Monday, September 09, 2013

CC: Styer's Garden Cafe

Subject: Styer's Garden Cafe at Terrain
Location: Glen Mills, PA
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 4+ [see key]

*Update 11/09/16:
In subsequent stops over the years, their quality has not really been maintained. Sadly, they also changed coffee roasters from Counter Culture to a darker selection of roasts from La Colombe. Still gorgeously decorated though if you're coming only for the ambiance.

Garden centers and nurseries are some of my favorite non-coffee haunts. As a man extremely fond of horticulture and the smell of flowers, I am very careful to watch my wallet when April rolls around and it comes time to plan my botanical exploits for the upcoming growing season. But with the ever-evolving nature of nurseries, I am finding that it's not only the plants that I have to watch my money around.

Take the extremely trendy garden stronghold of Terrain, owned by the folks behind Urban Outfitters and Anthropologies. The place not only has a tremendous assortment of plants, pots and soil but it also boasts a chic variety of home accessories, all with a strong emphasis on design and aesthetic. While there were one or two things I saw as an odd omissions, such as a seeming lack of local items, there was one aspect that stood out like a gorgeous rain cloud to a drought-ridden farmer: their in-store cafe and restaurant. Housed within what looks like an old barn and greenhouse, the establishment is actually separated into a coffeehouse in the front with a top-notch restaurant in the back.

Not being interested in a meal that day, I sauntered up to the cafe counter to find they use Counter Culture Coffee for their drip and espresso. I ordered the Farmhouse Blend via drip and the Toscana via espresso. The farmhouse doled out notes of raisin, sesame, black tea and a little malt in a medium body; a delicious though slightly muted infusion of the Farmhouse. The espresso, pulled short with a brown crema, made for a great beverage, smacking of milk chocolate, lemon, sage and sassafras.

Needless to say, I was delighted to find not only a cafe in a nursery (a long overdue marriage) but a quality coffee joint in a really creatively utilized garden wonderland (I personally love the outdoor seating amidst the garden items and the sporadic fire pits in the colder months). Stop by Terrain if only for a decent coffee stop in an area all too bereft of them.

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