Monthly Archives: October 2021

Shine Coffee Company

And so it continues, this little tour of the valleys of the Susquehanna River and their coffeehouse culture. Yes, they do have one, and you’re about to see it. This journey is going to be a bit disjointed, I’m warning you. The “Valleys of the Susquehanna” is a named region in Pennsylvania and doesn’t include nearly half of the ridge-and-valley terrain that makes up so much of the state. Sometimes I’ll be exploring outside of the defined region, especially since some really impressive coffeehouses are found in the tiny villages of remote “hollers” far from the Susquehanna and its tributaries.

Shine Coffee Company, on the other hand, is located right at the southernmost edge of the official Valley region in the smallish town of Liverpool. I did some counting on the maps, and it’s actually the second of a series of small valleys heading north along the river. Hunter’s valley is the first, but contains little besides a picturesque winery and some farms. Our Liverpool does look very much like a British town, especially one of those northern towns that often takes the shape of a line of multicolored homes and shops lining the shore of a river. Shine opened in late 2020, moving into an historic building in the center of town overlooking the river. That alone shows the spirit that went into this operation and the burgeoning market for not just coffee but artistically done coffee in the region.

OK, first interesting thing: There was Christian rock playing on the radio. Not typical for a coffeehouse in Harrisburg. I had to ask if this was a Christian coffeehouse specifically. It’s not; it’s just run by Christians who clearly use their spirituality as a motivating to succeed and create. I normally don’t review religious coffeehouses or chain coffeehouses, or really any coffeehouse with some kind of mission other than coffee, but I would have made an exception here if one had to have been made. I’ve only done that once before (with the incomparable and unfortunately long-gone Hagia Sophia coffeehouse of Harrisburg, if you remember). As it turns out, the music was from a local Christian music group that partnered with the coffeehouse to showcase their tunes. They were quite good, and God is certainly a good reason to sing. Apparently, some holiday events are in the works, and this is a truly gorgeous venue for events. Rustic without being cloying is a hard balance to strike, but the design team sure did manage it.

The coffee they served me was craft brew, obvious from the outset. It tasted especially fresh (fitting, since I got the first of a newly-brewing batch), and there was a sort of mineral quality to it that I still can’t put a precise name to. I thought at first that it was an effect of the cream, but no, this was unique to the roast or the bean itself. Then I realized something. This is Denim Coffee! Again, dipping back into history here, I reviewed Denim long ago at their Shippensburg headquarters. Their coffee is becoming something of a local institution. This particular roast was their Sol Naciente, a Colombian. It was lighter than I’d expected from a Colombian! Probably because this one was “hot off the presses” so to speak and also it was breakfast time in the country where light fare is de rigeur.

On to the next cup! This place makes a timely stopover for people heading north from Harrisburg towards Sunbury and Williamsport. Again, I have to point out the fact that there was no coffeeshop in this town, in spite of its pretty houses and used bookstore, until just last autumn. Communities are starting to see coffeehouses as a space that they need; a gathering spot for everyone. Ah, well, enough reflection. Until next time, stay caffeinated.


the front…

the cozy fireplace…

the patio…

the town center (centre?)

the secret ingredient…







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Posted by on October 25, 2021 in Uncategorized