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.
After a day spent walking endlessly around the Harrisburg Farm Show complex for a homeschool convention, my sis and I were something we like to call “T & H.” That is; “tired and hungry.” The state of being tired and hungry means that we are not really responsible for all of our feet-dragging, sad-faced indecision in eating and drinking choices. I had already done my due-diligence and found a nice little coffeehouse to revive our fading selves.
Enter Cornerstone Coffeehouse. Located just across the river from Harrisburg, Cornerstone Coffeehouse offers a wide variety of food, drink, ice cream and desserts.
Correction: This place had a mind-boggling array of food choices. Even so, after checking out the website coffeehouse menu, I was fascinated by one certain panini called “The French Press.” Roast turkey with tangy honey mustard, cheddar cheese and green apple slices. Grilled with baby spinach on sourdough. But alas, we missed the daily lunch specials by several hours. Sad faces all around. This place has some creativity to spare in their menu choices. I like. I like very much.
In fact (speaking of culinary creativity), the Cornerstone Coffeehouse has a surprise waiting through the back hallway. It’s Cornerstone Culinary Kitchen; a private cooking instruction room. Elegantly decorated in the Tuscan style, this room plays host to cooking classes, intimate gathering and private parties. This is something even I have not yet seen in any other coffeehouse. Bravo!
And now for the real reason we visit coffeeshops & cafes, it’s coffee talk! For the first time ever on The Great Coffee Adventure, I was without my coffee-expert husband. He is the one that waxes eloquent about the nuances and individual strengths of each particular coffee offering, so forgive me if I am not as verbose as him.
I remember the first time I tasted espresso straight. About one year and three months ago at a little coffee-shop in Georgetown (Washington, DC). The barista told us that there were hints of blueberry. I did not believe him. But because I looooooved and adored my future-husband, I consented to taste the espresso. My face contorted and my nose wrinkled up like a baby eating salt. But, I had to admit: it really did taste of blueberry. And that’s when I became a believer in espresso.
Espresso. This espresso (at least to my over-sugared tongue) was very acidic. Acidic to the point of tasting sweet. Oxymoron, I know, but it’s my tasting notes and I’m sticking to it. The baristas paid special, serious attention to making their espresso, which is always impressive to me.
White Ivory Mocha. On the opposite side of the spectrum, if you’re looking for a dessert drink without the overt-chocolateness of a regular mocha, order this. Such a light touch, super-creamy with measured sweetness. Seemed like a good drink for a study night in autumn.
House Coffee, Breakfast Blend: I went for the Breakfast Blend because honestly, after a double espresso, white mocha and sharing a frappe, I was drinked out! I needed something enjoyable without too much bulk in my already-full stomach. The Breakfast Blend is (self-described by Cornerstone) as full-bodied with a medium-bodied smokiness that satisfies any time, day or night. Light roast for a light-coffee drinker like me. Perfect for sipping on the long drive home.
Hands down, BEST possible object ordered in this stop: Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Frappe. Almost as rich as a chocolate milkshake, but blended for a lighter mix. Perfect for a blazing spring (though it felt like summer!) day.
Meet Dominique (I call her Nik or Nikki or Tia or several other nicknames that are familial privilege). My sister. Who loves chocolate as much as me. But hasn’t quite come to terms with how awesome coffee is. Read: She hates it. With a flaming passion. (Shaking my head). Though she certainly did assist in the complete annihilation of the Double Chocolate Frappe! See, coffee shops have something for everyone. Even the non-coffee drinkers.
Note: I made her try my espresso. HILARIOUS.
But if ice cream is your thing… and it’s usually mine… they have hand-dipped ice cream, too!
Plenty of loose-leaf tea choices!
This place seems to be always hopping with music and events. Check out that crazy-full community board!
The ambiance? Calm. Quiet. But not too quiet. People studying, snacking, talking, laughing, meeting friends, eating dessert, living life in best way possible.
And if you’re available on a pretty evening, stop in at the Cornerstone Coffeehouse.
2133 Market Street
Camp Hill, PA
They’ll probably be open. With live music events every Friday & Saturday.
Monday-Thursday; 6:30am – 10:00pm
Friday; 6:30am – 11:00pm
Saturday; 7:30am – 11:00pm
Sunday; 7:30am – 9:00pm