I love coffee and not only because it takes this morning averse person and turns her into a real human being, each and every day, like a miraculous nectar but also because the cozy ritual adds daily comfort to an otherwise unpredictable world. I love the way it smells, the way it looks in all its lively stages – beautiful roasted beans that clink together soothingly as they drop into the grinder, grounds that shake out as a cocoa colored powder, and, lastly, brewed into a rich liquid that awaits being stirred into a new color (I’ll take mine with cream and a little raw sugar please).
Naturally my love for coffee leads to me to an only slightly secondary love, the local coffee shop. When I travel, I seek out local coffee shops and cafes for my fix, skipping over the predictable chains, and seeking a local adventure. Whenever possible, I pick up local beans as a souvenir and grind them at home where I spend a post-vacation morning reminiscing of my trip.
Savoring that cup of joe as I savor the luxury of vacation just a bit longer, it helps me ease back into my normal life. If it’s a coffee shop I really come to enjoy – like a little cafe my fiance and I discovered on Mount Desert Island, Maine, named Milk and Honey – I’ll purchase a souvenir mug for a longer serving memory. The mug, after all, is a key piece to the coffee experience. You want a mug that feels good in your hands, that warms your palm without burning it, that doesn’t hold your fingers too tightly.
If I had it my way, I would spend every day in a coffee shop. Preferably one with real mugs, a local roast, latte art, local art, freshly baked pastries, and a perfectly curated menu of sandwiches and snacks. I’d click away on my laptop on work days, read a book on the weekend days, and enjoy the luxury of being near people, out in the world, but still being in my own little one alone. No music, please. Let us enjoy the noise of grinding the beans, steaming the milk, packing the espresso tampers and calling out orders.
Lucky for me, I live in Annapolis where I can indulge in local coffee shops that offer coffee plus another one of my favorite things like:
- Coffee & Books (and one of downtown’s best backyards) – Brown Mustache Coffee in Old Fox Books
- Coffee & Ice Cream (and, sometimes, rosemary lemonade) – Red Bean Cafe
- Coffee & A Roastery (and a hip vibe) – Ceremony Coffee & Roastery
- Coffee & Baked Goods (and if you arrive early enough, fresh baguettes) – Bakers & Co
- Coffee & A Good Cause (and community) – Bitty & Beau’s Coffee
- Coffee & A Good Cause & Art (and student run + compostable cups) – The Cafe at Maryland Hall
- Coffee & Art & Music (and a really tasty steamed “eggs espresso” sandwich) – 49 West Coffeehouse, Winebar & Gallery
Want to talk about what you love? Let’s catch up over a cup of coffee.
Author photo by Chris Barron. All other photos by the author.