoyed coffee! However, and I quote, “not enough ice… 2/3 of the cup, my friends!!” .
  • food: N/A
  • aesthetic (coffee): B . There’s really not much that can be done with an iced coffee but the glass was unique.
  • aesthetic (interior): A . Loved the calm ambience and natural lighting. Great space!

p.s. they offer merch… t shirts, crewnecks, etc. They even give you free stickers, so +5 bonus points for Roosevelt (even though we’re using a letter grading scale, work with me guys, you get the point) !

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MMELO Boutique Confections

Courtney’s Order: Charcoal Honey Lavender Latte (minus the charcoal) . Earl Gray & Lavender Ganache Cardamom Shortbread Cookie Tea Cake. Lemon Ginger Jellies.

  • coffee: B+ . If I did it again, I would definitely get the charcoal in it…
  • food: A+. C’mon, hand crafted tea cakes?! Amazing.
  • aesthetic (coffee): B+ . The barista warned us that she didn’t know how to make foam art yet and I completely respect that honesty. You still crafted an amazing latte, let me tell you.
  • aesthetic (interior): A+ . This is the place you want to take your family when they come to visit. They aren’t lying about being a boutique style cafe. Cutest interior! (also best instagram photo stop!!!)

Lucia’s Order: Charcoal Honey Lavender Latte (minus the charcoal) . Banana Caramel & Pecan Shortbread Cookie Tea Cake. Spice Bar with Pumpkin Seed, Brittle, Papaya, and Edible Rose.

  • coffee: B+ . Agreed, would absolutely get the charcoal next time.
  • food: A+ . Little tea cake was so damn good…
  • aesthetic (coffee): B+ . The mugs were huge, which is always a positive!
  • aesthetic (interior): A+ . So precious inside! Perfect place to take anyone visiting. Would like to stay here forever, please.

Red Velvet Cafe

Courtney’s Order: Cortadito Cubano. Avocado toast & chocolate chip cookie

  • coffee: A+ . This was 110% the best coffee I have tasted on this journey so far. Perfectly crafted.
  • food: A . The. Avocado. Toast. nuff said. Just kidding, get the chocolate chip cookie too, it’s a damn dream.
  • aesthetic (coffee): A+ . Came in the tiniest of cups, matched with the tiniest of plates… you already know I’m sold.
  • aesthetic (interior): B+ . It was rather small but felt so comfortable. Wasn’t overcrowded, which is hard to find in this city.

Lucia’s Order: Matcha Latte. Avocado toast & apple cinnamon cupcake

  • coffee: B . To be fair, didn’t order a coffee this time, but would have liked a bit more matcha flavor!
  • food: A+ . The avocado toast definitely made up for the lack of substance in the cupcake (would still rate the cupcake an A- on its own!) .
  • aesthetic (coffee): A . Loved the coffee art!
  • aesthetic (interior): B+ . The bar itself isn’t much to look at, but the view facing the window is so nice! A warped wood counter, iron lettering on the wall with their name. Very pleasing to look at.
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Roaming Goat Coffee

Courtney’s Order: Honey Latte & Gingerbread Creamcheese donut

  • coffee: A+ . You guys. This large coffee came with five shots of espresso . What more could you ask for??
  • food: A . The flavoring of the donut was just the right amount of sweet!
  • aesthetic (coffee): A . As can be seen in the photo above, the coffee art was nothing short of perfection.
  • aesthetic (interior): B- . Very minimalistic, which is refreshing but also a tad boring (I’m sorry, that sounds so harsh, I don’t mean it to be!)

Lucia’s Order: Cubano & Raspberry Hibiscus donut.

  • coffee: A+ . Annndddd we have a winner !!! So far, this was my favorite coffee. It was the perfect mixture of coffee and milk that I’ve been looking for.
  • food: A . The donut was very good but I tend to appreciate a bit more over-the-top flavoring.
  • aesthetic (coffee): A . Just look at that coffee art!
  • aesthetic (interior): B- . Not too much to look at inside. A bit smaller due to its location in the Short North.

That wraps up our coffee journey thus far… ratings to be continued after payday on Friday. Stay tuned!