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The 5 best coffee shops I've ever been to

The 5 best coffee shops I've ever been to

 Green Engine Coffee Co.  Haverford, Pa. 

Green Engine Coffee Co.  Haverford, Pa. 

I woke up this morning without coffee.  I'm drinking English Breakfast tea instead of my favorite morning brew.  Because of this, I've gotten to thinking about the best coffee I've ever had. When I started writing, I realized that what I really loved about the coffee was not only the actual brew, but the atmosphere that came with it.  So I've decided to take you on a magical journey to my favorite coffee shops in the U.S.A (so far).  Be sure to click on the titles if you want to virtually go to these coffee shops today.  Enjoy:

The 5 best coffee shops I've ever been to:

 

1.  Green Engine Coffee Co., Haverford, Pennsylvania.  -

 

History.  Chemistry.  Epiphany.  That's their slogan.  When you click on this link, you'll find the most gorgeous pictures of the inside of the shop.  BONUS: A view of my new favorite book store, Children's Book World, where we met DanTDM a weekend ago (11/12/16).  The atmosphere alone transports you to such a harmonious environment, it should be a part of everyone's coffee shop therapy goals.  What? I'm the only one who has coffee shop therapy goals?  Ok, fair enough.  From their website: Green Engine Coffee Co. was born of an endless pursuit to share our love and knowledge of great coffee and hospitality.  We're your neighborhood coffee shop located in the heart of Haverford, PA. We serve freshly brewed artisanal coffee along with a seasonal menu of baked goods and sandwiches.  Find them at:

16 Haverford Station Road
Haverford, PA 19041
 

Must-Try-Item: "Kickstarter Sandwich", regular coffee.  This sandwich introduced me to the wonders of tomato jelly.  It was an egg, cheese, bacon, jelly breakfast sandwich.  Just perfection.  The coffee was absolutely wonderful of course.  Next time I will try one of the artisanal poured coffees brewed in a chemistry flask.  

           

2.  The original Starbucks, 1st & Pike, Seattle, Washington.

It's iconic. It's ironic. Actually it's not ironic, I just wanted to type that. I got to visit this awesome little coffee shop many years ago when my sister Jennifer lived in Seattle.  BONUS: She's moved back there again, so this place may be in my coffee shop future once again!  

From their website: "This corner store is at the gateway to Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market – a location of rich history and vital importance to both Starbucks and the Emerald City. It was, after all, in the Market that the original Starbucks opened in 1971. The design of our 1st & Pike coffeehouse evokes the warm heritage of that first store through its hardwoods, furniture and lighting. The store is LEED® Gold certified. During construction, we made sure to recycle as much of the construction waste as possible.

 Notable Store Elements

  1. The leather on bar’s outer facing was scrap obtained from shoe and automobile factories. 
  2. The walnut used in the tables, doors and bar top was salvaged from a nearby farm. 
  3. The signage on the bar uses recycled slate from a local high school. 
  4. The community table is twice reused; it was previously located at a Seattle restaurant and before that, in a home. 
  5. The restroom partitions are made from recycled laundry detergent bottles. 
  6. The wall tapestry is made of repurposed burlap coffee bags from our local roasting plant."

Must Try Item: Pike Place Brew of course!

3.  A Market, Newport Beach, California.  

This place.  Maybe it was just the California breezes.  Maybe it was because it was our last stop in California after our mini-music-tour with Jim Avett.  Maybe it was the company that was with me; my bandmates Ali & Fred, and Anita Parker.  The salty sea air, the vibration of the average income of the people in Orange County, California..., any one of these could be the reason.  It could also have been the coffee, pastries, salads, craft beer, and the quaint smallness of the place.  But this place holds a special place in my heart.  It inspires me to dream of a little coffee shop by the waters of Edinboro Lake.  I have it all planned in my mind: the old bait store converted to a wonderful shop just like A Market. It could still be called The Bait Shop. Fresh food, great coffee, local craft beer, penny candy, Edinboro Lake and community info, a big fireplace for winter months, views of the water, stand up paddle boards for rent in summer.  A girl can dream, right? 

Must Try item: Coffee cake (to die for).  Generous portion, buttery cake, brown sugar cinnamon filling and candied pecans on top.  Serves 4 easily!

4.  Eclectic Etceteras, Edinboro, Pennsylvania. 

This wonderful coffee shop is no longer in existence, but it taught me so much.  I met my band there.  I started my sing-alongs there.  I learned how the locals take their coffee.  I wrote songs there.  I met friends there.  I became a barista there.  That old historic house in the heart of downtown Edinboro holds a very special place in my heart.  The owner Renee is a very special person and had a great vision for the space.  It is sad that it's no longer around, but will live on in many hearts.  

Past favorite: Suntan lotion latte (coconut, vanilla, steamed milk, double espresso shot)

5.  Vacavi Cafe, Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania.  

This is my current favorite.  It's a little bit of a drive from Edinboro where I live, but it's worth it.  Plus, you can jam out to your favorite music on the way and gear up for the experience.  "A place without obligation" is their catch phrase.  The Latin definition of Vacavi is as follows: Definitions:

  1. be empty
  2. be free from, be unoccupied
  3. be idle
  4. be vacant

I'm never "empty" or "vacant" when I leave there. I'll take more of a "vacation" stance; no rules, just right.   I fact, I feel such freedom in being there, I'm compelled to go back time and again.  

Must-Try-Item: HappyMug breve latte.  It's their wonderful locally roasted by @HappyMug espresso with steamed half and half.  Add a homemade cinnamon sugar donut on the side!

 

HONORABLE MENTION(S):

1.  Upper Crust Bagel Company, Old Greenwich, CT.  

Technically, this is a bagel shop, not a coffee shop.  It evokes such fond memories of my trip to NYC with my friend Jaime, that I had to include it.  We were about to hop on the train into Grand Central Station.  Just an iconic day.  

2.  My House.  

You see, as long as I have my Happy Mug coffee, a french press, heck, even a drip coffee maker and some good half and half, I'm a happy camper.  Sharing good coffee is love.  

Hope you enjoyed this blog.  Feel free to comment with YOUR favorite coffee shops!!

"Ode On A Coffee Urn"

"Ode On A Coffee Urn"

"What did you want to be as a child?"

"What did you want to be as a child?"