Crescent Moon Coffee and Tea
Mullica Hill, NJ
Price: $3.60 (One)
Meal: After-dinner coffee
Time: Saturday, 8 PM
Special Note: Live music on Saturdays
Compare to: Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts
After a fun night in Philadelphia, Autumn and I met some friends at the Crescent Moon for a relaxing end to our evening. Located in yet another eyesore of a NJ stripmall, Crescent did allure us with original music and the promise of coffeedom-luxury. Was it enough to best the national coffee giants? Probably not.
The interior of Crescent looks comfortable, un-snootishly upscale, and larger than your typical Starbucks. I was notified they offer wireless internet as well – a big plus for a guy like me that expects internet access everywhere. There was a couch or two, several lazyboy-esque chairs, and plenty of tables to meet the needs of the Saturday night crowd. The music, which I later learned was courtesy of Coffee House Players, was traditional cafe fare .. mostly acoustical with a relaxing, pleasant vibe.
At the front of the cafe, there was a large glass display case with various desserts that all looked very good. I didn’t have room for a dessert, but I’d later find someone that would share their opinion. As far as coffee goes, I was very impressed with their variety of choices to take home. Whereas one is limited in the mega-chains to mostly Columbian coffee, which usually isn’t shade-grown or fair-traded, Crescent lets you purchase such exotic varieties as Indonesian, Mexican, and even African beans that have better environmental and economical practices. I even learned that Crescent is a rather big-wig reseller of coffee to other smaller coffee houses, and this is no surprise based on their rather extensive selection.
Unfortunately, I still have an excess of coffee at the apartment, so just ordered a 16oz ‘grande’ cappuccino (I wish some of these places would stop following Starbucks and just call it a medium!). After a few minutes to prepare it, I paid the $3.60, threw some change in the tip jar, and hopped on the couch. The price should be competitive with the larger competitors depending on where you live. The service was essentially a non-factor since I waited for my drink to be given to me. The guy who made it for me was polite to the minimum extent of professionalism.
I sat with a friend that had ordered a chocolate cupcake, and discussed what we thought. For starters, the cappuccino was a bit on the bitter side for me. I didn’t use any sweeteners, but I preferred the taste of the mega-chains to what I had in my hand. Our friends’ drinks were a mixed bag, with one stating that the plain coffee was perfect, and the other lukewarm on the experience. They both agreed that the cupcake they shared was a bit on the dry side, and had wished they tried something else.
Overall, I wanted to like Crescent Moon more than I actually did. With a few other small coffee shops in Mullica Hill alone, there’s some stiff competition and you’ve really got to make this stuff superb to create a following. Next time, I’d be just as content to try another place.
– Super comfy atmosphere
– Competive pricing against national chains
– Music (Saturday night only) was fairly good
– Cappuccino fairly bitter
– Desserts may be hit or miss
– Other drinks may be hit or miss
Guru’s Score: 2.9 Chews
Subjective Rating: A shade above average.
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