Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Quest for Coffee
My lovely wife and I went for a drive to a nearby town. They have a new coffee shop and we had to check it out. I love good coffee shops. Some people hang out in bars; I'd rather hang out in coffee shops.
The only problem with the local coffee shops is the hours they keep. They open early but close mid-afternoon. That's fine for people who keep normal hours. I'd like a place where I could get breakfast at 5 in the afternoon and would stay open late in the evening. The closest coffee shop with evening hours is over an hour away in a tourist town. Their coffee and pastries are good, but they charge tourist prices.
I'm also not a big fan of large chain coffee shops. Starbucks suffers from bland corporate sameness. Dunkin Donuts isn't a coffee shop, even though they serve coffee, of a sort, there. It's a place where people end up when the bars close.
Sorry, Waffle Houses don't count either. Don't get me wrong, they have a certain charm. I happen to like sipping bland coffee out of a too small mug while people have fist fights in the parking lot. The hours are convenient, the food cheap, the waitresses hard working -but it's not exactly the coffee shop experience I'm looking for.
I like small independent shops with excellent coffee, acceptable prices, and an atmosphere that lends itself to conversation with strangers. Many years ago there was a local coffee shop run by a semi-retired jazz musician. For a few wonderful years I had the joy of good coffee combined with excellent live music. I knew it would not last. How he thought he'd make a living in a dying mill town is beyond me. However, I took full advantage of his business error while he was around.
My lovely wife and I made it to the new coffee shop by the crack of noon. Their coffee was strong and rich. The food was good and the prices very reasonable. The big downsides are that it's a couple towns over and they close at 2 in the afternoon.
There are rumors of a new coffee shop opening up just 20 minutes away in the next town. They say the new owners plan on having a jazz theme, whatever that means. I hope there is some truth to the rumors.