Monthly Archives: May 2019

Helena’s Chocolate Cafe and Creperie

I do hope I spelled Creperie right. A lot of ways you can go wrong with that. So yeah, this is me following up on my last post way back in April. This is the promised second coffeehouse from the college town of Carlisle that I discovered. I was told by locals that there were basically two coffeehouses that got the lion’s share of the patronage from college students; the previous one I reviewed being the first of course.

This cafe actually seemed far more “college-ish” than my previous review subject Denim did. OK so maybe I’m stereotyping here, but there seemed to be a lot more of a blatantly intellectual vibe going on at this locale. The first sign of this was a the small sign taped up near the entrance which explicitly rejected all kinds of prejudice on the premises. You can see the sign below; they spelled out just what this business was about at its core in several languages. I know, I know, don’t get political. Well, too bad. Coffeehouses have always been political; they were the boiling cauldrons of free thought that set the Age of Enlightenment into motion. And that’s why we have civil rights. Didn’t know it was because of coffee did you? I hope you’re not too surprised. The second signifier of the college-town zeitgeist was the art strewn across the walls. I mean, most coffeehouses have some art, but this was legitimately by a local, so that did add a little something special!

The coffee itself was quite impressive. That’s probably mostly a product of my own bias; they were serving one of my favorites here: Green Mountain Coffee, from Vermont. It’s hands down my favorite brand, due to its across-the-board richness regardless of brew strength. To keep myself honest, I tried the Yuban-brand Arabica coffee instead. Yuban is a South American coffee blend. Legend has it that John Arbuckle, the famous 1860s coffee roaster, was the one who discovered it. Since 2006, it’s been Rainforest Alliance certified, which means it engages in sustainable, eco-friendly practices. Arabica beans are often less bitter than most, making it good for breakfast blends. This one was no exception, even being a bit less bitter than most. What it lacked in robustness and power, it made up for with a delicate, refined smoothness, well suited to early morning studies.

I’m sure this place is popular. How could it not be? It knows exactly what it is; that being a nexus of artistic college folk in Carlisle. The town itself is a little island of urbanity in the middle of the sprawling pastures of the Cumberland Valley, and this cafe exemplifies the college-town zeitgeist. Happy drinking, kids. Yes, I call anyone in their early 20s kids…



the storefront…


the old theatre…


the art…


the community…


the other art…







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Posted by on May 19, 2019 in Uncategorized