Prove your humanity

Today we’re going to be looking at the cafe Mantra Coffee Company in Azusa!

Mantra Coffee was the first coffee shop that I heard about from APU students. It has a very bright aesthetic that caters well to college-aged students. Located at ​​615 N San Gabriel Ave in Azusa, Mantra Coffee is a local spot that many students have tried out.

First, we should take a look at the overall atmosphere. Mantra is a medium-sized coffee shop with both outdoor and indoor seating. Because it’s a popular spot, during weeknights or weekend afternoons it can get pretty packed inside. 

This may be a little overwhelming for studying, but overall the volume levels are normal for a public coffee shop. The crowd seems to be filled with young adults who keep their conversations at a respectable volume, but if you put that many conversations in a small space and mix it with coffee machines and music, you end up with only a moderately distracting environment. 

There are normally a good amount of outlets available on the inside, as well as a good internet connection both outside and inside. 

The general ambience of Mantra seems to be the main appeal. There are usually different artists being featured on the walls. Alongside this there’s visually appealing and colorful furniture surrounding you. 

Mantra has a very minimalistic menu, with a limited amount of pastries and basic beverage options that range from chai teas to cappuccinos. The prices are a bit higher for the portion sizes. An 8 oz. cappuccino costs $4.70 without tip, mochas going for $6.20 and chais running from $5.20 to $7.20. A college student’s budget definitely doesn’t fit a Mantra coffee in every day, but it’s an okay price for the occasional treat. 

While the prices are a little bit higher than some coffee chains, the quality of the coffee is above average. The beans are sourced from other local coffee houses such as The Reverse Orangutang. I appreciate the effort that they put into locally sourcing their beans, seeing as it makes their coffee more flavorful than places that use older beans and fresher for the customer.

I’ve tried many drinks here—from flat whites to matcha lattes—and have never been disappointed by what I received. The snack foods are good as well, with a range of pastries that are easy to have while studying. The pastries are all made at local bakeries, which is helpful to know when considering the freshness of the food. 

Personally, I wish there was more variety on Mantra’s drink menus. I love trying out new drinks when I go to shops, and Mantra doesn’t offer much beyond the basics. If you’re looking for a specialty sweet drink, then Mantra isn’t the place to seek out. They specialize in a more mature and quality taste, rather than a broad range of flavors and options. 

While there isn’t a wide variety of drinks themselves, there’s a quality assortment of substitutes for people with some common allergies. Almond and oat milks are offered as alternatives and most pastries offered at Mantra are vegan. It doesn’t seem that they cater to gluten free individuals as often, but the owners said that they would like to move in that direction. 

Something unique about Mantra is their focus on the community and their knowledge about the way local business creates opportunities to help one another. Mantra frequently hosts events for local artists to showcase and sell their products. Along with this, they have a glass reuse program that makes it possible for customers to pay just $2 for a jar that Mantra will make their beverage in so that it can be reused later. They also offer to make your drink in your own reusable cup if you bring it in. 

Mantra is only a five minute drive from APU, 10 minute bike ride and 30 minute walk, which can be cut down if you leave from the last trolley stop on West campus. With a positive outlook about creating impactful change for culture and business within Azusa, Mantra Coffee is an admirable business. Not to mention the quality pastries and coffee accompanied by a wonderful atmosphere, Mantra coffee is a cafe worth checking out for yourself.