This began as a great idea: ”Oh, let’s combine our love for coffee + love for photography + love for our local spots + love for each other into one big adventure!” It morphed into something even bigger and more fun than we could imagine. We began to visit places outside of our local area and to also share our thoughts on WPSU’s Local Food Journey blog. It was truly an adventure.
15 coffee shops visited. Over 1000 miles on the road. Many Saturday mornings. Lots and lots of coffee. Probably more dessert than we should’ve eaten.And now, sadly we need to turn our attention to other things. Wedding season has been in full swing over here. The month of June (when everybody wants to get married) was so busy that I drank more coffee than normal. And now, I am busy digging out from under those thousands upon thousands of wedding photos I have taken in the last month… and getting ready for the rest of this year’s weddings. Our lives are changing. Becoming more and more focused. My husband will soon be busy working + spending hours with his nose in engineering study materials, and I will be delivering coffee to his desk with a smile and a kiss.Not much gallivanting around the countryside for us. And so, all good things must come to an end.
Before this Adventure ends, we wanted to share with you all some of our favorites. I could hardly call this a “Best Of” post, because it’s so difficult to determine what is the best coffee and who has the best of anything after visiting fifteen unique coffee shops. We settled on a post of sharing our favorites. With no other judge than our amateur, yet very-decided personal opinions. So enjoy!
Favorite Espresso – Saint’s Cafe in State College, PA. Choosing a favorite espresso is incredibly difficult. In the end, we both agreed that Saint’s acidic and citrusy espresso was so unique, that we must give it another shout out. Sourced from Africa and South America, these flavors blended and bended and swirled into a circle of liquid fascination. Good job, Saint’s!
Favorite Baked Good – Standing Stone Coffee Company in Huntingdon, PA. It was a moist, carroty, sweet, absolutely delectable ball of baked goods. With cream cheese frosting and the cutest little carrot on top. I’m still in love.
Favorite Business Hours (I.e. Favorite Place to Return on a Date Night) – Avenue 209 Coffeehouse in Lock Haven, PA. Avenue 209 was the first stop on The Great Coffee Adventure and they set the bar really high. Their ambiance is top-notch, with this fantastic hipster cool-kids vibe. And one of my favorite parts… they’re open late. Like late enough to eat dinner at home and then go hang out at the coffee shop for dessert/coffee/listening to live music or simply staring into the eyes of someone special. It’s a rare thing to find among independently owned coffee shops (who tend to close veeeerrrrryyy early), and that makes me like Avenue 209 all the more.
PS – We’re coming back soon!
Favorite Cup of Coffee – The IngleBean Coffeehouse in Millheim, PA. See! Even the farmers like it!
Favorite Friendly Barista/Coffeeshop Owner – Callao Cafe in State College, PA. Now I wasn’t able to get a photo of Mr. David Price, as he wasn’t working when we visited for The Great Coffee Adventure. But I so enjoyed meeting him on a previous visit that we had to mention it. Mr. Price is enthusiastic about coffee and incredibly friendly/welcoming. Perfect recipe for a great coffee-shop owner!
Favorite Dessert Drink – Helena’s Chocolate Cafe & Creperie in Carlisle, PA. May I remind you of this VERY important fact: They make their mochas with 64% Belgian chocolate that they make from scratch, steamed half and half, and melted down brown sugar. It is pure heaven.
Favorite Surprising Decor Element - Cafe Lemont in Lemont, PA. I mean, really? Parasols on the ceiling? Kudos to whoever thought of that!
Favorite Food that was Too Tempting to Pass Up! - Allegheny Creamery & Crepes in Hollidaysburg, PA. We weren’t even planning on eating this much on our visit, but after we read the menu description that included Nutella, bananas and strawberries in a crepe… how could we resist?
Favorite Use of a Theme – Pump Station Cafe in Boalsburg, PA. Sometimes, themes can be kitschy and obnoxious. Pump Station Cafe is none of those things. This cafe is cool and interesting and super-fun to look around in.
Favorite Hometown Hero – Cool Beans in Bellefonte, PA. We just have to mention Cool Beans. It’s that place in our hometown that we really like. Because we went there on our first officially-dating date. And I order the same drink every. single. time. Because we see friends and family there. Because it’s cozy and gives me warm fuzzy feelings every time I go back.
Favorite Place to Close Your Eyes (and Smell the Coffee) – Global Libations in Kutztown, PA. They roast their own coffee beans. The air is filled with the most comforting aroma ever. Now go. Rest in the wonderful scent. Die happy.
Favorite Place to Spend a Solitary Few Hours – Webster’s Bookstore & Cafe in State College, PA. Surrounded by books, how can one be lonely? Webster’s is definitely my top choice to spend time whenever my favorite person (husband) is busy.
We thought and thought, bantered, discussed, chatted, offered different highlights of many coffee shops that we have visited, but in the end, it was a pretty easy choice. If we had to choose only ONE favorite coffee shop… only ONE place that we could stop for a second visit…
The IngleBean Coffeehouse in Millheim, PA. From the rustic/antique decor to the warm-from-the-oven baked goods to the brick walls to the interesting coffee. We just liked it all. We’ll be back, IngleBean. Because we reeeeeeally liked you!
Thank you to all our friends and blog readers for following along on The Great Coffee Adventure. It’s been great sharing our love for coffee on this adventure. If you hear of a new coffee shop that you think we’ll enjoy, please let us know. We’ll still be coffee-dating it up and would love your recommendations.