LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT A NEW COFFEE SHOP. BUT FIRST...
I do enjoy coffee. I like the taste of a good dark roast and the whole coffee-drinking experience. And I don’t mind the buzz.
According to Wikipedia: “Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant of the methylxanthine class. It is the world's most widely consumed psychoactive drug. Unlike many other psychoactive substances, it is legal and unregulated in nearly all parts of the world.”
It is also legal and mostly unregulated in Baptist churches, and probably other churches too, but I’m mostly familiar with acceptable and unacceptable drug use in the Baptist Tradition. I noted that it is “mostly” unregulated; many Baptist churches frown upon coffee in the auditorium (or sanctuary, if you’re a high-class Baptist.). Other than that; it’s all-you-can-drink anywhere you want to drink it.
I don’t like to think of myself as a coffee snob, but church coffee is kind of like Vacation Bible School Kool-Aid—weak and tepid. Sometimes you get what you pay for.
Which brings us to Starbucks and the conditioning of coffee-drinkers to think little of paying a lot for a few pennies worth of coffee beans and hot water. But we all know, at some point you’re paying for the experience. And I’m a willing participant.
Can you imagine, how many wonderful conversations have happened over a cup of coffee? The world’s problems are solved everyday in coffee joints across the country. Cookies taste better and politics are more bitter with a good strong cup of coffee.
So, where in the great state of Oklahoma can you go for the best coffee experience? Although I’m just a humble consumer and accidental connoisseur, I have opinions and I’m not afraid to share them. Obviously this isn’t an exhaustive list. In fact, I am wide open to trying new places, especially if you’re buying. But, for what it’s worth:
In Oklahoma City:
- Cafe Evoke
- Coffee Slingers Roasters
- Cuppies and Joe
- Elemental Coffee Roasters
- Hank's Coffee & Wine
- Junction Coffee
- t, an urban teahouse
I like all of these places. I have visited each of them numerous times and in many cases I know the people that run them. Try them all. Note: If you want to visit Junction Coffee, you’ll have to hunt them down. It’s a coffee shop in a double-decker bus from Great Britain and they move around from place to place. And that last one on the list, t, an urban teahouse, you can get a cup of coffee there, but go for the tea. Kristy Jennings, the proprietor will illuminate the whole process for you if you ask.
- CHoCS: Coffee House on Cherry Street
- Shades of Brown Coffee & Art
- Dwelling Spaces
My hometown and three of my favorites. Each of these is in neighborhood worth visiting: Cherry Street, Brookside, and Blue Dome, respectively. On a cool evening, go al fresco at the Starbucks at Utica Square.
- Iron Tree Coffee Company
We lived in El Reno for several years back when it’s downtown was thriving. (Before Wal Mart came to town.) I love seeing this little shop helping keep downtown percolating.
- Hoboken Coffee Roasters
One of my favorites. You know the old saying, “Location, location, location!” The Hoboken folks said, “To heck with that!” This place isn’t hidden away in a back alley, but if you can find it you won’t be disappointed.
- Elevated Grounds
There was a great little shop in downtown Shawnee called Sips. It was just right, but now it’s gone. Elevated Grounds is fairly new and doesn’t have the same ambience as Sips did, but the cup I had there was very good and the service was beyond expectation.
- RX Brew
This little shop in a wonderfully converted craftsman house was one of my favorites. It is now under new ownership and is called RX Brew & Donuts. I haven’t tried it yet, so you’re on your own.
Now to that new coffee shop I want you to know about. It’s in Hinton, Oklahoma, which is about an hour west of OKC just south of I-40. Wait! Let me tell you why it’s worth the drive all the way to Hinton for a cup of coffee.
This shop is called Brew92. The proprieters are dear friends, but even if they weren’t I would still recommend you go. The coffee drinks are brewed with the same care you would find at a coffeeshop in Seattle or Portland. The pastries though… these are worth the drive. Forget about the calories for an hour or so and enjoy.
Not only are the food and beverages outstanding, this is a place you will want to spend some time in. It’s comfortable and even inspiring. Believe it or not, there is a good chance you’ll be able to watch a real potter working clay on a wheel. Her name is Sterling and she is an artist in the best sense of that word. Could be that your next coffee could be from your new mug fired in her kiln.
Here’s my offer: want to try Brew92? Let’s pick a time, drive out together. The coffee is on me. Or if you go without me, be sure to tell them, “Pops sent me.” It won’t get you anything, but perhaps a little sympathy. By the way, Brew92 also serves teas from t, an urban teahouse. Who doesn’t need a little Tea & Sympathy occasionally, or a double shot of espresso and a scone?