Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
May 23, 2024

Finding your next study spot at Catalog Coffee!

By SYDNEY LANGER | April 23, 2024

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COURTESY OF SYDNEY LANGER

The matcha drinks at Catalog Coffee offer a distinct flavor and definitely stood out from the rest!

Located in Hampden, Catalog Coffee could be your new favorite cafe spot! Upon entering, the earthy green atmosphere and ornaments of succulents throughout the shop create a welcoming and hospitable environment for customers. Soft but lively music plays in the background, complementing the servers grazing from table to table handing out orders and creating a bustling and cheery environment.  

The cafe itself is an adorable study spot, with ample lighting and seats in the back for students to pull out their laptops and notebooks. In fact, the cafe was filled with people doing work, and I easily imagined myself coming back to enjoy a coffee while studying.

After studying the menu for (admittedly) way too long and concluding that everything seemed mouthwatering, we ordered a variety of sandwiches, pastries and drinks at the register. Within a few minutes, a kind waitress had already given us all of our food. 

The sandwiches were absolutely delicious, and my boyfriend, who got the Full Catalog sandwich, even commented that it was one of the best sandwiches he has ever had. The smokiness and saltiness from the bacon, the subtle heat from the paprika fried egg, the richness and creaminess from the avocado and the incredibly delicious Spicy Cito Sauce creates a wonderful blend of flavors, perhaps just a little too strong for a breakfast sandwich. Still though, he ate the entire sandwich in less than three minutes, left no crumbs and craved for more.

My sandwich, called Z’s Spicy Garden Scramble, had a similar effect, and seamlessly blended the spicy sauce with the scrambled egg, pickled jalapeños, crunchy red onions and soft seasoned spinach. However, I did find the sandwich slightly challenging to eat without it falling apart or the sauce spilling on my hand, so I did ultimately have to use a fork and a knife. 

Another item that we sampled was the Lemon Ricotta Cookie. Ornamented with rainbow sprinkles and lemon icing, the cookie’s presentation was pretty; yet, the cookie itself too closely resembled the texture of a cake. It was denser than expected, and although the icing was delicious, the strong lemon flavor left a slightly sour (but still sweet) aftertaste. Catalog Coffee offers a selection of other pastries, including a croissant and chocolate chip cookies, both of which I would be interested in sampling next time.

Catalog Coffee’s choice of beverages is as widespread as its food menu, and overall, the drinks had a lasting impression on me — I was left curious to try several of their other beverages. The coffee was smooth and soft, and the accompanying honey cinnamon syrup created a slightly sweet and subtle flavor that was delectable. 

The flavor of the iced chai was pronounced at first, but soon became lost when mixed fully with the shot of espresso (which I had added on), and the beverage tasted like a typical iced coffee. Lastly, the matcha was presented beautifully, and I thoroughly appreciated the seemingly high grade of matcha used to make the beverage. The flavor of the matcha was distinct and not subdued, and I found the drink delicious. One aspect of the matcha to mention is that it does not come with sugar; the back of the cafe, however, has a little station with sugar packets and sweet syrup that you can easily add to any of your drinks. 

Ultimately, Catalog Coffee’s variety of food and beverages is appealing, and coupled with the homey environment of the cafe, I will definitely be back to sample some new items, such as their iced nitro coffees, the gorgeous hot lattes and their lunchtime sandwiches. Perhaps I’ll even bring along some work to do! 

Overall, the food was delicious, the service was fast and the workers were more than happy to help with anything. It is important to note that the cafe is closed on both Tuesdays and Wednesdays and that the cafe closes at 2:30 p.m. on weekdays and at 3 p.m. on weekends. Also, if you are driving to Hampden, it’s often challenging to find parking (so maybe opt to take a Blue Jay Shuttle or walk). In the upcoming weeks of hopefully warm weather, take a stroll to Hampden, and I hope you, too, find yourself exploring the wonders of Catalog Coffee. 


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