Denim Coffee (Carlisle Location)

10 Apr

Spring has sprung, the grass has riz, I wonder where the caffeine is. Actually, I know where it is, or at least where it was a week ago. It was in the small-ish town of Carlisle just to the southwest of Harrisburg, PA. It’s first and foremost a college town, home to Dickinson University. That pretty much guarantees a few coffeehouses, and in the case of Carlisle that number has only been growing in recent years. What was once nearly the sole domain of the Back Door Cafe (which I’m pretty sure I reviewed a few years ago, Carlisle’s coffeehouse scene has expanded to include enough to warrant another entry from the same town; one which I’ll post in a few weeks.

Denim surprised me when I walked in. It was starkly minimalist; typically a coffeehouse will have all kinds of artwork and such hanging around. Not so for Denim, with its subdued earth tones, modernist architecture, and simple sign on the wall which stated “Make Better Coffee.” With large windows and a charming view of the center of Carlisle (pictured at the bottom of this entry), it gave off a still and tranquil sort of vibe. It seemed like the kind of place that suits well for people-watching; and with a town full of college students that can be a spectacle.

The coffee itself is a cut above. As usual I got the house blend and I’m pretty sure it was on the light side of a medium roast…or the medium side of a light roast. I’d come in at the late-breakfast time and there was a bit of a rush to get through the line. I forgot to even ask. I literally can’t even with myself sometimes. It’s worth noting that it seems that the students and locals split their attention pretty evenly between this location and the next one that I’m reviewing. This is one competitive scene.

Apologies, and back to the coffee. I’d say overall that it was smooth, well-balanced, and with a bit of acidity that gave it a fresh aspect but still left it feeling bold enough for my taste. It’s no wonder that the coffee is fresh-tasting; the beans are roasted locally in Shippensburg, only about 15 miles away and home to my old Alma Mater, Shippensburg University! Oh how I wish we’d had these things when I went there back in 2003. Coffeehouse culture may have hit its stride in the 90s; that is remembered as a golden age for sure, but the proliferation of quality local roasters in recent years owing to young entrepreneurs who care is no small thing.

I’ll be coming back here the next time I’m in town I’m sure…though I don’t know when that will be. After the next place I visit here, I’m off to review some places a bit farther afield. I always think I’ll be traveling more during fall and winter with the leaves changing color, and the academic year starting, and all of this proves itself a romantic delusion when the ice hits my face and run back inside to make coffee in the warm. Let’s raise a cup to spring, and I’ll see you on the road.



the signage…


the paraphernalia wall…


the sign…


the view…


the other view…

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Posted by on April 10, 2019 in Uncategorized


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