Ananya Nandyala

Featured is the painted logo of local coffee shop Summer Moon.

Column: Summer Moon Coffee Review

About Summer Moon: 

Known for their oak roasted coffee, Summer Moon is a Texas-based franchise that originated in Austin. The coffee shop came to be after the founding family won coffee making equipment at an auction in 2002. After 20 years, local demand prompted the company to open over 40 locations all over Texas.

Their unique wood-fired coffee roasting method produces coffee with a distinctly bold taste and smooth texture. The majority of the drinks featured on their menu also include their special Moon Milk, a signature sweet cream. Their different coffee blends and moon milk can be purchased in person at the store or online on their website. They also sell merchandise including apparel, candles and mugs. 

As you step into the coffee shop, you enter a welcoming environment. The smell of coffee beans permeates the air as the sounds stemming from the clinking of teacups create a cozy atmosphere. Summer Moon has a rusty wood aesthetic with yellow accent lights and wooden furniture. The black and white pictures covering the wall and relaxed decor establishes the warm ambiance that many look for in coffee shops. There is a variety of seating, from benches for chatting and tables for work.

Although the inside of the cafe is a bit cramped, they compensate for the crowd with an outside patio area. The outside setting is perfect for the fall and spring seasons. It’s lush with greenery and flowers, and matches the inside rustic feel with wooden furniture. The combination of accent lights and colorful plants makes for adorable pictures. Although the area is outdoors, it is neatly maintained and pleasant to relax in after a long day. During the weekdays, the patio is silent, creating the perfect spot for work, though this might change during the weekends or holidays. 

As we take time off from schoolwork, we want to share our opinions on some of this year’s Summer Moon Coffee shop’s seasonal and original drinks and snacks. 

(Iced) Autumn Moon Latte: 

Released earlier this year, the iced Autumn Moon Latte is a great blend of their signature sweet cream, Moon Milk, oat roasted espresso, and autumn spices. Despite being the fall favorite, the drink basically tasted like their Winter Moon Latte with a hint of cinnamon. The flavor of the spices was hardly apparent as they didn’t combine well into the cold drink. Thus, if you are wanting a stronger “fall” flavor, I would recommend ordering the drink hot instead of iced. 

Our rating: 7/10

The new Gingerbread Cold Brew is topped with Moon Milk cold foam. (Ananya Nandyala)

Gingerbread Cold Brew: 

Never judge a book by its cover. This Gingerbread Cold Brew’ looks magnificent as the cold foam satisfyingly trickles into the coffee before mixing the drink. However, after our initial taste test, we felt that it was a regular cold brew with a hint of vanilla. If you’re wanting a gingerbread-like drink, this one may not be for you, as the gingerbread flavor is barely noticeable. Although we were most excited to try it, this cold brew did not fulfill our expectations. 

Our rating: 4.5/10

(Iced) Christmas Cookie Latte: 

The Iced Christmas Cookie Latte is a wintery drink topped with red, white, and green star-shaped sprinkles and whipped cream. Though the after taste is just like a sugar cookie, the latte is not overly sweet while drinking it. The flavor will remain in your mouth the whole day no matter what you eat while drinking the coffee. It also becomes more apparent as you continue drinking it.

Our rating: 8/10

½ Winter Moon Latte:

You can never go wrong with this drink. The original Winter Moon latte is what the cafe is known for. It has a nice nutty flavor, but is not too overbearing as you can still taste the coffee. It is very customizable depending on if you want an extra shot in it or not. The Winter Moon Latte comes in four other variations, including the Winter Moon Latte, ¾ Winter Moon Latte, ¼ Winter Moon Latte, and ⅛ Winter Moon Latte. These combinations determine the fraction of Moon milk and skim milk. This same drink can also be purchased hot, but has a different name: the Summer Moon Latte. If you have never been to this cafe and want to play it safe, we recommend you go with one of these five drinks.  

Our rating: 10/10

Double Moon Shaker:

Although this small two ounce drink is supposed to be drunk by itself, we recommend putting it in a latte or iced coffee like an extra shot of espresso. The shaker is a great way to kick off your day if you’re looking for something to pump you up. We added this shot in our ½ Winter Moon latte after trying that drink. It did not change the flavor, but just made the latte a bit stronger than what it was originally. They also offer Triple and Quad Moon Shakers which are all the same flavor.   

Our rating: 9/10 

The Roasted Chestnut Latte is back for limited time. It is also available iced or hot. (Ananya Nandyala)

(Hot) Roasted Chestnut Latte: 

If you like the popular television series, “Gilmore Girls,” you will love this coffee. The hot Roasted Chestnut Latte radiates the fall vibes captured by the show. It is the perfect combination of a chestnut flavor, reminding you of what it’s like to sit by a warm fire on a cold night. Although it is more of an autumnal drink, it would be good to have all year around. It is a great coffee to have if you need to concentrate on AP studies and college tests at Chilton like Rory Gilmore. The latte exudes a rich and silky feeling as you savor its taste. This latte will meet and surpass all of your expectations.

Our rating: 9/10

(Iced) Peppermint Mocha Latte: 

For those seeking a coffee that tastes like the epitome of the holiday season, the Peppermint Mocha Latte is an excellent choice. Known as the seasonal favorite, the latte is a perfect combination of dark chocolate and peppermint. Although the coffee is a bit too sweet for us, the strong candy cane flavor compensates for it. However, if peppermint is not your cup of tea, I would not recommend this as the flavor overpowers the chocolate.  

Our rating: 8/10

Featured is the strawberry macaroons sitting beside the hot Roasted Chestnut Latte. (Dana Garcia)

Pumpkin Bread: 

During the taste testing of the coffees, we needed a palette cleanser. Hence, we resorted to two of the most popular fall desserts in this cafe. The pumpkin bread that we tried was a bit too dry, but it had an amazing flavor. It puts you in the fall mood while sipping on some coffee. 

Our rating: 7/10

Strawberry Macaroons: 

Bright pink in color, the French pastry had a special strawberry filling inside of the two cookies. It had a good texture, but was a bit too sweet for both of us. If you want a cute to-go treat as a prop for aesthetic Instagram photos, this would be the perfect little snack.

Our rating: 6/10

Considering we didn’t taste every drink on the menu, there may be other drinks that could better satisfy your preferences. If you’re looking for a pleasant aromatic coffee shop, Summer Moon is the place for you.

**Video credit: Summer Moon Coffee**

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