Princeton’s quintessential, student-run coffee shop has finally moved into the residential colleges.
The New College West (NCW) shop had its grand opening on Oct. 30, marking the second location for the café. Overlooking the lush green of Poe Field, Coffee Club’s newest location is housed within NCW’s Addy Hall. The modern location is a stark contrast to Coffee Club’s original location in the basement of Campus Club on Prospect Avenue.
The NCW café occupies a cozy corner within the sleek building. Soft ceiling lamps illuminate the dark floors and wood-paneled walls. An assortment of cushy chairs in different colors and patterns accompany the small tables, which are perfect for a laptop and a steaming cup of coffee. A grand piano separates the open seating arrangement from the lounge, while large windows allow for natural light and prime views.
As I approached the counter, I was invited by a balloon display that spelled out “celebrate” and a chalkboard of drink options. The lineup includes the same well-known drinks from the Campus Club location. Overwhelmed by the number of choices, I requested the advice of three friendly baristas, who recommended the new fall drink: the honey cardamom latte. By the time I arrived at 3:30 p.m., most of the snacks, which Coffee Club buys from The Gingered Peach, a local bakery, were long gone. I selected a brownie, a classic option.
The honey cardamom latte was the embodiment of a fall drink. The honey balanced spice with sweetness, and the use of cardamom gave the drink earthy and herbal notes, pairing beautifully with the slight bitterness of the coffee. The harmony of the different flavor groups added depth and uniqueness to the drink, elevating it beyond a traditional latte. As someone who enjoys especially strong coffee, the drink was a little milky for me, and the ground cardamom added a slight grittiness that occasionally caught in my throat. However, given the perfect fall feeling of well-balanced flavors, I would still highly recommend the latte, especially during this time of year.
The brownie was a delightful spin on a classic dessert and paired wonderfully with the latte. It had a dense, fudgy texture inside, while the edges had a crisp, flaky quality. It had a deeply chocolatey flavor, complemented by a nutty undertone. Melted chocolate chips added to the overall richness and textural diversity of the treat. The brownie was sweet, but not overwhelmingly sugary. Instead, it was a perfect afternoon snack before a late night of studying.
The next day, I returned to NCW’s Coffee Club at a significantly earlier time. The line was a bit longer, filled with tired students eager for a morning pick-me-up. However, the pastry selection was also far more expansive, and only a few of the most popular items were missing. I whipped out my punch card, ordered a chocolate chip banana muffin and a vanilla iced latte, and enjoyed a late breakfast.
The iced vanilla latte is a classic cold drink that Coffee Club does exceedingly well. The drink had subtle tones of vanilla that enriched but didn’t overpower the drink. There was also a slight sweetness that balanced the vanilla without being too sugary. The drink was on the milkier side, but the espresso shot added a deep coffee flavor and provided a welcome energy boost. Even on a crisp fall day, I deeply enjoyed the iced latte.
The chocolate chip banana muffin was a great breakfast item, especially on the go. The large chunks of chocolate added a velvety texture and rich chocolate flavor. The muffin itself was dense and sticky from the banana, providing a nice contrast to the chocolate mixed throughout. The muffin top was a crisp cover to the moist, soft muffin underneath. The muffin had a strong banana flavor, so I would especially recommend this item for all the banana lovers on campus.
NCW’s Coffee Club is a fantastic addition to Princeton’s coffee scene. It has a warm atmosphere, delicious drinks, and a great variety of pastries — although they very quickly sell out. Head over to NCW to “celebrate” Coffee Club and be sure to grab a honey cardamom latte while you’re there.
Isabella Dail is a member of the Class of 2026 and a contributing writer for The Prospect at the 'Prince.' Please send correction requests to email@example.com.