Karma Cleanse’s smoothies make an out-of-world experience

By Megan Loock
Elm Staff Writer

As a college student — and someone who is trying to step away from caffeine — I am always looking for a place a for a good nutritional smoothie or drink that has good ambience to do homework away from the daily hustle and bustle of the Hodson Hall Commons.

I was recommended Karma Cleanse by senior Sarah Kelly, who told me that I would enjoy their “hippie vibes.”

Karma Cleanse is tucked away at 860 High Street right beside Café Sado.

When you first walk in, you are immediately greeted with a massive pink and yellow mural of a lotus flower accompanied by the planet of the day drawn in the background on a black chalkboard. The music — despite being overpowered by the buzz of the smoothie fridge — is soft and soothing, making you feel as if you entered a Nora James gig.

Though there are tables for you to sit at, there are only two tables that are best suited for sitting with your laptop. Most of the tables are small and retractable, aligning with the walls.

The booths are comfy and decked with throw pillows with deer, bears, and other outdoorsy-themed décor at the back of the café. It’s a perfect setting for any friend group to come in and enjoy a smoothie, cup of coffee, or some soup as they chat the day away.

Not one table matched, adding to the café’s bright and earthy tone as jars of flowers and tea-cup candles sat patiently waiting for you to pick a spot.

It is hard to miss their menu chalkboard at the front of the café, but if you are a newcomer and don’t know what to choose, Co-Owner Lee Olson is more than willing to explain the café’s specials.

The staff are extremely friendly and Co-Owner Cindy Foster was excited to tell me about their tradition of being “plant-based, planet-based.”

Karma Cleanse only serves vegan-friendly drinks and food, and in doing so, they have a planet theme for each day of the week.

Since I came in on a Thursday, their planet of the day was Jupiter. Their smoothie of the day was the 14 Carrot Gold Blood Orange, and all the staff wore shirts that were either orange or yellow below their grey aprons.

However, after much deliberation with Olson, I decided to try one of their daily smoothies that had dragon fruit, strawberries, and banana as well as an acai bowl.

Starting with the smoothing, it was not too cold and not too warm. It was watery but had a thickness to it that made you work for the delicious purple mixture that rewards you with a Goldilocks-level of sweetness.

All smoothies are made with unsweetened almond milk and bananas. However, Foster said she does take custom orders where you can request a splash of coconut water be added  or some all-natural hemp seeds and turmeric to be sprinkled in for a little protein.

Because it was my first time visiting, I decided to try one of the smoothies in the refrigerator and was not disappointed.   The acai bowl also hit the sweet spot. This isn’t my first time trying an Acai Bowl, but I think it was one of the best I’ve had in a while. The dish was filled with the classic purple acai mixture, blended, and put into a plastic bowl.

All bowls are topped with fresh strawberry, banana, blueberry, granola, coconut shaving, peanut butter, and honey. I got everything but the peanut butter because I am not a peanut butter person.

Everything Karma Cleanse has to offer — soups, salads aka “earthbowls,” wraps, and spring rolls — are handmade and from organic ingredients and their entire menu is vegan-friendly.

In all, I would say that Karma Cleanse is the hippie café that every small rural town needs — coming from a self-proclaimed hippie herself.

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Featured Photo Caption: Students in search of a new favorite smoothie place outside of Hodson Hall Commons may find it in Karma Cleanse. Located next to Cafe Sado’s, it’s a short trip from campus to a hippie’s dreamland, filled with vegan-friendly dishes.

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