Rewind a few weeks. In early November there was still a hint of warmth out there, and the trees were at their peak of color. They were a bit late this year; usually everything in Central Pennsylvania is grey and brown by the beginning of November. I think that autumn is the perfect time to explore a new coffee spot. It’s not only the cold weather; it’s the milieu that makes it right. The cozy drawing-in of life that practically invites you to take a seat in the dark corner of a cafe to read or just watch the world through the windows and be glad for a warm oasis amidst the encroaching cold. Things are so quiet that the heart searches for an excuse to venture outwards towards something interesting. I know I’ll be going forth on a few road trips during this time of year, hoping to find places that stand out at least in spirit against the stark cold of the Pennsylvania winterscape.
Now, Google Maps will tell you that Copper Cup coffeehouse is in the well-known town of Lititz. That’s not really accurate; it’s in a smaller town to the north called Brickerville, a quiet little village well off the beaten path of the turnpike. The closest landmark that people around Harrisburg might know is Mount Hope winery, site of the yearly Renaissance Faire. It’s the kind of place that you can blink and miss; yet it exemplifies the rich juxtaposition of Appalachian country town and Yankee country town that you find in the eastern portion of our area. On the one hand, its mostly dusty country homes, vibrant farms, and semi-active shops stretching along a main street corridor. On the other hand, there are a few funky places like this coffeehouse and a small, hipsterish shopping plaza that speak to a slow creep of modernization in the area. In this polarized age, one wonders how welcome this new way of life is for the locals.
Copper Cup is quite modern. The architecture is open, angular, and airy. There’s a drive through window if you’re in a hurry (you can see the overhang of it in the image below), but like most good coffeehouses, it’s best experienced from the inside. Here’s another good example of that juxtaposition that I mentioned. On the one hand, a drive-through for those who want good coffee, but don’t partake of the coffeehouse culture (Dunkin’ Donuts devotees, etc.). On the other hand, a warm and inviting interior exists, artistically apportioned, and rather out of place when compared to the rest of the town. Copper Cup is doing what coffeehouses have historically done best, which is be a focal point for the introduction of modern ways and thoughts.
The coffee that I tried was the medium roast called Carmo, which you can see below. It’s a Brazilian roast, and like most Brazilian roasts it has a low acidity combined with a slightly nutty flavor. The flavor is a bit bittersweet, but this particular blend broke on the side of sweet; the nutty flavor coming off as almost a savory umami taste. It was pretty much the ideal of what I hope for from this kind of coffee, so kudos to not only the makers of the coffee, but to the crafters of this roast as well. Icing on the cake: they are actually a local roaster. Passenger is a micro-roaster based out of nearby Lancaster which prides itself upon sustainable practices. More of that modernity.
So in summation, I found exactly what I was looking for when I set out down the road on this little autumn adventure. I found warm coffee in a warm place, I found people devoted to creating quality coffee within a quality shop, and I discovered yet another interesting small town that deserved way more time devoted to exploration than I was able to give it during an all-too-short late fall day. Well, I’ve got three months of winter in which to make a return trip if my roundabout itinerary brings me back down the pike to this picturesque spot. Until then, stay caffeinated (and a Happy Thanksgiving to all).