Thursday, September 22, 2022

Crimson



Subject: Crimson
Location visited: Easton Town Center, Columbus, OH
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Sometimes a company will wish to rebrand or redo their image. This process is one fraught with peril, as the change can confuse people at best and drive them away at worst. Amidst coffee brands, I have seen a few make a change so drastic that they had to do damage control and/or reconnect the dots for the public, but for the wise, the efforts to redevelop or change are usually met with a level of intrigue, such as Crimson Cup of Columbus expanding their brand into a newer arm called simply Crimson.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

People's Coffee


Subject: People's Coffee
Location visited: Durham, NC
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

When folks look for lodging, typically they either want to be around amenities or they want relative seclusion. The typical unfortunate scenario unfolds in finding a nice hotel in a highly-populated area with little to see or do nearby. Nonetheless, every now and then an occasional match is made. Such was my fortune last time I passed through Durham, North Carolina when I found an affordable Hyatt nearly abutting a coffee shop of repute, People's Coffee. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

The Freedom Cafe



Subject: The Freedom Cafe
Location visited: Durham, NH
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 5+ [see key]

It's amazing how ten years can elapse between the first visit of a place and getting there again. Many times it's a matter of distance, other times it's circumstances and most often it is because I have not found a way to make it fit into the schedule.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Jubala Coffee


Subject: Jubala Coffee
Location visited: Honeycutt Rd, Raleigh, NC
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Ever go to a city and realize you missed a great coffee shop when you were there? For me, invariably after I return from some expeditions, there is occasionally an establishment I managed to miss or overlook. About 8-9 years ago, that was Jubala Coffee in Raleigh. My free time was limited, I poorly budgeted my time and that led to me missing a stop at the then-new Jubala.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Fox in the Snow


Subject: Fox in the Snow
Location visited: German Village, Columbus, OH
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Coffee shops by and large have a hard time with baked goods. Sure, there's nothing wrong with croissants and cookies, but surely there is more to nosh on then the same five items? And yes, a pre-made sandwich can be nice, but serve up something that has some soul or vision, and I'll be a regular.

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Twenty Below Coffee Co


Subject: Twenty Below Coffee Co
Location visited: Fargo, ND
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Driving through Fargo in the afternoon one balmy Wednesday, I was eager to find a good cup of coffee to help fuel me onto my sleeping destination in eastern Minnesota. After a brief search for parking, I found myself on the steps of a Fargo area gem, Twenty Below Coffee Co. 

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Two Persons


Subject: Two Persons
Location: Philadelphia, PA
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

In driving around Philadelphia, I am always surprised by what I do not see. I blame it on familiarity. Growing up in the area, I have grown accustomed to the sights that it's only when something new happens that an old structure hidden in plain sight becomes apparent. 

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Blue Deer

Part of the Fill in the Coffee Map Series

Subject: Blue Deer Cookies
Location visited: King St, Boone, NC
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 5+ [see key]

When a great concept meets a unique space, nifty things can happen. It doesn't happen a lot, as I have seen many a great concept in a sad, ill-fitting structure as well as lackluster concepts in beautiful spaces, but every now and then both boxes are checked. One of the most recent I witnessed was a late-night cookie and coffee shop serving up their wares out of a spiffy building in Boone.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Zion Coffee Bar


Subject: Zion Coffee Bar
Location: Peoria, IL
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

While great coffee comes in all manner of settings, from dimly-lit basement coffee dens to outdoor espresso patios, one of my favorite places to enjoy coffee is in a shop with tall ceilings, nice furniture and a classy aesthetic. While in Peoria, I found such a setting in a place called Zion Coffee Bar. 

Friday, June 24, 2022

Spencer's Coffee


Subject: Spencer's Coffee
Location visited: Downtown, Bowling Green, KY
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 5+ [see key]

Some time ago, when I first visited Bowling Green, I remember being tired and exhausted, sitting in a parking lot with (at least) a cranky toddler and a decent drive ahead of us. In the moment, I remember deciding that despite my weariness, I would not grab coffee in Bowling Green but would wait til later somewhere closer to our distant destination.

How I regretted that decision.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Mighty Missouri Coffee Co.


Subject: Mighty Missouri Coffee Co
Location: Bismark, ND
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

During various chunks of my childhood, especially high school and early college, I often frequented a YMCA near my house. Whether it was lifting weights, running laps or swimming, the "Y" was a tremendous convenience in finding all I needed in one spot. It was not last year that I realized I had been cheated. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

8th and Roast


Subject: 8th and Roast
Location visited: Charlotte Ave, Nashville, TN
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Great coffee can be found in many places in Nashville, but in my opinion, there seems to be plenty of room for more. While visiting the western portion of the city, I managed to visit a shop that's been on my list, a place called 8th and Roast.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Terra Nomad


Subject: Terra Nomad
Location: Bismark, ND
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

While driving around Bismark, I found myself hankering for a good cup of coffee and great meal. Sometimes hoping to find both in the same place can be a fool's errand, as few places do them both well, but fortunately I was blessed in finding Terra Nomad.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Bloom and Vine


Subject: Bloom and Vine (also known as Bloom Coffeehouse & Eatery)
Location: Glendive, MT
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

When I first arrived in Montana those many years ago, I only held interest in the western portions of the state. Sure, I drove through the east, but that was simply because I needed to get through it to get somewhere else. It wasn't until years later that I realized how foolish I had been.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

North Lime Coffee and Donuts



Subject: North Lime Coffee and Donuts
Location visited: West Loudon Ave, Lexington, KY
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

I never knew how much of a love affair southerners have with donuts and coffee. Growing up in the northeast surrounded by donuts dunked in mediocre joe, I was enamored with the many wonderful takes different southern cities had with great coffee and tremendous donuts. My favorite donut enterprise in Kentucky would be a multi-location operation I recently stumbled upon, a place called North Lime Coffee and Donuts. 

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Lake Life Cafe


Subject: Lake Life Cafe
Location: Bemus Point, NY
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 5+ [see key]

After traversing most of Upstate New York during my years as a resident, I thought I had seen all the lakes but it turns out I missed a great one. Situated all the way by Erie is Chautauqua Lake, a moderately-sized body of water with an assortment of towns dotting its shores. Happening upon the lake on my way east from Ohio, I quickly pulled off the highway to check out Bemus Point and stumbled on a promising coffee shop called Lake Life Cafe. 

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Headquarters


Subject: Headquarters
Location: Nashville, TN
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Nashville has definitely become a city known for its great coffee options. As many shops decide on their look, most bank on a modern or minimalist decor, but a few go for vintage. One spot that nails the feel of an old saloon is a cozy shop on the west side of Nashville called Headquarters. 

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Blackbeard Coffee Roasters


Subject: Blackbeard Coffee Roasters
Location: Greenville, NC
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Never really having the chance to explore North Carolina outside the Triangle, I was excited to check off some other cities. One sunny afternoon, I had the opportunity to stop in Greenville and make a long-overdue coffee stop at Blackbeard Coffee Roasters.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Duchess Coffee


Subject: Duchess Coffee
Location: Brattleboro, VT
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Never have I encountered a situation where every lodging option, down to the least appealing motel, were all fully booked, but such was my fate one Friday night in the city of Brattleboro. I was traveling east towards Maine and I hit a wall of fatigue after driving from Columbus, Ohio that morning, so I sought a place to crash for over an hour to no avail. Finally after giving up, I found a parking spot in a shopping center, reclined my seat and snoozed until the sun awoke me. 

Monday, March 14, 2022

thirty-thirty Coffee Co.


Location: Peoria, IL
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Many times, I learn of cities first through news of a promising coffee shop. As a fan of geography, I always welcome the chance to learn about a new place, especially if that place has a coffee stop worth visiting. One such situation has its roots in distant years past, when I first heard of Peoria, Illinois thanks to thirty-thirty Coffee Co.

Tuesday, March 08, 2022

Jefferson Street Coffee / Smokin' Aces


Subject: Jefferson Street Coffee / Smokin' Aces
Location: Lexington, KY
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

It's almost always a solid recommendation when a barista at one coffee establishment gives accolades to another local shop. Naturally I have to usually ask for said recommendation (because what cafe always sends their customers to other cafes?) but when a barista of one good shop usually can think of another shop instantly, it's usually a good sign.

Tuesday, March 01, 2022

Thunder Coffee


Subject: Thunder Coffee
Location: Fargo, ND
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Fargo has been on my list of places to visit for some time, so it was quite glorious to finally make a visit, if only for an afternoon. The city has plenty of character, history and, most importantly of all, great coffee. 

Monday, February 21, 2022

Hatchet Coffee Roasters


Subject: Hatchet Coffee Roasters
Location: Boone, NC
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

The mountains of North Carolina have long called to me though it has been tough to visit them. But just recently, I was able to make a quick visit to the area and make a few deliberate stops, one of which was to the city of Boone and a coffee establishment known as Hatchet Coffee Roasters.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Revelstoke Coffee


Subject: Revelstoke Coffee
Location: Concord, NH
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

While I have driven around the perimeter of New Hampshire quite a bit, I never had an occasion to traverse it until recently. The state is beautiful and while any number of stops could have been interesting, I am a sucker for capital cities and made my way over to Concord. But before seeing the sights, I first made my way to a local coffeeshop called Revelstoke Coffee.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

East Park Donuts & Coffee


Subject: East Park Donuts & Coffee
Location: Nashville, TN
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

If you get your donuts exclusively from a national chain, you have likely wasted many years on mediocre pastries accompanied by unremarkable coffee. But if you like to seek out local places that do wondrous things with donuts and coffee, then you should head on down to Nashville to try out East Park.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Manchester Coffee Co


Subject: Manchester Coffee Co.
Location visited: Distillery District, Lexington, KY
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Most people quickly associate a storied history of distilling spirits with Kentucky. So it was no surprise to find one of the more happening places in Lexington was around the Distillery District, located on the grounds of the old James E. Pepper Distillery. After exploring the district my first night in town, the next morning I made my way down the street to try out some local brews at Manchester Coffee Co. 

Thursday, January 13, 2022

392Caffe


Subject: 392Caffe
Location visited: Davenport, IA
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

It is not often that I get to Iowa. While it has been on my revisit list for some years, it evaded me until a recent road trip driving east from Montana. Wanting to avoid certain areas of congestion, I took many a back road and detour, and found myself in the lovely city of Davenport. Located on the Illinois border, the city offered a perfect place to stop for a brief coffee break.