Friday, December 25, 2015

World's Best Coffee

Just in time for Christmas, a holiday coffee-shop recommendation.

Observant followers of this blog will know that it takes a lot more than a neon sign to be the best coffee.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Coffees of Boulder

During the summer of 2015 the entire family (except the dog) made a journey to the Great Plains, visiting friends in Nebraska and all along the Front Range of the Rockies in Colorado. It was great to see some friends we had not seen in many years, and of course to explore some coffee shops.

Two of the shops we visited are a mere 13-minute walk from each other, and share an interesting connection. Our friend -- and my former coffee student -- Sullivan Cohen has been a barista at both. More precisely, he gained experience as an expert barista at Boxcar in Boulder and was later hired to direct the coffee program at Wonder, a high-end juice bar at the other end of a very trendy retail corridor in this rapidly-evolving city.

Since visiting these two shops, we learned of a third station stop on the Sullivan Cohen Colorado Coffee Train.

He is now -- according to Coffee Daily News -- directing coffee at the Moxie Bread Company. Clearly, we need to return to Colorado, if for no other reason than to keep track of this BSU Coffee Achiever. (Of course there are other reasons, from the snow-capped mountains to the incredible art galleries and coffee-cherry beer and of course our friends throughout the Front Range. We'll be back!)

Friday, December 4, 2015

Shops to Look For

 A Coffee Maven Referral

The great thing about being Coffee Maven is that friends always share new information about coffee and cafes with me. This is the only reason that I am fairly successful in my efforts to learn something new about coffee every day.

Yesterday, that was a nice new list of cafes to explore throughout the United States, courtesy of Food & Wine. The list includes several I have heard of, and one that I visited earlier this year. I was at the Boulder outlet of Boxcar, which my friend and coffee-class alum Sullivan had recommended. He had worked there when he arrived in Boulder, and was working down the street, directing the coffee program at a high-end juice bar. The coffee scene in Boulder is so intense that he has now been hired away to improve the coffee program at a bakery in the same area -- he was recently profiled on Coffee Daily News.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

El Taller -- Lawrence, MA

 A Coffee Maven Review
One of the great things about Project EarthView is that it gets our team into many of the nooks and crannies of the many communities we visit as we take our giant globe to 10,000 participants each year. Most recently, we were at a favorite, familiar school -- with several familiar coffee shops -- near the home of one of our team members. This allowed us to get out of our North Andover routine (not that there is anything wrong with that!) and explore neighboring Lawrence.

One of our EarthView Wranglers (as our student workers are rightly known) suggested a shop where she had been employed -- El Taller (tah-YAIR) -- The Workshop. In operation for just three years so far, it has clearly established itself as an intellectual and artistic hub of this city that is clearly awakening and figuring out how to reinvent itself after many decades of industrialization and many more of deindustrialization.

It is a family business in which some family members are focused on the arts and others on the food. It is a winning combination. The selection of books for sale is carefully curated to include such works as  Comparative Indigeneities of the Américas: Toward a Hemispheric Approach. and Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed -- the latter in a tall stack suggesting frequent sales and discussion. The cafe's Facebook page regularly features new books and events related to the books they carry. It is truly a learning community.
Clearly, the EarthView team was pleased with the experience. We were fortunate to have time for a leisurely lunch -- the food was exquisitely prepared, pleasingly plated, and in perfect proportions for lunch. Oddly enough, I did not learn much about the coffee itself -- the focus seems to be on espresso, and brewed coffee was not fresh enough to discern much about it.

Still, this shop is a winner, and I will be returning.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Customer Guide

A Coffee Maven Advisory

Stock DD photo makes rare appearance on this blog. Read below to find out why.
We interrupt this blog about what cafes can do for customers for an excellent article about what customers can do for cafes. More specifically, for cafe workers.

Blogger extraordinaire Odyssey tries to help out customers and her fellow Dunkin employees by sharing 20 "rules" for customer success. I use the quotes because of course these are not mandatory. But they offer insights into what employees are trained -- formally and informally -- to expect. 

Some of the tips here are about sugar, cream, flavorings, and other things that no longer apply to my coffee experiences. But the majority of these tips are applicable to ANY coffee shop, and boil down to one word: RESPECT.

A big lesson from my work in the geography of coffee generally is that all work is worthy of respect. From the invisible work of the millions of people who grow and process coffee to the worker across the counter, everyone's job is just a bit more complicated and demanding than it seems to others.

These lessons are, of course, applicable outside of coffee as well.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Coffee on the Rocks -- Estes Park

A Coffee Maven Review 

This cafe adventure followed a morning of exploring Rocky Mountain National Park with friends who live in nearby Fort Collins. Near the continental divide we enjoyed the tundra, elk, marmots, many glacial features, July snow patches, and gorgeous long views.

Clearly, I was enjoying this moment at the roof of North America, with one foot each in the basins of the Atlantic and the Pacific. More photos from our adventures in the Rockies and the High Plains are on my Continental Divide album on Flickr.
As we descended from the thin air into the beautiful enclave of Estes Park, we also regained internet connectivity, and our first use of it was, of course, to search for a cafe. We were delighted  to find Coffee on the Rocks tucked along the banks of a mountain stream, a short distance from the park gate.

Zoom in to get details on navigation, but the map is presented at this scale to convey some sense of the wondrous surroundings. A more idyllic location for a cafe can scarcely be imagined, and the cafe itself merits the location. Each of us was able to find a coffee, chai, smoothie, snack or meal to suit our appetite, and we were able to enjoy them at one of several outdoor tables near a small pond. Had the weather been less inviting, we noticed ample space inside the cafe, which could easily seat a few couple dozen guests.
A beautiful location makes a good cafe a great cafe!
I did not take the time to delve into the details of the coffee itself, but I did enjoy a cappuccino and my daughter's latte was also quite good. If ever we are fortunate enough to be back in Estes Park, we know exactly where to go.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

PERKethic -- Newport Metapost

A Coffee Maven Review 

Newport, Rhode Island is a perfect walking town, and by extension a perfect place for cafes. We are staying in a harborside hotel a couple of miles from the seaside campus where my favorite librarian is spending her birthday sharing her scholarly work at a library conference.

We plotted a route along which we were confident we would find breakfast, and indeed we found a scrumptious repast at Gary's Handy Lunch. It is a geniune locals place with regulars packed in around the central counter. But visitors were eagerly welcomed as well, and quickly served a delicious breakfast. We did not expect much of the coffee, and our expectations were met. We observed that generally, one can have a good breakfast or good coffee, but not both in the same place (except at our house, of course).

While on the way to lunch, Pam's keen eye had noticed an article about coffee shops on the cover of a local free paper. She opened the box, and working around the trash someone had carefully placed there, she retrieved the latest issue of Newport Mercury. Once we settled in at Gary's Handy, we browsed PERKethic, a nice review of a half-dozen local cafes by freelance writer Bre Power Eaton.
Image ripped from Google Streetview. Neither on its imagery nor in the location tags has Google caught up with the change in ownership at this location. I like the old name a lot better!
She describes each place from the point of view of someone who uses cafes for working online, and she favorably reviews Teas and Javas, a place I had noticed at about the same time Pam picked up the newspaper. I had already decided to stop there on my way back to our hotel (where I am now finishing this post, after spending an hour or so in T&J).

I agree with Bre's assessment -- this is a very friendly place with plenty of room to work or chat. It also has power outlets near many of the tables and although it does not have a full breakfast, it has quite a nice little menu of sandwiches, smoothies and even gelatto. I just had the coffee -- I was delighted to see that T&J actually uses the cup warmer on top of its espresso machine for its intended purpose, and serves dine-in coffee in ceramic cups!

This is not specialty coffee -- the baristas did not know what I meant by "origin" or "varietal" and its website's claims about fair trade and organic are probably not true, since they serve Illy. But it is a very nice cafe that is a comfortable place for visitors and locals alike.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Better Bean Coffee Company

The Better Bean Coffee Company is a local coffee shop that has been under new ownership and management since October of 2013!
 The shop is located only a couple minutes away from Bridgewater State University's campus and is right on the rotatory here in Bridgewater, MA!

23 Central Square,
Bridgewater, MA
(508) 279-9952

Mon.-Fri. 8am to 9pm
Sat.: 8am to 9pm


I went in to the shop on a Tuesday at 10:30 am. When I walked in, there was 2 men simply socializing over a cup of coffee from the shop. As was there, multiple moms came in with their infant children to meet also over a cup of coffee. There was also a guy on his laptop taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi. The shop also had multiple regulars that picked up what they ordered and walked out the door. In the shop was evidence of what makes a local shop close to the community. They had the local newspapers, local business cards, town announcements, and art made by artists in the community.  
Better Bean Coffee Company serves Arabica coffee from a custom roaster in upstate New York. Along with brewed coffee, they also serve hot chocolate/apple cider, tea, ice and blended beverages, sandwiches, and salads. The full menu can be seen by viewing the shop's website


There are 4 Dunkin Donuts locations within a mile of the Better Bean Coffee Company coffee shop. 2 of them are on Bridgewater State University's campus along with a Starbucks.

Elizabeth's Bagels

Located in Franklin, MA, 346 West Central Street. Elizabeth's bagels serves as a crucial part of many Franklin resident's typical morning routine. Even though there is a dunkin donuts .2 miles away from Elizabeth's, this bagel shop still prevails business wise to find itself full of loyal customers daily.

House Blend, Decaf, Rain Forest Nut, Hazelnut, Seattle Dark Roast, Organic Mexican and Seasonal Flavors.

Bagel Flavors
Plain, Sesame, Poppy, Everything, Onion, Garlic, Salt, Cracked Wheat, Cheddar, Egg, Pumpernickel, Cinnamon Sugar, Cinnamon Raisin, French Toast and Patriot.

Bagel Cream Cheese Flavors
Plain, Chive, Scallion, Vegetable, Garlic Herb, Bacon Cheddar, Kickin Jalapeno, Olive and Pimento, Strawberry, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Maple Walnut

Catering service: Not only does Elizabeth's provide for the average everyday person in a rush to grab breakfast and go, but Elizabeth's also caters to large groups of people. This is a great resource for anyone trying to throw a large event during breakfast or brunch times.

Not only does Elizabeth's offer bagel catering service but they also provide lunch sandwich catering service for a lunch or evening event. This is a great resource for any large gathering event as long as the order is placed within 48 hours of the event. 

This is a very customer friendly environment in which I highly recommend that anyone passing through the Franklin area goes to support this amazing local business!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Brewed Awakenings!

Brewed Awakenings
Hingham Center
Corner of South & Main St. 19 Main Street
Hingham, MA 02043

If you are ever in the Hingham, Ma area this coffee shop is definitely one to stop by! Located at 19 Main St, Hingham Ma this coffee shop is right in the heart of Hingam center! 
Along with this coffee shop, there are plenty of other stores around in the area if you wanted to take your coffee to go and walk around on a nice day. Once entering the shop, you will be greeted by their friendly employees and a warm atmosphere! 
Brewed awakenings has much more to offer than only coffee as they sell everything from pastries, to smoothies, sandwiches and more! They have wall of coffee beans to which one can grind themselves and take home to go! 
They also proudly serve fair trade coffee which is an absolute plus! Jims organic coffee along with Cafe Jose. Over all this is an awesome coffee shop that everyone should experience!


Facebook Page: 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Andrews Bakery

Andrews Bakery has been in service for over twenty-five years now when Julie Andrews started baking a few cookies and pies. Owned by Julie and her husband, today the coffee shop has evolved to serve the area with not only cookies and pies but also cakes, pastries, sandwiches, salads, coffees and teas. In addition, gift baskets are made and offered for many occasions.

123 Belmont Street in South Easton, MA
Monday - Friday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM


When approaching the shop, it can be found on the left
hand side of the road with a wooden sign that reads:

Andrews Bakery provides free parking to those who would like to stop in 
and drive-thru service for those on the run!

My first impression of the bakery from viewing the outside is not what I would imagine a common coffee shop to look like. As shown above, the coffee shop at first glance looks like someones home. To my surprise, walking into the bakery there is a very open space with plenty of sitting space and big windows giving much light to the place.

Andrews Bakery showcases their tasty pastries and delicacies in windowed cases along with their freshly made bread (made from scratch) and offers pre-made salads and sandwiches for on the go.


The menu consists of a variety of choices from the bakery such as, cakes, pies, breakfast pastries, coffee cakes, cookies, brownies, cinnamon buns, cheesecakes, quiches, calzones, and breads.
Including hot and cold coffees, teas, and choice of bread, sauces, and toppings when building your own sandwich.

In terms of the coffee served, Andrews Bakery offers a special brand called "La Minita" coffee. This coffee can be found in the mountain region Tarrazu in Costa Rica. Hacienda La Minita brings some of the world's finest green coffees direct from origin. Andrews Bakery roasts their own coffee every few weeks. Andrews Bakery serves your choice of dark and house roast coffee.

Options include: Espresso, Cappuccino, Latte, Mocha, and Hot Cocoa.
Added flavor options include: Hazelnut, French Vanilla, and Almond.
All options can also be iced.

All in all, my experience with Andrews Bakery was a nice experience. The cashier seemed to be a college student who has been working there for about 6 months. Stonehill College can be found about less than 5 minutes away and accepts Stonehill Student Cards. 
Fun Fact: Julie Andrews is a Stonehill graduate, Class of '69. 

Although Julie was not available to answer potential questions that I had due to her need of attending to situations in the back, I can conclude my experience as a pleasant one!

Nearby Competition: 
Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks can be found 5 minutes away by car.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Hopkinton Gourmet

Hopkinton Gourmet is the definition of a local coffee shop that has a sense of community and comfort.   Located in the downtown area of Hopkinton and approximately 100 yards from the starting line of the Boston Marathon. 

A small yet spacious environment there are only a few tables to relax at, but that is not necessarily the type of coffee shop this is. With it's clientele being a majority commuters and students in the early morning, not many stay to enjoy the shops comfort. 

This wonderful establishment is owned by none other than the Dave Phillips. He has owned Hopkinton Gourmet for the past nine years and it continues to grow in popularity each year. Dave is originally from England and always welcomes his customers into his shop with a friendly smile and hello (in a strong English accent!).  We sat and talked with him for about an hour and after only a few minutes we could sense his passion and love for the coffee industry. He even told us that if he was in this for the money he would be doing something completely different. Being the social butterfly that he is, he always welcomes new customers and looks forward to seeing new faces everyday. While we were with Dave, we took a quick walk to that park nearby and within 10 minutes of walking he greeted about 25 different people; all of whom being loyal customers for some years now. 

Pictures of the menu, including: Breakfast sandwiches, house coffee (Red Barn), lunch sandwiches and other beverages sold.
To go off of the caption above, the house coffee is Red Barn Coffee. Roasted in Upton, MA has been the go to coffee for many Hopkinton Gourmet customers for years. Being of Fair Trade and reasonable pricing, the relationship between them and Mr. Phillips has only grown with each passing year. 


Busiest time of the day - 6:00 am to 10:00 am
Mostly commuters, teachers and students (prior to start of school)
40% students / 60% professionals
An observation he has made after owning the business for 9 years is that more younger people are starting to drink coffee at a younger age. 

This is a small shelf that Mr. Phillips keeps in the side of his store. It contains business cards, flyers, and marathon memorabilia of many local shops. Adding to the sense of community. 

43 Main Street,
Hopkinton, MA
Monday - Friday -  6:00 am - 4;30 pm
Saturday & Sunday - 6:30 am - 2:00 pm 
(508) - 434 - 0435

By: AJ Vernaglia & Jonathan Pires

Neighborhoods Coffee and Crepes

The coffee shop I visited was Neighborhood Coffee and Crepes in Boston, MA. I had originally wanted to go to the Meow Parlour in NY but they were booked for days and nothing beats a coffee with a crepe to go along with it! A little less then a mile a way from Fenway Neighborhoods Coffee and Crepes is located on 96 Peterborough St. and is settled into the middle of a neighborhood (where the only people who can park anywhere close to it are residents, and I of course found out the hard way with a $30.00 ticket as a souvenir.)

 The Cafe was small but cute on the inside there were about 4-5 tables with chairs on one side and a long booth on the other. It doesn't quite feel like a place you would stay for a long period of time, but they do provide an industrial power strip for multiple people to use to charge their devices. They also hve books and games on a shelf that are available to the customers. Although they have a small inside they do provide an outdoor space in front of the shop to sit and eat. I really liked that they had that so if you bring a dog with you, you can sit outside and enjoy it with them instead of feeling like you have to walk around with a coffee in your hand around Boston.Especially because I would have liked to bring my pup with me but I didn't know what I would have done with her when I found the coffee shop I wanted to go to, now next time I know I can take her to the park watch some sails go by then have a nice crepe and latte with my pooch sitting by my side!

While I was there I tried the mocha latte with a Razz Red Velvet crepe, although I prefer just the traditional crepe with powdered sugar and maple syrup the crepe was absolutely delicious, and as one who doesn't drink much coffee I drank the mocha latte without any sugar and that says a lot about how good it is. The only downside of course being in Boston, was the price. A little on the high side and being a broke college student it was pretty pricey for me. However, it was worth it.They do sell fair trade coffee which comes from George Howell. They sell multiple types of coffee beans you can buy and bring home to make that come from different countries.

One occurrence that happened while I was there that really made me appreciate them and like them as beings was when a man that came in who clearly didn't have much money  who apparently goes there often was having some trouble and the workers insisted on him taking his coffee for free. You don't see many people that are willing to help those that don't fit a certain stereotype and it made me feel really good knowing that they are willing to help those people and make them feel comfortable going into their shop.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Java Jungle - Catie Hanlon

The coffee shop that I visited was Java Jungle in Hull MA, this atmosphere was decorated like a jungle and the woman that owned it was very welcoming. She had expressed her love for coffee with me, this was a one of a kind shop and  she also expressed that how long she has been in the business. Before taking this class i didn't know all that went into the coffee and the beans.  she explained to me what the process was and shared everything she knew she gave me different coffees to try also, She also knew about fair trade, the difference between arabica and robusta and what shade grown is. The beans are locally roasted in rhode island but she gets her beans from all over the world. All her coffees had no added syrups and they are all ground.The company that roasts the beans has been family owned since 1880 the mills family. The owner of java jungle also said she attends Cooperate America. The shop was a great place to be in general they had wifi so you could come relax have coffee and hang out with your friends. She also had a drive thru on the side of her shop! this was a one of a kind place and across from the beach, if your every in the area i recommend you try Java Jungle.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Coffee in Chicago!

Intelligentsia, a Dollop of Metropolis, illy and a pancake house = coffee tasting in Chicago!

Coffee Tree growing in the Crystal Gardens greenhouse of Chicago's Navy Pier!


A visit to Intelligentsia could best be described as an educational visit to a coffee college.  This coffee shop is the real deal and a true find in this coffee lover's quest to learn more about coffee growing and taste my way through the coffee culture. During my visit in Chicago my goal was not to ask specific probing questions about practices and allowed the baristas to teach me about what makes their coffeehouse and coffee special. 

Intelligentsia started as a single coffee shop in Chicago with their own small in house roaster.  Expansion now includes their headquarters and roasting works on Fulton Street in Chicago - home to roasting facilities, coffee labs, coffee tours, coffee storage education and screen printing. 

Intelligentsia Roasting Works and Headquarters in Chicago. Photo from:  Intelligentsia

Another roasting facility is located in Los Angeles, and two training facilities in Atlanta and New York.  Retail coffeebar locations can be found throughout Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.  

I visited the Millennium Park location on East Randolph Street. 

The Coffeebar had several coffee machines and brewing stations that included:

Grinding (for whole roasted beans)
Steaming (milk)
Espresso Machines

Brewed Coffee:

Kalita Wave

For Espresso choices: 
Espresso, Latte, Cappuccinos, etc. they offer: Bourbon Variety

Black Cat 
Classic Blend
Jacques Carneiro & Luiz Paulo Pereira
Fazenda Santa Ines
Carmo de Minas, Brazil

Nyarusiza Rwanda
Single Origin Espresso
Epiphanie Mukashyaka and Sam Muhirwa
Nyarusiza Washing Station
Gikongoro, Rwanda

Brewed coffee varies by selection for that day. 
During my visit they were offering coffee from: 

 El Salvador 

There was approximately four or five hard working baristas behind the counter that all worked a brew station that they were experts in. Each offered helpful information and recommendations for variety, brewing techniques and information about the region the coffee grew in.   Ken was friendly, professional and generous with information about Intelligentsia's philosophy, which is to basically work with farmers directly all over the world looking for the very best quality coffee.  Direct trade is their goal and only the finest quality coffee is bought and roasted.  Organic is important, as is fair trade, and they work hard to seek those coffee farms using practices and cooperatives that support the farm and environment.  Ken explained that fair trade is a focus word right now, and that many people do not understand it.  He said the emphasis for Intelligentsia is quality coffee and good relationships with farmers and growers.  When that happens everything else falls into place. 

Ken asked how I enjoy my coffee (which is a simple drip brew or pressed and serviced black) and recommended the Burundi Bwayi. His co-barista made my coffee to order.

Wow, was this a treat! Brewed in a pour over method using Kalita Wave dripper. 

Served black and elegantly in a glass sniffer style coffee glass with a small refill carafe on the side, all placed on a eco-friendly bamboo single serve tray.

The coffee was amazing and I tasted caramel with a slight tangy but sugary fruit flavors.  I could not smell this but a flowery note could also be tasted. It was hot but not burning, allowing the coffee to be enjoyed without any additives.  The glass felt wonderfully warm after walking in the cool, windy Chicago neighborhoods. 

Wifi working and coffee sipping just go together, and this is definitely a meeting spot as much as a working space.  The coffeebar was very busy, filled with people meeting for coffee or enjoying a cup while working solo.  Mostly bar style high tops and counters, with few tables and chairs placed throughout. There was a even a quiet corner in the rear. Even though the room was busy and full, it did not feel crowded as the trendy and lofty interior always felt more spacious than the crowd.

With plenty of coffee items, brew tools and extras to purchase, including of course the well stock pantry shelves offering all the coffee varieties at their freshly roasted selections.

The only criticism is prices.  The coffee for purchase especially the in season or special single origin by the bag or cup or is not for a budget conscience person or someone looking for chain coffee prices.  This is not really critical because it is indicative of a coffee company really looking for and expecting their customers to appreciate quality coffee.  You definitely get what you pay for and that is: a beautifully served, expertly crafted, satisfying coffee experience.  My favorite part was that my barista Ken, encouraged and strongly recommended coffee aficionados take the time to enjoy their coffee, in house, in a real glass or ceramic cup.  Take out paper cups are an option but if you ask EVERYONE just shrugs.

To learn more about Intelligentsia coffees, brewing tools and tutorials; including workshops, tours and barista classes visit:


Coffee Border Clipart

Wildberry Pancake and Cafe is a restaurant that 
serves Intelligentsia coffee and even has a barista counter at the front of the restaurant for those not staying for breakfast and are looking for quick take out coffee.

Photo: Wildberry Pancakes & Cafe

Our breakfast waiter at Wildberry did not know a lot about the coffee, but he was friendly and willing to ask the manager for more coffee information.  He ultimately brought us a bag of coffee which was a Columbian Catuai that Ken at Intelligentsia talked about, and referred us to the headquarters to learn more. 

I had the Catuai French Roast, made by drip method, first black then my second cup with a little cream and sugar.  The coffee was a rich and hearty robust flavor, and together with my big breakfast (perfectly poached eggs) it was a perfect start to a walking day in Chicago.

Wildberry has three locations, and was voted best pancakes in Chicago!  Not just for breakfast, the menu featured lunch items and the menu tempted a longer stay to try each and every offering. 

Wildberry Pancakes & Cafe

Coffee Border Clipart

espressamente illy 

Located on the corner of E. North Water and N. Cityfront Plaza in downtown Chicago, this a tiny espresso bar featuring of course the internationally known coffee producer illy, was on the side of the Chicago River and the convention center I was presenting in that brought me to Chicago.  

Admittedly what drove me in to this small little espresso bar was mostly curiosity and the opportunity to try the espresso coffee that is found literally all over the world served authentically in one of their shops. 

 It was a very brief visit. The tiny cafe was very busy and crowded for late afternoon. Standing room only and patrons have to squeeze by carefully avoiding spills and accidents from hand held espresso cups. I was nervous and preoccupied that coffee would be spilled on my camera!

I asked a few questions about the coffee, not needing anything particularly answered, I just wanted a feel for the service and the knowledge shared.  It was also super busy, so I didn't expect much.  Instead of questions answered a free espresso sample was handed to me promptly in a little beautiful espresso set! 

Sweet deal!  I smiled, winked and and said thank you.  Then shot my espresso and was out the door. Perhaps another time or day and this visit wouldn't feel so rushed. Verdict is, this is really really good espresso and an award for biggest ceramic espresso cup!

Coffee Border Clipart

Dollop Coffee Company

I loved this coffee shop.

Dollop has five locations, and coffee is definitely a passion here.  Casual, comfortable and with a laid back atmosphere, my visit to the Streeterville location had me wishing I brought my laptop and some books.  I could have spent the whole day here working or reading or both.  

This space was trendy but unpretentious, warm with touches of wood and couches to sit in throughout.  A wall of windows that allowed natural light to filter in, giving the cafe an open airy spacious area to work or just relax in. 

 A variety of brew styles and options to choose from from drip blends to espresso drinks and brewed to order single origin selections from Brazil to Ethiopia.

Super cool and clean counter spaces with espresso machines built UNDER the counter allowed patrons to watch their coffees being made, and their espressos and steamed milk crafted before them.  

My barista offered any coffee variety, as she said the coffee was so good it didn't matter between brew technique.  I opted for an espresso blend called Red Line made as a latte.  

It tasted like dessert.  It was rich, velvety and tasted like a chocolatey coffee with ripened fruit, maybe like a wine? It was hard to describe, and I don't order coffee with steamed, frothed or heated milk often, but this was one of the best lattes I've ever had. EVER.  

I bought a bag of these beans along with a bag of heirloom variety Ethiopian coffee from the Gedeo Kongo region, processed naturally from the Sedie Kongo Farmers Group.

Nice touches like the help yourself filtered water and a clean up after yourself area; gave the coffee shop a cozy home feeling but in a gorgeous modern space. 

People were socializing
working, meeting and relaxed.

Yoga anyone? 

Affordable, helpful, knowledgeable and willing to share about their coffee, I found Dollop both warm in hospitality and rich in coffee selections. 

Additionally, Metropolis is also located in Chicago and they sell their coffee online too!

Dollop and Metropolis equals a perfect morning and a definite best from my trip to Chicago! 

To learn more about Dollop Coffee houses or Metropolis Coffee Company visit their websites here: 

Dollop Coffee Company

Metropolis Coffee Company

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