Best of the Best: State Edition

In 2016 Huffington Post published: The Best Places For Coffee In Every State . . . and Washington D.C.

I found this article as I was starting my coffee journey in 2018. At the time I was living in Las Vegas, Nevada and I was absolutely thrilled to know my home state’s best coffee house (Sunrise Coffee) was actually one of my favorite places! For nearly 10 years, I had been patronizing the best of the best in Nevada. Every time I go back to Vegas I make a stop still — I miss it terribly, and I miss its companion locale Mothership just as much!

Now, I left Las Vegas and went on a variety of travel adventures after my departure.

During my travel adventures, I was blessed and lucky enough to go on two separate road trips through the US πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ. One traveling east and north, another traveling south and west. At some point during my travels I looked at every state I would travel through, the cities and routes available, and decided I should try and see if I can get to the best coffee in other states!

I traversed 13 states in some fashion and in some way during my two road trips. The thing is: the west and midwestern states are pretty large. So, I didn’t get close to 13 coffee shops, but I did see a few and I have to say it has inspired me further.

In Minneapolis, Minnesota–on two separate occasions, a year or so apart, I went to Peace Coffee. The ambiance was incredible. The coffee was strong and aromatic. Their peanut butter cookies were a perfect companion to my coffee.

In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma I visited Elemental Coffee Roasters — and I loved it so much I got some coffee for later! It was in a great location in the city, it had a wonderful layout, and it had just plain good coffee.

In Albuquerque, New Mexico I made a quick stop at one of the several locations of Satellite Coffee. I happen to patron the one next to the university; I loved the ambiance and wanted to stay but I had lots to see and only a bit of time–though I must say my coffee gave me all the joy and energy I needed for my adventures.

So I got to 3 out of 13 states I visited/drove through — technically 4 since I went through Nevada and went back to Sunrise. Still though, not a passing grade.

But sometimes the grade isn’t the end all be all!

I had a great time; I had something specific and different to do when I was driving and traveling, unlike most other to-do lists, and I enjoyed so much I hope to keep going. Travel and have the best coffee in the good ol’ USA πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ, what could be better? πŸ˜‰πŸ€—

What is coffee?

An oldie, but a goodie category of posts–probably my favorite if I’m being honest!

What is coffee?

Coffee is . . .

  • calming
  • comforting
  • reassuring
  • relaxing
  • soothing
  • supportive
  • therapeutic

In other words, coffee is one of those magic elixirs that helps all things fall into place πŸ–€

Photo by Jen P. on Unsplash

Coffee Gratitude

It’s been a slow return . . .

I went on winter break in 2020 and things just sort of spiraled from there. I kept meaning to come back and it wasn’t happening . . . I announced my return in January 2022 and it’s been much more difficult to get back into the groove. It seems that the never-ending stream of global events, along with other changes in my own life, keep taking me in every direction, all at once.

In all of this, however, it just dawned on me: I have remained a coffee-drinker, and remained comforted by coffee. It’s interesting how that happens–how certain sounds, smells, tastes, sights, provide continuous positive emotions. While my tastes and preferences have changed over time–I was an avid iced coffee drinker and now can’t fathom how I drank coffee cold–but the comfort is there, still there, and for that I am grateful.

Photo by Zarak Khan on Unsplash

Drink coffee . . .

Drink coffee . . . because . . .

  • you’re thirsty
  • you’re tired
  • it’s gonna be a long day
  • you’re cold
  • you’re hot
  • you need caffeine
  • you want caffeine
  • you have a headache
  • you feel a headache coming on
  • it’s available
  • it tastes good
  • it smells good
  • it sounds good
  • it feels good
  • you made it
  • you bought it
  • someone made it for you
  • someone bought it for you
  • you need it
  • you’re craving it

Drink coffee. Who cares why? You don’t actually need a reason. Just do it πŸ˜‰

Coffee Humor

“Why, yes, I could start my day without coffee. But I like being able to remember things like how to say words and put on pants.”

–Nanea Hoffman

A Cup Collection

In my last apartment, my last permanent residence, I had about 15-20 mugs. I had a few solid colors, a few designs, and a few with inscriptions–varying from funny to inspiring. I lived in a decent sized apartment, but I had started to look at the collection and wonder when I would have enough.

I don’t like clutter, I don’t want to take up too much space, and I want to be practical; I only drink out of one mug so really one could technically be enough, a reasonable person might say two or three to take into account that one may break or one may be in the dishwasher. Okay. I can live with 2-3 mugs.

At this point, far below an alarming number–in my opinion–I had already given credence to the idea that I had a collection, and that I may be on my way to, or already have, a sizable collection.

This was a year ago, before all my travels, before I sold or gave away most of my stuff, and put the rest in storage. This was before I reduced my collection in order to embark on a sort of gap year.

Nowadays, I actually miss my wall of hanging mugs, I miss the variety, I miss having options; at the same time, I know that giving them up and/or putting them away was best. Sometimes less is truly more. We can live with less.

Furthermore, after reading about Mesude Islkll, I realize that my 15-20 mugs was not that much. I’m not a collector. I had a reasonable amount of mugs for my love, my work, and my coffee.

Who’s Mesude Islkll? A woman who has collected 3,000+ coffee cups. She started 12 years ago, and they’re beautiful, some are even antiques. Each one holds a special memory for her. It is her passion and it shows.

I loved my mugs and it was hard to let go. I do love adding another mug to my collection–and look forward to building a new collection. However, I definitely don’t have the time, space, or money to amass a collection like Islkll. And maybe what I’ve learned and discovered is the sweet spot, somewhere between my original 15-20, and her 3,000+Β  sounds like a decent figure for a cup collectionΒ πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‚

I just have to figure out how much is appropriate . . . 25? 50? What do you think?

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