Autumn is full of fallen leaves, crisp weather and pumpkin spice lattes. Coffee shops over the years have released new fall themed drinks, from the ever so famous pumpkin spice latte to chai tea lattes and many more. If you are tired of the national coffee chains and are looking for something more local, here are two that are up to par with their coffee and espresso.
Homer’s Coffee House
By Gracyn Shulista
When you step into Homer’s in Downtown Overland Park, you are met with the scent of, of course, coffee, and the oh so bright color orange. It made me take a step back because it did not have the dim-light, “cozy” aesthetic most coffee places have.
Homer’s is a little under 20 minutes from the college and when we arrived in the late afternoon there were a few people working in their inside sitting area quietly, and a few more at their outdoor tables. The seating area inside had many options of places to sit from low-top tables, high-top and even some comfy chairs throughout the area. The barista was ready to take our order as soon as we walked in the door and they whipped up our coffees faster than we could sit down.
The environment inside Homer’s is very quaint and quiet. It’s kind of a hole-in-the-wall type of coffeehouse. Not too popular where you’ll have to worry about waiting, but there’s still a good amount of people that come. Similarly, to Pour there is a pastry area which had some seasonal snacks as well as standard breakfast items like croissants and breakfast burritos. The baristas whipped up our drinks and handed them to us. We sat near the counter at a high-top table to enjoy our drinks.
If you are a “grab a coffee and go” type, then you are in luck. Downtown Overland Park is a great area to walk around with a coffee in hand and a couple of friends. You can do some shopping at the small shops that are walking distance away and even snap a couple “insta-worthy” pics in front of the gorgeous buildings and murals.
To get down to business, the coffee was middle-of-the-road. The Pumpkin Patch Cold Brew with almond milk tasted like a piece of pumpkin pie…but there was barely any coffee taste. Not to say it was bad, but the flavors were very muted and almost watered-down. So, if you like pumpkin pie and don’t enjoy the taste of coffee, maybe this is perfect for you. The iced Vanilla Latte with almond milk, was in fact, quite delicious. There was just enough flavor to make it a good pick-me-up for slow afternoons when you need to get work done. It was perfectly cool with just the right sweetness to balance the coffee taste. The price for the drinks was perfect. Not so expensive that you feel like you need to check your bank account before you order and not so cheap you are worried if it will taste good.
If I had to choose to go to one place or another, I would choose Homer’s. I am not a lover of fall drinks anyway and usually stick to the basics, which in my opinion Homer’s does best. Homer’s may have not been as aesthetically pleasing as Pour, but the location being in downtown OP makes up for it tremendously. Additionally, the price is relatively cheap in comparison to Pour. There’s plenty of room inside and outside to study or hang out with friends. If you just want a simple coffeehouse to go to Homer’s is definitely the place to go. I see Homer’s as being a safe choice, it may be a little basic, but you know exactly what you are going to be getting and it’s good every time.
By Alieu Jagne
We arrived at Pour around 6:00 p.m. which was 30 minutes before they close. When we walked in, we were greeted by the barista. We quickly ordered the seasonal fall drink and our standard Vanilla Almond milk latte. Pour changes their menu seasonally, this year they have three fall-themed beverages. For our purposes we ordered the Great White Pumpkin Latte which has a double shot of espresso, white chocolate flavor, real pumpkin spice and steamed milk. We ordered ours with almond milk (we’re both lactose sensitive). I ordered a pumpkin spice cookie as well.
After ordering we sat down in the lounge area. The vibe of Pour can be described as the perfect down-the-street café. When you walk in you are immediately hit with the smell of freshly brewed coffee and warm pastries. The decorations are very aesthetically pleasing, and you can tell a lot of thought has gone into decorating and planning the layout of the store. Each wall contains motivational quotes, small framed pictures and artwork from local artists. I could literally go on and on about how cute this coffee shop is. It’s like walking into your dream coffee shop.
Additionally, the service is excellent. Even though there was only one barista we only waited for five to 10 minutes before receiving both of our drinks and cookie. At first, we sat at a marble table that had a potted plant, but upon realizing the store was closing soon we grabbed our items and sat in their outdoor seating area. The weather was ideal to enjoy our drinks; not too cold, but not too hot.
I have tried the vanilla almond milk latte before, so I wasn’t surprised it was delicious upon first sip. The blend of coffee they use is not too strong but has the essence of coffee. I also love the vanilla flavor and the almond milk they use. Neither are too intense, and both do a good job at complimenting the coffee. Next, I tried The Great White Pumpkin latte and wow. This drink is so good. I’ve been a fan of pumpkin spice flavored drinks since I can remember, and this was all the things I love about them. Some pumpkin drinks can be too overpowering and can almost feel like you’re being slapped in the face by a pumpkin; but this was not the case with Pour. Their drink was a perfect balance of fall flavors. There was the pumpkin (obviously) and the standard coffee flavor, but what really puts this drink above all the rest is the addition of white chocolate. To me this made the drink excellent for an autumn evening.
As I stated previously, I ordered a pumpkin spice cookie and that was amazing as well. It was thick and soft baked. The ends were a little toasty and the inside was the soft, melt-in-your-mouth consistency. The pumpkin frosting on top helped keep the cookie from being too dry and added an extra hint of pumpkin spice, which was greatly appreciated.
When comparing the two coffee houses, I would say Pour is the superior one. Not only do they change their menu seasonally, the environment and baristas make it a welcoming place to study or catch up with friends. While it may be a little out of the way for some people who live closer to the college, it’s without a doubt worth the drive. The menu is so extensive that even if you don’t like coffee you still might find something tasty. Their baked goods are always so enticing, and they do a good job of having a mix of savory and sweet foods.
The price leans on the more expensive side when it comes to coffee, but remember you’re paying for a quality drink and experience.