“The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don’t know what the heck they’re doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino.”
You’ve Got Mail
Brandon and I love coffee. ALOOOOOT.
We might have gotten coffee on our first-first date, on our second-first date (which was a non-date “friendly get-together“) and on our first we’re-an-official-couple-now date…. and almost-every-single date since then. Coffee is one of our “Love-marks.” We like Starbucks for its predictability. We like Sheetz because its caffeinated, pure-sugar-and-varied-flavor beverages gave us enough energy to drive long distances back to our respective homes during the long-distance dating/engagement era of our lives.
But we REALLY love locally-owned, individualistic coffee shops and cafes. They’re interesting, unpredictable and posses their own flavor of decor and drinks and ambiance. And then one day, we had the most brilliant idea! What if we took this love for coffee + love for local coffee shops + our desire to explore our local area, and made it… our Next Great Adventure?
Cue the beginning of Brandon & Naomi’s Great Coffee Adventure!
We’re going to be investigating local coffeeshops in the central Pennsylvania area. And maybe anywhere else that life takes us.
Naomi (hi, that’s me!). I’m the photographer, blogger, happy little smiler and altogether observant person. My coffee tastes are all for flavored and SWEET. Brandon calls my coffee “a trip to the sugar factory” and that’s the way I like it. I tasted espresso twice, and I think Brandon just wanted to see the horrible (and hilarious) faces I make. I liked baked goods, too, but I love my husband more… so I’ll try to share the cookies or muffins with him. Also, I plan on offering my opinions on coffeeshop ambiance, decor and overall design. I’m not a design expert, by any means, but I know what I like + I look at enough House Beautiful magazines to know what is aesthetically pleasing. To me. Because I can’t speak for you anyways.
Brandon (that’s my husband!). He’s the resident coffee expert. He appreciates the nuances of flavor, roasts, blends, etc. He uses strange and intriguing terms like “aromatic” and “smoky.” And he actually likes espresso. Straight. Black. I think that makes him a very classy man.And handsome. But that’s a whole ‘nother blog entry… He’s also the person who likes to talk. Period. He talks to me. And to strangers! Me? I stand aside and smile while he orders, pays and makes a joke that usually makes the barista into his new friend.
Together, we make the best coffee-shop-reviewing team possible.
We have a budget (wise spending is a 2012 goal). So on our great adventure, we will buy what we can with about $10. We aim to check out what we can as far as black coffee, espresso, something sweet for me… and maybe a munchie to go along with it. And we promise to let you know how the prices stack up against everybody else. It’s coffee, y’all… we all know it cost you like $.25 to brew it… why does it need to cost us $4? (Sbux, I’m looking at you!).
At first, we thought that this should be a marathon one or two day coffee adventure. And then we realized that our palates would be absolutely exhausted by the 3rd or 4th coffee shop. And that might translate into “I can’t even stand coffee anymore. Much less this coffee shop.” So in the interest of fairness, we’re spreading this out quite a bit. Expect a new coffeeshop blog entry every week or so.
How’s the coffee? Like, is it okay? Passable? Ahhhmazing? Like paradise in your mouth? How are the flavored-lattes? How’s the ambiance? Would a girl like this place for a very-cool, local, unhurried coffee date? Is there free wi-fi? (aka, can I come here and work on my thesis and nobody gives me evil angry Snoopy faces?) What are the hours of operation? Do they have a website? Can I “LIKE” them on facebook? Can I find an address on my iPhone? What’s the decor? Are the baristas friendly? Do they know coffee?
This blog series is for you!
If you’re from the Central PA area… and love coffee, too.
If you wanna know what someone else thinks of a coffee-shop, before you make it your next date-place.
If you just want to live vicariously through us.. and these pretty pictures.