1. Darwin’s Ltd., at 148 Mt Auburn St.
Price for small cup: $2
The apple cider at this cozy cafe is very sweet. Served cold, it’s like a rich apple juice with heightened acidity; served hot, it comes with a thin layer of foam and deeper apple flavor. The hot apple cider, perhaps because of its rich undertones, is perfect for the chillier days spent studying.
2. Crema Cafe, at 27 Brattle St.
Price for small cup: $2.25
People often say that taste is largely dependent on smell, and just the aroma of Crema’s apple cider will get you salivating. The drink has an intense apple scent—one that’s not artificial but rather reminiscent of baked apples coming right out of the oven. Its color is a rich caramel, and unlike Darwin’s apple cider, the flavor here is more tart than sweet. We recommend it served cold.
3. Tealuxe, at 0 Brattle St.
Price for small cup: $4.45
The apple cider in this dimly lit teashop comes in a dark honey-brown color. It’s not so much tangy as it tastes simply of apples, but this drink leaves a warm, bitter aftertaste. In fact, it’s like tea: not particularly sour, with just the right touch of earthy.