Happy New Year! Been a while since I posted, I know. Typical holiday stuff. Visits with the family, big feasts courtesy of my Mom, and too much money spent by all of us on all of us were the main characteristics. Oh, and a week off work! That week off included a little vacation I planned for myself up near Milton Pennsylvania. Now, anyone close to me knows that the majority of my family hails from the upper Susquehanna valley and that I’m prone to make a lot of trips to that area for that reason. It’s surprising therefore that I’ve never really explored the coffeehouse scene in that area. Maybe it’s because I discounted it entirely. I mean, it’s in the Trump-y parts of rural Pennsylvania, not the college-y parts near Philly. And yet, you’d often be surprised what you’ll find when you dare to look.
Now, I *should* say that family was the reason for seeking out a coffeehouse in this particular area. Not so much. Actually the idea came from watching The Walking Dead. Yeah, I know they’re in Virginia, and the Commonwealth is in Ohio…but I started wondering if anything of Pennsylvania would survive. Cut to the research montage and you’d find me looking up population densities, terrain layouts, food distribution centers. Ah, there it is. Weis Market has its main distribution center right in low-population, gun-loving Milton. And it’s one of the largest food distribution centers in North America. You can see how my curiosity sprung from there. I wanted to see the area for myself. Of course my thoughts went to if there would be coffee in those Miltonian FEMA camps of my mind, so I did a quick Google search and found some interesting possibilities.
My journey begins at Tastecraft cafe in nearby Lewisburg, home to Bucknell University. Actually, the journey didn’t start there, it started with a wrong turn when I went north of there to Milton itself. I saw a blip on the map for a coffeehouse called The Well. Nice place, but there was an issue…I had no idea it was attached to a church!
I don’t review religious or ethnic coffeehouses as a rule because coffeehouses were historically a place where freedom of thought bloomed during a time when church and tribe ruled the people’s collective consciousness. Coffeehouse culture is a reaction *against* the confines of tradition. That’s why I don’t include them here. Yeah yeah, disagree if you want; it’s a free country after all. Thank a coffeehouse for that. Try to change my mind; I welcome debate! Nevertheless, the people themselves there were quite kind, especially a girl named Cassie who gave me some truly awesome suggestions for what to do in Lewisburg. More on that in a later post in this series.
Finally, on to the coffeehouse that I did visit. On my way back down the highway towards home after visiting Milton and driving around its chaotic backstreets (and discovering a gorgeous library on a hill), I made my way back down the highway to college-town Lewisburg. Wow has this place changed since I was here ten years ago. There were so many new businesses lining the main drag that it brought back all those memories of being a happily-cloistered college student. May I one day be so again.
The first cafe that good old Google Maps led me to was Tastecraft. It’s located on Market Street and you can reach it pretty quickly from the bridge across the Susquehanna river if you’re coming from the east. When I went in, it was pretty quiet, but in a homey sort of way. It’s not one of those places that’s on the main street that feels hurried in a rush-hour sort of way. The cafe is cave-like in the best ways. Though unlike a cave, it’s staffed by polite college people.
Apparently they were founded in 2016 as a specialty foods place in Mifflinburg and branched out into coffee from there. I had the house blend and it was quite enjoyable. It’s wasn’t too remarkable in any one way, but it was smooth and balanced, that much is certain. A solid medium roast that wasn’t too harsh on the stomach. A really good thing about this cafe is that they have a whole smorgasbord of foods including ice cream to accompany your coffee. I’m sure this place is packed when school is in session, though I was surprised that they didn’t have any music events here given the versatility of the space. Oh well, at least the liquids were on point and that’s what counts. For some reason it only got two and a half stars on Yelp, but people on there are like the girls on Four Weddings, but at every damn place. That’s why you’ve got me.
From here, I continued westward on Market and on to my next stop. I’ll be writing about that in a few weeks. Stay tuned!
the multitudinous wares…