The Great Coffee Adventure: Just a wedding photographer + her coffee-enthusiast husband on an adventure through Pennsylvania; discovering, photographing and otherwise enjoying the unique, independently-owned coffeeshops and cafes of our great state. Coffee makes us happy.
I’ve never been to Paris or any charming little French town, but I feel like Cafe Lemont should be there.
An intimate cafe setting. A visit to Cafe Lemont may go something like this: If you’re driving (a totally non-European thing, by the way), settle into the parking lot.. meander by the spacious back patio and in the cafe’s door. A friendly greeting from the smiling barista and you spend a few minutes studying the menu. Ring one of the antique bells on the counter… just for fun. Lunch today? Or maybe coffee & sweets. Glance around at the fascinating decor as you find your seat. At Cafe Lemont, every seat is different… leather chairs, tables, a high bench, a Victorian settee, a space by a table lamp, or in a corner or a hallway, etc. If it’s a breezy spring day or a warm summer evening or a crisp fall afternoon, make your way to one of the outdoor spaces–a picture-perfect front porch for people-watching and iced-coffee-sipping, and a spacious back patio for meeting a group of friends and wiling away the hours. Settle into your spot.
Then.. sit back… Think. Study. Read. Be fascinated by the local artwork on the walls (this month’s intriguing and most colorful selection by Jean Forsberg). Take a deep breath. It’s your moment to sip coffee and imagine that you went to Europe. And saved more money than calling a lizard about car insurance. Cafe Lemont is an intimate little place. Perfect for some “real” studying, contemplation, writing an epic life work (or thesis). Perfect for maybe a 10th date, with that one person that you loooove looking into their eyes and whispering sweet nothings to them… Since the sitting areas are in different rooms than the coffee-prep area & kitchen, there’s less noise than most coffee shops. Their background music is simply a pleasant hum that melds into your thoughts until one brief moment that you realize they are playing a song you love. And you smile.
This cafe is serious about coffee. There are many food offerings (and obviously well-loved by the clientele, if I could judge by the empty soup bowls and sandwich plates that surrounded us).
Here is Brandon (my resident coffee expert) with his thoughts on Cafe Lemont’s coffee bean offerings:
Espresso. The word to remember is distinguished. Some espresso hits you in the jaw and leaves you crawling away, blindly groping for a muffin to sooth the boldness that had alighted upon your tongue. Some espresso is more mild and tastes like, well, it tastes like a cup of coffee. Café Lemont’s espresso dies quickly—within 10 seconds. While that might sound bad, it’s really a good thing. If you get a shot of espresso that tastes exactly the same the whole way through, it is either very very good, or it’s very very bad (and the bad stuff is so bad). With my initial waft (yes, I do that) and my first mouthful, I thought, “Huh. That’s something.” That something was a particular nuance in this very cup of espresso that was very different than most espressos I have had. At the start it has a very floral taste to it, like you just drank a bouquet of spring flowers. While you try to grasp at the fleeting bits of floral, you come to the body of your sip, which is very woody. I usually use this word to describe a cologne, and in a coffee-sort-of-way, that’s what I mean. Imagine chopping fresh fire wood on a cold winter day and you’re getting close. The finish was very spicy—not like hot sauce is spicy, but spicy like what you throw into Autumn wassail—the cloves in particular. While I’ve experienced these same things with other cups of espresso, the way in which Café Lemont’s drank was very distinguished.
Coffee, house blend. Organic. Organic coffee is fun, and often retains a certain warmth in taste that their unorganic (or disorganic?) compatriots lose in their growth/harvest cycle. Café Lemont’s house blend was best enjoyed with cream and sugar. And an espresso brownie.
Now back to Naomi’s words.
Mocha with Irish Cream syrup. This dessert drink was surprisingly enjoyable in its lightness. I distinctly tasted the espresso, which is usually overpowered and manhandled by the mocha flavoring. I couldn’t find the Irish Cream flavor, but I was too taken with the pretty cocoa-sprinkled cool whipped cream melding with the other flavors to mind at all.
Café Lemont’s espresso added character, a distinguished quality, and an enhancing flavor to the mocha.
I will also exclaim about the unique hand-painted mugs that they use. This pottery by local artist, Charles Hughes, is available for purchase in the store or online at his website. I might need one or two new mugs.
Medium coffee + double espresso + mocha with extra flavor + espresso brownie = $10.25
I loved these antique bells. Collected by the owner, and such a great unique touch.
Open Tuesday through Saturday, 8am – 6pm. Sunday 10am – 6pm, Monday closed.