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.

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