Monthly Archives: October 2018

The Nuclear Bean

Like Bob Ross used to say, this was a happy little accident. I was heading down to Middletown to meet with some old college buddies at a brewery I’d never heard of called Tattered Flag. What I found (besides them), was something totally unexpected. Stuffed into the same building as the brew-works was a full-fledged coffeehouse!

I might never have known if I hadn’t gotten there rediculously early and happened to Google the words “coffee nearby Middletown PA”; in fact this was territory that I’d already tread. I visited a coffeehouse here when I first began blogging called Folklore, and was sure that I hadn’t seen any others in the nearby vicinity except for the one in Colombia, which had sadly closed. Fate, though,  has a way of filling my gullet with caffeine.

The Nuclear Bean opened in April, and is aptly named, given that the (in)famous Three Mile Island nuclear power plant is only a scant few miles from Middletown. No wonder I hadn’t heard of it; the place was pretty much new, and quite a novel idea. One of my friends had just made a Facebook post about how sad she was that there were no coffeehouses open late at night here in Central PA. This place is open until 9 PM, and in this area, most coffeehouses are indeed morning-focused, lacking the foot-traffic to make staying open late an option. Attaching the coffeehouse to a place already catering to late-night customers really does solve that issue.

The coffee that I tried was an Arabica, but it was quite a bit smoother than I find the average Arabica bean to be.  It was actually a very smooth mouthfeel initially, but in the aftertaste you pick up hints of the astringent quality that usually accompanies the Arabica and African beans. Overall a good, solid coffee; definitely a big step above what I expected from a coffeehouse attached to an alcohol-house. The barista…or was she a bartender? bar-ista? I don’t know. Anyhow, she said that the coffee was roasted by some lady in Manheim. She actually seemed contrite that the coffee wasn’t roasted right there on site. Poor girl; she has no idea what I’ve been through on this journey. You’re lucky if it’s not instant crystals at some of our local cafes.

So in the end, the only “fallout” from The Nuclear Bean was a slight caffeine withdrawal headache (with my beer partly to blame perhaps), and the desire to see more of small-town Pennsylvania in the hopes that there are more creative coffee spaces like this starting to spring up. Next month I’ll be heading to a place that I’ve deemed the most likely area of Pennsylvania to survive a zombie apocalypse. Stay tuned.



the sign…


the elements…


the intimidation…


the beans…

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Posted by on October 28, 2018 in Uncategorized