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New Trier News

The student news site of New Trier High School

New Trier News

The student news site of New Trier High School

New Trier News

Tala Coffee Roasters: A new Trevian hotspot?

A review of the ‘sweet, beautiful coffee’ on Winnetka Ave
Tala Coffee Roasters is a new coffee shop about a block away from the Winnetka campus

Opening a coffee shop near a high school is a very smart business move. Tala Coffee Roasters, which recently opened a new location right down the street from New Trier High School’s Winnetka campus, is poised to benefit from its location. 

Obviously, one of the best features of this coffee shop is its proximity to New Trier. I personally walk past Tala when heading to school every morning, and with it being right by the Indian Hill train station, every student has very easy access. However, while Tala being close to school is very convenient, not all coffee shops are created equal, so it is important that my fellow caffeine addicts at New Trier get all the information before trying out a new coffee spot. 

I could honestly see myself going back just for the vibe, as it is the perfect place to hang out with friends or study. 

I enjoyed my experience at Tala Coffee Roasters very much, and I was most impressed by the cozy atmosphere of the shop. Due to the ample decor, including festive sayings on little plaques (happy tala days!), plants whose green leaves smiled down on everyone from high shelves, and a friendly staff who conversed with customers over a bustling coffee bar, there was a very welcoming feel. 

The seating arrangements seemed to have us students in mind, as there were several booths tucked away and high chairs lined up near the large windows—both great for anyone looking to get some homework done. When I was there, there were plenty of people around—but not so many that it was impossible to find a seat. I could honestly see myself going back just for the vibe, as it is the perfect place to hang out with friends or study. 

I suppose this wouldn’t be a very good review if I didn’t talk about the coffee. I ordered a caramel latte and nitro cold brew with vanilla. The latte turned out to be absolute perfection: the presentation was beautiful, with its swirls of foam art, and the eight ounce size was just the right amount. This latte had a very smooth taste, and the caramel added some flavor but was not overpowering. There was a bit of a wait for that drink, but it was worth it. 

Conversely, the cold brew was ready in almost no time. I enjoyed the latte more, but the bourbon vanilla syrup that they used for the cold brew was delicious. I also appreciated that they served this drink with a metal straw, as it is a way of being environmentally conscious without handing out paper straws that completely disintegrate. 

Being at a similar price point as Starbucks, the coffee was pretty expensive. Including the add-in flavors, the drinks were about five dollars a piece—same as my usual Starbucks order. However, due to the high quality of Tala and Starbucks coffee, the price makes sense.

Not a fan of coffee? The menu also includes a few fun, non-coffee options like hot chocolate, chai, matcha lattes, and tea. By offering these and a seasonal holiday drink menu in addition to traditional coffee options, there is a lot to choose from. The drinks are also decently customizable. For example, Tala offers four different add-in syrups—bourbon vanilla, caramel, honey, and lavender—and several milk alternatives. 

In addition to the coffees, I ordered pastries. Tala had a variety of donuts and a few types of muffins. I got an apple fritter and an apple crumble muffin. The fritter was delicious, and I would certainly buy it again. I preferred it to the muffin, but Tala’s muffins are still of a higher quality than the ones served at the East Side cafe. 

After visiting Tala, I see it becoming very popular for New Trier students. My impression of the place was altogether very positive and, especially with finals season approaching, I will be including Tala as one of my go-to study spots and think other New Trier students should as well.  

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