Coffee — and a slide

Drink your coffee. Go down the slide.

New Ground coffee is opening shop in London — and the shop features a giant slide. Yes, like the kind in a playground.

I have never tasted their coffee, but I would be willing to say that the ambiance, at the very least, would be a whole lot of fun. And, as if the slide and laughter of those sliding down aren’t enough, New Ground is invested in decreasing recidivism and supporting the community at large. They train and hire ex-offenders to work for them. They give people a second chance–and any organization that believes in people, that allows them to re-enter the world with work and a chance to start over positively, that’s the kind of organization I want to promote and support. Next time I’m in London, I know what coffee I’ll be sipping first.

Seattle, Washington, USA: Starbucks Reserve

I have made it!

As mentioned in Global Locations, there are just six Starbucks Reserves in the world. I had the chance, unplanned originally and a happy opportunity seized, to visit a Starbucks Reserve in Milan–the first Starbucks to touch Italy. It was a magical experience on multiple levels and it generated quite the conversation once I shared my post, photos, and my delight.

Once I discovered there were more Reserves, in already desired travel destinations at that, I made a goal of visiting more–eventually. That eventuality was more than a goal written on paper, it is now a goal that is being checked off!

In late October 2019, I was visiting a friend in Seattle and made sure our itinerary included a stop at the very first Reserve in Seattle.

Just like Milan, it was a golden treasure trove of all things caffeinated, of all things delicious.

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With that . . . just four more to go!

August 30, 2019: Quote of the Day

“If you’re a new artist, practice your art and share it. Set up shop somewhere, whether it’s a street corner or a coffee shop. I got my start in a coffee shop that didn’t even have live music. I wanted to play in coffee shops that did have live music, but I didn’t have an audience.”

–Jason Mraz

Global Locations: Starbucks Reserve

  • Milan, Italy
  • New York City, USA
  • Seattle, USA
  • Shanghai, China
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • . . . in the works: Chicago, USA

Some time ago I wrote about the merits of the Starbucks Reserve in Milan, Lombardy, Italy. I received some feedback on the piece–mostly pertaining to other locations. As a result, I decided to look up other Reserves.

I knew that Reserves were rare, but I did not realize how rare these Reserve Roastery locations actually are–just 5 currently operating in the whole world!

Some people have to visit the 7 Wonders of the World, some people want to visit every baseball stadium in the USA, some people want to touch every continent. I support any and all travel goals. I support multiple travel goals–so I’m offering another one: visit every Starbucks Reserve Roastery in the world, and if they add a few more, that’s just a few more places to explore and a few more cities to visit!

Who’s with me? Where to next? ✈️🧳

 

Kona, Hawaii, USA: Daylight Mind Coffee Company

Daylight Mind Coffee Company–two locations:

  • Kailua-Kona
  • Waikoloa

Let me state flatly and unequivocally: Kailua-Kona is better.

If you can only go to one location in Kona, I vote Kailua-Kona.

Why? The Kailua-Kona location rests right on the beach. The added smells, sounds, and feels of the ocean waves crashing makes everything about Daylight better. The Waikoloa location is in Queens Marketplace, a nice shopping center but nothing magical–it’s not the ocean.

The menu is the same. I had better service in Kailua-Kona each time. I had quality internet in both locations. Kailua-Kona was a larger venue with more seating, and thus more varied types of seating.

Kailua-Kona is also next to a farmers market, the former royal summer residence, plenty of tourists shops, and quite a few hotels. It just feels more accessible, and I feel there is more to do and experience as a visitor in this part of town.

I had breakfast, iced coffee, house coffee, and coffee to-go at the Kailua-Kona location. I ordered coffee and seated myself. I went to the restaurant to experience the service and food. I stayed for approximately 15 minutes on one visit, on another visit I stayed for a couple of hours. I went weekdays and weekends, mornings and afternoons. I visited on multiple occasions and each time I was thoroughly impressed by every bit of this place.

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At the Wakioloa location, I went just twice–once for breakfast and once just for coffee.

At either Daylight, the coffee was good, not my favorite in all of Kailua-Kona, but I still loved it, specifically the Kailua-Kona venue, for everything it paired and added to the coffee experience. So, this is an unusual recommendation, as I’m recommending it not based on having the best coffee per se, but rather on the feeling and ambiance created while drinking your coffee.

So, if you’re in Kona, try Daylight, try both locations, it’s good for coffee, breakfast, and maybe a little downtime before you go shopping, or back to the beach.

 

Hawaiian Life

Over the past year and a half writing Cups and Comments I have learned that it is best to sit down, write a bunch for the future, edit in another session, and then relax as your weeks worth of posts are delivered. I prepared for some time to work, and thought it would be easy to follow this pattern as I stayed in Hawaii.

Well, I have to admit, I must confess: Hawaiian living is just too good. I am thoroughly behind and distracted here, but with a view and atmosphere like this, can you blame me?

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I’m doing my best to get back into my groove, but every time I sit down I just want to look up and soak it all in . . . writing, researching, pretty much anything other than sipping my coffee as I enjoy the sounds, smells, and sun here is really beyond my reach.

I promise, I will buckle down–eventually 😉

Hawaiian Prelude

I have been given the opportunity to stay in Hawaii for 5 weeks. I will be in Kona, tanning, hiking, enjoying the sounds and sights of island life–and of course scouting out some great coffee.

I have always enjoyed Hawaiian coffee and coffee shops, Kona coffee is among my favorites. I cannot wait to enjoy it, in its home. Wish me the best of luck–and get ready for some Hawaiian recommendations!

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My home, my view, for 5 weeks in Kona 😍

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia: LUNE

The great thing about going to the capital of great coffee is knowing that your options may be limitless. I only had two full days in Melbourne, one day to truly explore, and I was jittery each of those days, with excitement and caffeine.

The best thing about this coffee capital was insider knowledge. With only two days, I had done some research, but there’s nothing like a real-world trusted spokesperson.

One of my best friends has been living in Melbourne for nearly two years, so I had a personal guide from one place to another that was *the best*, or I *had to try*, or *this one needs to make it to your blog*!

While I definitely enjoyed the guided tour of every caffeinated delight, one is seared into my memory: Lune Croissanterie.

Lune Croissanterie has been featured as having the best croissants in the world. Not just Australia, the world.

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A neat display greets you at the counter, so you can make the most informed decision. This great display is also needed as options may vary, which is all the more reason for many visits!

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I went to the Lune in Fitzroy; there are currently two locations. This location, this space, is quite open, lots of room to stand, and apparently wait–the lines are usually long, though I had no wait. (If you’re wondering, I went on a Monday morning).

In the center, there are glass windows, to watch these culinary masters make magic. You can see the entire process; it’s exquisite.

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My friend and I shared three croissants–each of them was perfection, and our choices made for a balanced meal. The almond croissant was sweet. The ham and gruyere was savory. The lemon was tart, but not overpowering; the sugar on top helped!

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Now, this is not a croissant blog, but let me emphasize that a place known for having the best croissants in the world is not going to let their caffeinated companions languish.

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With food and drink, the individual parts have to shine on their own in order to make the pairing an augmented experience. My friend and I had lattes, each of us with our choice of milk. Our coffees added to the experience, the coffee was better because of the croissant, the croissants were better because of the coffee.

Lune has a well-deserved reputation. I am still searching for the right words to convey what it provides its patrons, but I don’t think I have them.

So, I leave it to you: get to Melbourne, and get to Lune–and buy every croissant, and enough coffee to go with it 🥐☕

New Zealand & Australia Prelude

I swear I have a job, like a real job . . . well, sort of. Define real job . . . 😉

So, I have been bouncing around Europe, sometimes finding lovely places, sometimes not. I have been trying to keep up with my finds, and other posts, to share some genuinely good stuff. As I’m trying to manage all the pictures, and notes, I am off on another trip!

Upcoming travels and possible posts, soon brought to you by New Zealand and Australia! I will be spending 2 weeks in New Zealand and 3 weeks in Australia, 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼 for something great to share — I’m sure there will be plenty!

Vicenza, Veneto, Italy: Caffé Roma

Vicenza is a city in the north of Italy. Look at a map of Italy, find Verona, find Venice–Vicenza is in between these two famous cities.

I was repeatedly encouraged to visit Vicenza. I was unsure about my visit, and purpose, I had two significant locales on either side of the city that were calling my name. Luckily, I took the local recommendation.

Vicenza is a cute city. It has less international name recognition, but it’s definitely worth a visit. There’s plenty to see, and a lot less crowds, which makes for a wonderful experience.

Vicenza is known for its beautiful buildings–Palladio, a famous Italian architect, dominates the city. I visited several times; I saw only a fraction of what was possible–there are a few shopping areas, a number of churches, museums, gorgeous buildings, and some truly beautiful parks.

With so much to see, a coffee break will be in order. While I’m sure that any coffee place in an Italian city provides good coffee, I have my heart set on Caffé Roma.

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I discovered Caffé Roma through two new American friends I met on my travels–Vicenza is home to an American base, their partners were stationed at this base, so they were exceptionally familiar with the area, and I let them be my tour guides one visit. They are the ones that took me here, and I will forever be grateful.

Caffé Roma has a small outdoor seating area, in that area they included blankets which I really appreciated as I visited during winter. I enjoyed my coffee outside and stayed warm with beautiful, thick, soft blankets. The indoor seating had a few tables and the most adorable coat hangars at the bar. There is a giant mirror located next to the bar itself where I wrote alongside others from all over the world. Finally, the customer service was superb; the people were patient, kind, and friendly.

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All of this was on top of the fact that they had great coffee, and some superb brioche. In fact, my friends took me here specifically for the brioche–they said it was the best they had tasted in all of their travels. I have to agree, it was pretty spectacular.

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So, if you’re ever in Vicenza, visiting this architectural and Italian gem, make a stop at Caffé Roma–get cozy with some blankets, coffee, and brioche, it’ll be just the break and treat you needed.

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