Showing posts with label Scranton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scranton. Show all posts

Monday, June 26, 2023

Blackwatch Cafe

Subject: Blackwatch Cafe
Location: Scranton, PA
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Many coffee shops exist in a minimalist, white-walled retail space with some minor charm, but sometimes a unique gem works its way into the mix. Such was a winter visit to Scranton to a stand-alone stone shop at a public park where I found what looked more at home in the Scottish highlands than northeast Pennsylvania. 

Monday, May 10, 2021


Subject: Adezzo
Location: Scranton, PA
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 5+ [see key]

A lot of people call things hidden gems (even me) but very few times are said gems truly hidden from plain view. But such is exactly the case with a coffee shop in Scranton called Adezzo, that despite being a block from the courthouse area where I have been dozens of times, the building it resides within was all together unknown to me until recently. 

Monday, June 30, 2008

CC: Sacred Grounds Coffee

What's a Coffee Commentary?

Subject: Sacred Grounds Coffee
Location visited:
Scranton, PA
(3 W Olive St # 108)
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 2+ [see key]

Old friends coming to visit from far away not only provide a nice respite from the normal routine but also a wonderful chance to catch up. And if you're a friend is a coffee lover, it's also a good chance to take them by a few favorite spots.

So when my wife and I met a good friend in Scranton, we made sure to factor some good coffee into the equation. We had a nice cup of coffee from the Clover at Zummo's Cafe despite one of the employees having quite a cranky demeanor about telling us it was closing time (and what's up with the weird hours as of late?). So since we were thus driven from one coffee spot, we decided to try out another down the road called Sacred Grounds.

After a little seeking, we found the coffeehouse in a bland looking shopping center off of Olive Street. The coffeehouse boasted a fluorescent sign with a California Raisin/Coffee Bean hybrid accompanying the name. The interior was a bright mix of orange and black accompanied by tropical plants and a decent amount of seating.

The coffee comes from a roaster called Barrie House though the day I stopped by, they were brewing a different coffee (I believe it was Mayorga but the barista was very quick in flashing the bag). The coffee was smooth and none too harsh, but I can't really say it had any distinct flavors to it. Still, not bad.

The espresso proved a little disturbing, as it resulted from the barista only adding enough coffee to fill a fraction of the portafilter and was then pulled so long that my doubleshot was about 8 ounces (it filled half a large mug!). Needless to say, it proved to taste like a bitter cup of strong coffee.

The tea was Wagner's Tea.

Though the experience at Sacred Grounds proved somewhat off, the day was still well spent with a good friend (she was very thankful for the two stops too). But given the level of training and seeming lack of coffee passion, I don't think I'll be going out of my way to stop in again. But if you happen to be in the shopping center or the adjoining ice rink waiting for someone, give a go for yourself.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

CC: Northern Lights Espresso Bar

What's a Coffee Commentary?

Northern Lights Espresso Bar
Location visited: Scranton, PA
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 5+ [see key]

These days, many of the prime would-be coffeehouse locations are just too high in rent. I've seen several coffee establishments go out of business and many more suffer because deeper pockets have their eyes on prime retail space.

But in the town of Scranton, I was delighted to find Northern Lights Espresso Bar smack dab in the midst of central Scranton. The first time I caught sight of it was during some huge Italian festival where the streets were packed with tents and pedestrians. I was passing through at a late hour, needed a good pick-me-up, found it in decent time, and narrowly missed the last call. Fortunately it wasn't the last time I'd be driving through Scranton at a late hour.

The place is housed in a majestic stone building with gargantuan storefront windows right across the street from an old church (and maybe a park; I forget). There's a good deal of metered parking nearby and the oddly when I manage to visit, parking isn't a problem.

Walking in, it's a two-floor space with a wonderful furniture arrangement and beautiful art hanging on the wall. The line is usually healthy and the place almost always hopping.

The coffee is Gimme! out of Ithaca, which was a welcome surprise. The coffee brewed was about up to par with Gimme! straight from the native spout (i.e. little blundering in the brewing at Northern Lights) and they seemed to serve the better coffees (Gimme! has a few dark roasts that make me cry). The espresso was pretty good, as it was pulled decently but for some reason, it just didn't wow me. The tea I think is free leafed.

If I was a native Scranton-ite working in the downtown area, I would be uber pleased to know that Northern Lights was a viable coffee (and meeting) option so close by. I think the place could definitely use some fine-tuning but overall, I definitely plan on stopping in when I'm in the area.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

CC: Zummo's Cafe (Electric City Roasting)

What's a Coffee Commentary?

Zummo's Cafe
Location visited: Scranton, PA
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 5+ [see key]

nthracite coal mines have oddly made up a lot of study in many of my classes, both in secondary and higher education. The social dynamics of mining, the geologic fundamentals, and how it made a large impact on mid-Atlantic state formation (mostly Pennsylvania). As a result, I'm extremely curious of the history around mining and the towns around them.

So of course anyone enticed by or curious of coal mining will head to Scranton, home to one of the larger and more interesting coal mine displays/tours this side of the Mississippi, called the Lackawanna Coal Mines. Only once to my recall have I done the tour (maybe twice) yet I have since then driven past the mines and have longed to revisit. One day soon...

But what has been newly unearthed to me is decent coffee in Scranton. One such place that I caught wind of was a place operated by Electric City Roasting called Zummo's Cafe. The place is a little off the beaten path for a non-Scrantonite though not hard to find with good directions. The exterior is two very different-looking houses joined together by an extension on the first floor. The interior is a huge space, with an ample front counter, extensive seating, and a warm, open decor.

The coffee is their own, and in my experience has been a breath of fresh air to my taste buds (though they roast a little too dark on a few roasts, a seeming 2/3 of the coffee is of a good shade and wonderful flavor). The coffee is brewed into either pump pots or into the ever-glorious Clover
(which paired with their coffee, brews a wonderful cup).

The espresso holds its own but I can't say it stood out, as it had a bit of a charred blankness to it. I would say overall it's something they could work on in refining barista skills and/or their espresso roast, but generally speaking they seem to be on the right path of good espresso.

The tea is Mighty Leaf, of which my wife loves the silk tea bags most of all (followed in suit by the tea itself).

Thus, I would definitely recommend a stop at Zummo's Cafe if you're in or driving through Scranton, as it's not far from 81, parking is usually very available in front of the store, and it's a great spot to refuel and reminisce of your coal mining experiences (if you had just wrapped up a day at the mines, of course).