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Sunday, December 10, 2023

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Top five drinks at The Nook Café


While the menu at The Nook may seem endless at times, we’re here to help narrow it down to the best of the best. | File photo/The Cougar

Whether you’re a coffee-shop newbie just dipping your toe in the vast sea of espressos, or a seasoned café veteran with an order resembling battle tactics, it’s safe to say that coffee has quickly become an essential for college students.

Located on the edge of campus, across from the Calhoun Lofts, The Nook is an eclectic café that offers an assortment of snacks, juices, spirits and, of course, coffee. While I can’t claim to have tried every drink on their always-evolving menu, I’ve downed my share of lattes, espressos and frappuccinos over the past three years – and not just during finals season.

Check out this compilation of The Nook’s top-notch sips and test them out for yourself.


The iced Vietnamese coffee specialty, café sua da, was bottled and crafted into a student favorite by UH alumnus Huan Le. Since its Houston debut, it’s quickly become one of the most popular drinks at The Nook.

Caphin is strong-brewed coffee pushed through a metal filter, a “phin,” into sweetened condensed milk then bottled and served chilled.

The Nook offers seasonal flavor variations, including pumpkin spice and Caphin “Black” for hardcore coffee needs. Pour it over a complimentary glass of ice and sip on this sweet concoction for a delicious relief when the Houston heat has you beat.

You’re also supporting a local company when you purchase Caphin. For me, that makes it even sweeter.

Almond Joy Latte

One of The Nook’s best ideas was taking popular candy bars and slapping the word “latte” at the end of them. That’s right, take your pick from their numerous coffee-steeped renditions of your favorite candy and your taste buds will not be disappointed.

The Almond Joy Latte, however, holds a special place in my sweet-tooth thanks to the double-whammy of creamy coconut syrup and milk chocolate.

The only way this dreamy combination gets better is when you add in rich espresso and foamy milk – which, of course, The Nook does. After all, it is a latte…or is it a candy bar?

The Rattlesnake

Before you stop reading about this drink just because the name’s got you nervous, take a deep breath and ponder what you’re dealing with here: white chocolate, hazelnut, caramel drizzle, layers of coffee and whipped cream. Feel better now?

The Rattlesnake is a signature Nook creation, and the only thing that bites is its intense sweetness.

While the best part may or may not be the thick whipped cream and caramel/chocolate drizzle on top, this drink is a definite must-try even if coffee isn’t the dominant flavor.

The Nook “Cougar Blend” Coffee

If frothy lattes and whipped cream creations aren’t your cup of tea — er, coffee — The Nook has you covered with their original coffee brew appropriately titled, “Cougar Blend.”

Dark and full-bodied, this rich coffee will have you coming back again and again during those long hours of studying and cramming.

The best part is you actually can come back to the coffee pot as much as you want for this delicious brew. The Nook’s self-serve coffee bar that you gain access to when you purchase an in-house mug for only around a dollar.

If that’s not the best deal on coffee you’ve ever heard of, please tell me your secrets.

House-made Mimosa

The Nook squeezes all of their juices on-site before serving them. Their tangy-sweet orange juice is no different.

When you order the mimosa, they combine this ridiculously fresh orange juice with some bubbly champagne from their impressive bar in a tall glass of perfection.

Voilà, you’ve got one of the tastiest brunch-time favorites. Just add some eggs Benedict and a serving of juicy, mid-morning gossip to get your day off to a good start.

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