Atmalogy is located on West End, nestled between local favorites Chili's and Jimmy John's. Atmalogy is a word completely made up by the owner of the shop, so if you were wondering why you hadn't heard it in your philosophy class, that's why. "Atma" is a Hindu word (sorta) meaning "one's true self," and "ology" is an English term adapted from the Greek logia, meaning "study of." Therefore, this coffee shop is a place to study one's true self. Yep. We noticed one guy studying his true self while asleep on a couch. That or he wandered in off the street. To each his own, we say.
Atmalogy is in an older house, with different rooms. The furniture is mixed and matched, the vibe is bohemian. There are various Hindu religious paraphernalia about. There is music playing—though for the first half hour or so of our visit, there was not. It was very silent and very "shhh I'm meditating and/or studying and/or graphic designing." The barista came back to our area and asked us if there was any music playing. We responded no, to which she replied, "That's weird. That's not supposed to happen," and walked off. The music she chose we assume was The Script radio on Pandora. Not what we expected for a place as zen as this one, but better than awkward silence.
The shop provides plenty of space to study one's true self. As mentioned, there is one room with a couch (it is labeled "grow"). There are rooms (labeled things like "connect" and "create") with varying types of table setups and one nook where shoes are not allowed. (This is for meditation and yoga, and shoes perhaps hinder the process. If you plan to use this space, the Coffee Shoppers suggest giving your feet a once-over—perhaps even washing them before arriving. No one wants to smell that.) The space is rentable for various shoes-off kind of meetings or gatherings where you learn about your one true self with others. This is starting to sound like a euphemism. (OMG—is it?!)
There are a couple of other rooms upstairs -- one that looks like a good space for a small meeting, or maybe like if you have to fire your yogi, and the other is filled with bean bags surrounding a fireplace, which would probably be a fun place for your small group to meet if your roommate called dibs on your living room to watch The Bachelor.
I got the house made chai, which—full disclosure—I was super optimistic about and excited to try. I used the phrase "sounds legit" which I rarely use. It was not legit. More specifically, it tasted like a vegetable. Less specifically, I was unable to identify the vegetable. Maybe carrots.
I also tried the "Mixed Bag of Balls" [no comment], which are "atma balls" (one's true self balls? Did they think this through? I feel like no.) of three varieties. The atma balls come in different flavors (please read the emphasis on the quotation marks here): "Lemon Zest + Coconut," "Raw Brownie," "Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough," and "Apricot & Coconut." None of them have any fun ingredients like gluten, dairy, or sugar. Almost all of them contain dates. I honestly could not tell you which three came in my mixed bag.
Tea Taste Rating: 0
Atma Balls Rating: 2 (only because I kind of knew what I was getting into here.)
L: I got a peppermint mocha. But not just any peppermint mocha, I soon realized (after ordering)...this peppermint mocha is made with peppermint essential oil and cacao powder (AKA not chocolate. Anyone who tries to pass of cacao powder or cacao nibs or anything similar as chocolate should be sued for false advertising). When the barista handed me my drink, she said "let me know if it's too peppermint-y or not peppermint-y enough; I've only made that once before." "Okay, thanks!" I replied optimistically, though this was before I realized it was made with essential oils. I took one sip and it was like I crammed 18 sugar-free candy canes in my mouth. A LITTLE much. So I hesitantly took it back, as I already felt high maintenance due to our encounter at the register (see: Presentation/Service). She kindly made me another after explaining that she thought an extra drop of essential oil snuck in there. I then realized it was not made with peppermint-flavored syrup but essential oils. The second was slightly less peppermint-y, but still intense, and I still didn't taste any chocolate. (Cacao does not a mocha make, people.) [Note from E: The plus side is that Laura now has super powers thanks to all those essential oils.]
I kept trying it in the hopes it would be better, but it never was. This was the look on my face every time:
Peppermint Mocha Taste Rating: fart minus
I also took a risk and got some mini atma balls. Mine were okay -- I got the Mexican cocoa ones (and it came with a free apricot ball!!!). They tasted mostly like a Lara bar, which I went through a phase of eating all the time and got sick of. They were a little spicier than I anticipated, too. The apricot was okay as well. Just tasted fruity and healthy. I ate one and a half mini-balls.
Atma balls rating: 3
Latte art grade: 2. She tried, but there were no tulips or hearts or leaves to speak of.
The atma balls were placed on a green plate and already sat in paper wrappers.
We both used a ScoutMob coupon to get 50% off, but the prices were about average.
The barista was friendly enough. She was super laid back, but a tad spacey and unsure. When Laura got to the counter (silent in the place at this point, as you will recall), she was scanning the "pastry" case (atma balls, vegan everything) and menu to find a snack. The barista politely asked if L was looking for something to eat. L replied that she was looking for something small but not a meal. The barista responded by suggesting the yogi yogurt bowl (includes granola made with hemp hearts, whatever those are), dreamy avocado toast (on sunflower bread with the option to include goat's milk feta which no thanks), soup...It was adorable that she thought L would order those things. She was just thinking, "ok but like where your full-sugar full-dairy pumpkin chocolate chip muffins at?"
As they had no such thing, Laura got the aforementioned atma balls and peppermint latte. The barista was super nice the entire time, but didn't know the price of the atma balls and had to add it in, and initially forgot to add in the latte, and then struggled to deal with the scoutmob coupon she used. It was just all-in-all kind of awkward. It was kind of like the barista was asking us what to do.
Then Laura spilled her water all over the place (seriously how much can one paper cup hold??), and both of us couldn't stop laughing, and all the while -- silent. Let's just say we were glad the one working person in our section had headphones on.
There was also a little store section toward the back with various etsy-type products and essential oils. It was a fun addition.
Level of Uncomfortableness Upon Walking In: 6, which soon escalated to about an 8. At first it's a super cute old house with several rooms you wish were in your own house. Any spot could be a comfy place to catch up with a friend. But the silence and the not-knowing-where-to-sit and the not-knowing-what-anything-on-the-menu-is adds to the rating. You have to actually enter a room, scan it to see if there are any places to put a laptop, then walk back out. People do look up. Except for the sleeping guy, of course.
Parking: 8. There are approximately a dozen spots (we estimated) designated for atmalogy -- some in front and some in back -- which is pretty great for this part of town.
Fedora count: 0
Slouchy Beanie count: 0
Oversized headphones count: 1
Working people: 2
Chatting people: 2
Inexplicably sleeping people: 1
Level of Pretentiousness: The shop itself was super cozy and cute (we'd rate it a zero on the pretentious scale), but the food was obviously over the top (we'd rate it a 20). We decided to average them and give this place a 10.
Overall we liked the atmosphere of the place to study or catch up with a friend, but we didn't care for the food or beverages. However we do recommend it providing like date balls and drinking essential oils.
Have you been to atmalogy? What did you learn about yourself while there?