Janine Gassel

This story features three delicious lattes from three different cafés: Starbucks, Kaldi’s and Teleo.

Kirkwood coffee critiques

January 6, 2022

I took my love for coffee to the streets of Downtown Kirkwood, where cafés are everywhere. I tried coffee from three different shops and reviewed them based on the taste, cost and service.




Coco LeGrand

Ratings: service 5/5, vibe 3/5, taste 3.5/5, price $3.75 (12 oz)

My first stop was at a beloved coffee franchise that many hold close to their hearts — Starbucks

I ordered an iced vanilla latte with almond milk and the sweet vanilla immediately struck me, followed by the classic Starbucks espresso taste with a nutty flavor from the almond milk. The latte was good, but it was too sweet for my liking and the ice-to-coffee ratio was sub par, with the ice dominating the drink.

Starbucks has a large variety of drinks that are easily customizable to meet everyone’s needs. Since it is a chain the taste of the drinks you get are usually consistent no matter what Starbucks you go to. 

Kaldi’s Coffee


Coco LeGrand

Ratings: service 5/5, vibe 4.5/5, taste 3.5/5, price $4.40 (8 oz)

My next stop was Kaldi’s Coffee on Kirkwood Road. 

I enjoy the darker, cozier atmosphere inside Kaldi’s. It reminds me of a bookstore: private, comforting and homey. There are always people studying at Kaldi’s, and I understand the appeal. The lines aren’t bad and the atmosphere seems more relaxed.

Here, I ordered another iced vanilla latte with almond milk. This latte wasn’t as sweet as Starbucks’ but there was too much milk in my latte and not enough coffee or vanilla flavor. I found this frustrating, especially because of the money I just spent on such a small amount of coffee. But, I do have to say, the espresso was delicious, freshly roasted and strong. 

Similar to Starbucks, Kaldi’s has a large variety of coffee drinks to choose from that are easily customizable.



Coco LeGrand

Ratings: service 5/5, vibe 5/5, taste 5/5, price $4.75 (16 oz)

The last stop on my coffee excursion was Teleo Coffee. Teleo is tucked away on Monroe Avenue, but those who stumble upon it are in for a treat. 

The baristas are always smiling, and the coffee is consistently tasty. If you are looking for a welcoming, local small business, then Teleo is the place to go. 

Here, the name of the coffees are unique. Instead of lattes you order  “Love Your Neighbor” and “Honey Bear.” I ordered the iced “Mini On Monroe” latte with almond milk., which includes maple syrup and brown sugar. This drink has the perfect amount of sweetness. The flavors all compliment each other and they blend well together in your mouth. 

Teleo has a smaller menu, featuring only five specialty drinks year-round and 1-2 seasonal specials. The limited menu emphasizes the seasonal drinks by adding something new to the mix. The less diverse menu may not be preferred by pickier customers, but I love it because I don’t have too many overwhelming options. 

No matter where you go, all three cafes will give you a great experience and even better coffee. I highly recommend that everyone try all of these shops. I was happy with all of them and they each provided me with a different experience that left me feeling caffeinated and happy.

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