It’s another “DESTINATION Coffee Crawl!” This spacious coffee shop opened up just a month or so ago and it’s already gaining prominence in this college town. I thought, “why not check it out and see what this new place has to offer.” So let me walk you through what I thought of Norman’s Stella Nova.
One of the first things I noticed was the sleek and modern outside appearance of the building. It kind of gives off the impression of a store or office, and definitely looks much bigger than it is from afar. The drive thru is something else that makes this place stand out. But all in all, it works.
Its location is a bit confusing for me as it’s farther away from campus than most coffee shops. With a Walmart and the mall just two miles down the road, it doesn’t seem like a local, small-town coffee shop so much as another commercial Starbucks. That isn’t to say I have a negative opinion of Stella Nova- or Starbucks (make sure to check out the Coffee Crawl post on that)- it’s just a different space with different strengths.
The decorations are minimal with just a few large painting hanging on the wall. There is of course the subtle promotion of the shop- it’s name etched beautifully in the lighting fixtures. With floor to ceiling windows, artificial light isn’t all that necessary anyway.
The furniture isn’t quite as homey or welcoming as some of the other coffee shops I’ve visited. In fact, the place seems a bit like a business center to me. There’s one bookshelf off in the corner with a couple of board games. Other than that, small tables fill the center of the building with what resembles a bar top lining one wall. Two sofas and a couple armchairs are positioned in the odd corners, maximizing seating. Again, not quite a sit-and-relax after a long day at work place. But in all honestly, is it really all that bad in a college town?
Stella Nova definitely capitalizes on snacks and merchandise as much as they do on coffee. I hate to keep comparing it to Starbucks, but that’s honestly what I think of when I look for a reference point. With a table of extra snacks and sandwiches to order, plus Stella Nova mugs and coffee beans to purchase, the comparison isn’t that big of a stretch.
Something that does set Stella Nova apart, however, is the friendly and accommodating staff. The cashier offered me suggestions when I mentioned it was my first time coming in. A few workers roamed around bringing cups of water and free samples (cookies!) to some of the customers. And one of the baristas waved and wished me a good day when I was on my way out. If they wanted extra points in my review, they got ’em!
I decided to play it safe and ordered a vanilla iced coffee. I’ve heard many criticisms that the coffee here isn’t the best. I’m still not an expert, so I can’t back that 100 percent, but I do agree that there wasn’t anything exciting or unique about the coffee. It was a little watered down, but wasn’t horrible to sip on. I do recommend a salted caramel cookie though!
All in all, this place was aggressively average. Even so, I’m going to give it a 7/10.The place was simple, but beautiful. It was busy, but accommodating. The coffee was ordinary, but satisfying. I think for me, because I usually go to coffee shops to do work, this felt like the perfect place to do it. I was equipped with my own work space, while still feeling comfortable to take breaks and enjoy my coffee. It might not be my first choice, but it’s definitely not out of the running.
What do you think about my review? Would you enjoy spending time in this contemporary coffee shop? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!
If you haven’t already, please please please check out the post “ATTENTION AVID READERS!” for some exciting news about some content I have coming up! I’ll be adding updates throughout the month, so keep an eye on that! Thanks for reading!