That’s right. Not the farmer’s daughter’s but rather the farmers daughters’. Plural. This coffee shop is the months-old brainchild of two sisters name Jen and Michelle in New Bloomfield, PA. You might recognize the name of the town; I reviewed another coffeehouse in New Bloomfield a few months ago. I have a bit of a confession to make: I was close to not even reviewing either coffeehouse here. This town is kind of a secret; it’s not a trendy hipster hotspot and honestly I dread it becoming one. Right now the whole area has the serene ambiance of backwoods America that’s becoming harder and harder to find. This coffeehouse is a cornerstone of that calm.
When I walked into Farmers Daughters, the first thing I noticed wasn’t the coffee, but the decor. The cafe itself is built into a large, old stone home and the interior is artistically done in a style that I can best call…ultra-feminine minimalism? Flowers, vases, and signs written in pretty cursive, but it was all so tasteful and elegant. Someone here is a spot-on interior decorator, and when I go back, I aim to figure out who it is. Though from the outside it’s the apparent deep history of the house itself that draws they eye, and I plan on learning more its story someday.
Now, the coffee itself was a new twist on something familiar: Denim Coffee. You are correct sirs and madams, that’s the very same local roaster that set up shop down in Carlisle years ago (and which I reviewed years ago). It’s actually a well-known local independent operation here in southern Pennsylvania, and that’s for a good reason. It’s categorically excellent. Out of the last string of coffeehouses I reviewed, this one takes the prize for most artfully done coffee. It was a Columbian medium roast that I had, and that thing was rich and butter-smooth, with shockingly well-balanced acidity. I don’t know what their particular brewing technique is there, but these ladies truly nailed it.
The best part of this cafe though in my mind is the garden-party feel. The large building has a lovely patio in the back with plenty of seating space for people; when I was there, it was host to a group of teens who were decidedly not thrilled about going back to school. There’s a coziness to that space which again speaks to the skill and soul of the people who pieced together this little country haven.
I honestly do hope that this kind of coffeehouse culture winds its way further into the mountains. When coffeehouses hit a saturation point in the cities they began the inevitable path towards being self-referential. Yes, I laid out in the beginning of this blog many years ago some of the ‘big ideas’ that make a coffeehouse what it is. However, that artistic spirit can and should express itself in an array of forms. Art must never become orthodoxy and this unorthodox little bastion of artistry (both in coffee-crafting and handicrafting) is worth the trip into the woods.