Tag Archives: coffee

Celebrating National Coffee Day (with Free Coffee)

Because I like coffeeand better yet, free coffeeI wanted to share with you some momentous news.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, September 28th, is National Coffee Day.

Coffee

Which, for many coffee shops, chains, and cafes around the country, means a free or discounted cup o’ brew.

I did some research, and these seem to be the chains offering deals in the St. Louis area:

  • Dunkin DonutsDunkin’ Donuts hot or iced Rainforest Alliance Certified™ Dark Roast Coffee, with a limit of one per guest.”
  • Krispy Kreme“a free Original Glazed Doughnut and a free 12 oz cup of coffee (at participating US locations).”

Don’t forget to check out your favorite local coffee shop! Either way, tomorrow is a great reason to celebrate the delectable aroma and taste of coffee.

And maybe a cupcake too.

Homemade Cupcake

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Minding My Own Latte: Comet Coffee & Microbakery

In today’s post, I’m going to highlight a recent find in my exploration of St. Louis: Comet Coffee & Microbakery

In all honesty, I’m still acquiring a taste for coffee. I remember managing to make myself drink a strong cup o’ joe after an early morning cross country meet, but to make it palatable, I had to slather the inside of my cup with sugar and creamer first.

And I have to admit, I still haven’t progressed much past that point.

However, spending a recent Friday afternoon at Comet Coffee & Microbakery may have helped tipped the scales in favor of a less is more approach.

Coffee Art

With the Help of Yelp

I had been planning for awhile to spend an afternoon hidden somewhere in the recesses of a coffee shop doing some reading, writing, and future planning.

The problem was deciding where to go: Should I go somewhere I’m familiar with? Some place where I already know what to expect? Or somewhere new that would expand my horizons of St. Louis?

In the end, my curiosity for exploring won out.

Since I didn’t have any coffee shops sitting on my list of need-to-visit places, I turned to Yelp to explore my choices. If you’re not familiar with Yelp, this website functions as a sort of “Facebook for recommendations.” Users can post pictures, reviews, and other information about a variety of businessesrestaurants, hotels, nail salons, attractions. You name it, you’ll likely find a review of it on Yelp.

One little shop, Comet Coffee, intrigued me because it appeared again and again as I refined and tweaked my Yelp searches. I ended up reading some reviews and perusing their website, which further convinced me that a visit would be necessary.

One Friday Afternoon

After running errands all morning long, not too long ago, I needed a place where I could go clear my head and think. And get a coffee. I remembered back to my prior searching, and to double check my options, I even asked Siri on my iPhone, “Where can I find good coffee in St. Louis?” As you can see, Siri confirmed what I’d found from my research.

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With this destination in mind, I set the GPS and headed out.

When I came in, I was immediately greeted by the barista behind the counter. Which highlights one thing I would repeatedly note about this placethe level of customer service. These people strongly impressed upon me that they know what they’re doing, they’re passionate about it, and they’re eager to share that passion with others. I was open about my lack of coffee knowledge, but after asking a few questions, the barista guided me toward two latte choices I might enjoy.

A homemade caramel latte. Twelve ounces of pure, steaming joy. It may not be the official description of this drink, but it’s an accurate summation of what I was served. And it came complete with coffee art.

To satiate the hunger pangs I was beginning to feel at this point, I also bought a slice of spinach and cheese quiche made by the resident pastry chef (who, I also learned, went through the pastry program offered at St. Louis Community College. Double score for this place using local talent). It was promptly warmed up and delivered to me at the street-facing counter where I’d taken up residence.

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It turns out that Comet Coffee is located across the highway from Forest Park. Unfortunately I couldn’t see much of the park, but it was nice to sit and take in some sunshine and some of the outside happenings. I sat at that counter for quite some time, slowly enjoying my latte, quiche, and a local magazine I’d also picked up. I also got to enjoy other curiosities, like a robin poking its way through the flowerbeds in search of a meal.

A robin outside of Comet Coffee in St. Louis.

A Bonus

About halfway through my visit, as I was absorbed in my reading (and my playlist), the barista approached me with a surprise. She’d prepared the other latte she had recommended! I enjoyed a second (this time vanilla) latte compliments of Comet Coffee.

I certainly can’t promise you’ll get free coffee for visiting, but it really was a nice gesture. And next time, I think I will go with the vanilla.

 

Know Before You Go

The following information was up-to-date as of the publication date of this blog post.

Comet Coffee & Microbakery

Phone: 314-932-7770

Address: 5708 Oakland Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110

Website: http://cometcoffeestl.com/

Falling for Flour House Bakery & Coffee

Over Thanksgiving, I had the opportunity to travel home (northern Illinois) to visit family and friends for an extended weekend. One friend in particular, Sarah, and I hadn’t seen each other in over a year. It was amazing that not only where we going to be in the same area at the same time, but we both had time in our schedules to hang out and catch up.

Now, one thing I’ve noticed is that when you’re planning to see old friends, the challenge always seems to be, ‘Where do we meet up?’

For us, Flour House Bakery & Coffee was the perfect answer. The year-old addition to Princeton’s downtown art district has attracted a lot of attention from the local community. I had also been there over the summer, and the atmosphere (and need I mention the coffee?) was just right—artsy, vintage, and fresh. My second visit did not disappoint, either.

Exterior of the Flour House Coffee & Bakery

The vibe of the Flour House starts from the exterior facade. The signage almost looks like dough-shaped letters strung together, just in a much more polished way. It sits atop a generously sized black-and-white awning that flaps in the breeze, almost beckoning passersby to come inside. Sarah and I were glad to escape from the late November chill that hung in the air.

Inside, we were greeted by the sight of whitewashed walls—built in bookshelves, actually—lined with an assortment of books, lamps, and other curated items. The place was bustling with people placing and collecting orders, and filled with the din of conversations rising up to the original tin ceiling.

The scent of cinnamon and coffee grounds mingled with that of the baked goods displayed behind the counter. For a small batch bakery, the Flour House offered a variety of options.

Fresh Baked Goods in the Flour House

As appetizing as everything looked (many of the names were also mouthwatering—hello Heath Bar Cheesecake!), I went for the tried and true bagel. These were also freshly baked, with four flavors to choose from. I ordered a plain one, with cinnamon spread on the side.

Bagel and Hot Chocolate from the Flour House

While I also ordered coffee, Sarah tried out some hot chocolate. And, as you can see from the above picture, it was topped with a rich foam. What a decadent treat!

We sat at one of the several small tables available and took in the sights, sounds, and smells of the cozy bakery. It ended up being the perfect way to while away the morning after Thanksgiving. Instead of getting caught in throngs of frazzled deal hunters, we enjoyed the slowed pace of our hometown life.

This place is definitely on my list for a return visit. What is a hidden gem from your area?

Interior of Flour House Bakery & Coffee

Know Before You Go

Hours: Thursday – Monday: 7 am to 4 pm

Address: 950 North Main Street, Princeton, IL 61356

Website: http://www.princetonflourhouse.com/

They also post their daily menu on Facebook.