True confession:
My transition to left-wing yuppie is complete.  Over the last year or two, I’ve become a latte girl.

I blame it entirely on Melissa Kruger (Smith AC ’03) at the Elbow Room on Green Street in Northampton.  Made the mistake of coming in starting in fall of ’04 for a caramel latte with cinnamon on top, and I’ve been a sucker ever since.  Having a four hour long class on Tuesdays this spring and requiring something to drink for my ADD self to focus didn’t help either.

Melissa (and her now moved on employee Joe) make the best lattes in town.  For serious.  To make sure, I tried them at almost every other place in Northampton (except Shelburne Falls on King ’cause I never got down that way at times I wanted a latte)…and yeah, it’s the truth.

Now that I’m back in Wisconsin, I’m on the search for the best latte in Wauwatosa…not an easy feat when the major cafe nearby is Starbucks.  Watch this space for more ratings.

Places I’ve Been
-Starbucks, 1417 Wauwatosa Ave: Caffe Latte w/shot of caramel.  Not bad in a pinch, actually.  My complaint has always been that SB burns their beans on purpose, but they’re not doing it as much in Tosa.  A little too sweet to start out, actually, as if the caramel was added last instead of the espresso.  Tsk.
-Alterra Mayfair Mall, 2500 Mayfair Rd: speshul caramel drink that is basically a latte with whipped cream on top.  Nice.  A bit too sweet all the way though, though that could be the whipped cream, which is optional.  Brilliant value.
-Alterra at the Lake, 1701 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr: latte w/caramel shot.  This isn’t in Tosa, but it’s worth an addition solely because the ambience is great.  Actually, I like this better than their specialty drink (see above).
-One Way Cafe, 1427 Underwood Ave: latte w/caramel shot.  Grah.  They put too much caramel in, and the milk was slightly off.  Tasted a bit…cardboardy to me.  Good price, but not so good drink.  Almost like pudding from a box.
-Caribou Coffee, 418 N. Mayfair Rd: latte with caramel shot.  Brilliant, with the right ratio of espresso, milk, and caramel.  Almost as good as Elbow Room in Noho.  Seriously.  Not to mention their coffee is fair trade, or so the guys said.
EDIT (7/07): I had a Caramel Highrise at the one on Calhoun and Bluemound and it was very tasty indeed.
-Cranky Al’s, 6903 W. North Ave: latte with caramel shot.  Not bad but not the best thing ever.  Still, it’s good to patronize local businesses, and they do baked goods that are so good that it would make up for any latte loss.  Not to mention friendly people.  Downside is that they aren’t open for coffee in the afternoon, which is often when I want some.
-City Market, 8725 W. North Ave: latte.  They do their lattes more like they do in Europe here.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but not always what I’m looking for.  Also, wtf ugly building outside.

Places I Haven’t Been
-Gloria Jean’s Mayfair Mall, 2500 N. Mayfair Rd: Been in WI a long time, but if I’m at the mall I’d rather have Alterra, ’cause I know what I’m getting into.

Got a suggestion for somewhere to go?  Leave a comment.

Title swiped, with apologies, from Amanda Hesser’s fun book.  Unlike her husband, I don’t drink lattes after dinner.  Mostly.

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