If you’ve lived in Isla Vista for over a year now, you probably remember walking or biking past Coffee Collaborative, an artsy coffee spot next to Sam’s To Go. Recently, this cozy spot was closed only to be replaced by a new coffee shop known as Campus Point Coffee. As finals are steadily approaching, I took it upon myself to see what this coffee shop had to offer to treat my caffeine fix.
Unlike Coffee Collaborative, which was decorated in bright and abstract colors with guitars in the corner and cozy couches, Campus Point Coffee has a much more formal setting. The interior is decorated with fairly neutral colors with a picture of the ocean where a mural once was. The tables are simple and less casual than Coffee Collaborative’s setting. Nearly every table was filled with students diligently studying for their upcoming finals.
Upon looking at the menu, I contemplated ordering my typical nitro cold brew or choosing an option that was more unique to the shop. Ultimately, I chose a white chocolate latte with oat milk because I figured it was something I couldn’t order anywhere else nearby. Overall, the latte was good but just a little too sweet for my liking. In addition to oat milk, they also offer other non-dairy milks like almond and soy. Other unique drinks that caught my eye were the salted caramel latte and the eggnog latte. They also offer the typical, classic coffee drinks like macchiatos, cappuccinos and lattes, along with tea lattes like matcha or chai. Another interesting option they offered was blended iced coffee drinks.
Campus Point Coffee offers a variety of pastry options in the front, including croissants, breakfast sandwiches, donuts and cookies (including a vegan option). They also offer made-to-order food items including a variety of empanada options such as beef, chicken, breakfast style and vegan. Beyond their coffee drinks, they offer Italian soda, iced teas and kombucha.
While Campus Point Coffee has definitely aced their job of providing a variety of options and taken on a Santa Barbara spin with its local name, Coffee Collaborative will be missed dearly. Personally, I prefer more of a closed-off and quiet coffee shop to study in when I am cramming for finals, and the bright and open atmosphere of Campus Point Coffee is not the ideal atmosphere for me. The blasting music that could be heard from Sam’s next door also made it hard for me to picture myself concentrating there.
I were to go back to Campus Point Coffee, I probably would choose a simpler drink to sip and enjoy as I walk to class, rather than sitting in the shop itself. Overall, this new spot is a great addition to Isla Vista; it just can’t stand in the way of my love for Cajé, unfortunately.