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Subject: Mugs Coffee House
Location visited: Swedesboro, NJ
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 3+ [see key]
New Jersey definitely holds a lot of people, as it is the most densely populated state in the union. And yet, if someone were to blindfold you and haul you to certain remote places in NJ, you would swear someone kidnapped you and took you across state lines (on a side note, always obtain consent from a person before blindfolding and carting them anywhere).
But dense or not dense, one thing is consistent with my home state; the signage and locations of things can be downright absurd. For example, I was recently driving around looking for a small coffeehouse in a small town called Swedesboro, and not only did Google map plot the address way outside of town but I drove through the town of Swedesboro twice and did not see one single sign announcing its existence. And I'm a native (I can't imagine the stress for someone from afar...)!
Anyways, I did finally find the coffeehouse above, a little place called Mugs Coffee House. A recent sprout on the coffee scene, it resides in a converted house on the main stretch of town. The exterior boasts a sharp-looking front porch complete with several tables and chairs. Walking in, you enter a long foyer that leads to the counter in the back of the house. The dining area to the right holds a series of comfy-looking chairs (though the color scheme of purple, orange and green has never hit me as pretty) as well as traditional table seating.
The coffee comes from Jersey Shore Coffee Roasters, a distant North Jersey coffee roaster that I don't think I've had before. The coffee served twas a Costa Rican that left me indifferent; a nice sweet note in the front followed immediately by a burnt blandness that made my tongue despair. The espresso had a twinge of potential, as it had a nice fruity acidity, but the shot was overall empty and flat (I didn't see the shots pulled, but my guess was a bad pull and possibly a mediocre espresso blend). The tea was Harney and Sons and they serve a full menu.
While I would say that Mugs would benefit from better coffee practices and/or better coffee (can't say I was thrilled with Jersey Shore), overall it seems the place provides a good hangout for locals and decent fare for the hungry. Thus, if you happen to be going through the town, give the coffeehouse a whirl; hopefully, you'll have better luck with signs.