This installment of the Coffeehouse Journey took me to a cafe that has rapidly become one of those “old familiar places” in my heart. I actually visited here for the first time over two years ago while strolling the streets of Harrisburg after a poetry reading. Back then it was located on the much-maligned Second Street in the heart of the city, but has since moved to its Third Street location in Midtown; Midtown being the heart of our Bohemian (or at least hipster) demographic here in the ‘Burg.
The freewheeling, urban atmosphere remained the same though, and it’s all due to the owner of the shop, Ambreen Esmail. Originally hailing from Pakistan, Ambreen has become a local go-to person for the coffee connoisseurs of the area. Ironically, she herself claims to be a committed tea-drinker. Thankfully that doesn’t stop her from knowing the ins and outs of the coffee trade; she even jets off to New York City to get new beans and engage with the cupping community up there. Cupping is the coffee equivalent to wine-tasting, with “Master Tasters” taking the place of sommeliers.
Sometimes there is live music music here, especially on our monthly Third in the Burg nights (that’s every third Friday night), and most commonly in the summer. Besides the eclectic atmosphere of the place, though, the coffee itself really shines through as the main draw. The sheer pace of flavor change-up and willingness of the staff to help you concoct literally any variation on a theme make this a place to stop for anyone working here. Oh, and by the way, she’s only closed on Sundays! Unlike many of the places here with schizophrenic hours, this place is quite consistent. It also doesn’t try too hard to be “cookie-cutter” Bohemian, which is very refreshing. Whether you’re a resident or just passing through, I recommend this one or sure.
Oh, and on a personal note, not all of my reviews for coffeehouses in general will be this cheery, but I figured that we might as well start this blog off on a positive note! Good idea right? Well, until next time folks.