Coffee Abroad; I got a little Side Track’d!

   Stop: Opelika, Alabama
   Shop:
Side Track
   Drink: 
The Young Man

 

 Hey there, guys! Happy (yet another) Thursday! Real quick, you may not have noticed (I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t) that I recently went through and deleted a lot of duplicate posts that I didn’t notice until just now. They must have gotten duplicated during our move from WordPress.com. There were, and I’m not exaggerating, pages upon pages of duplicated posts, each one with a few views sometimes even hundreds! I’m a little loathe to kill so many posts, just due to the number of views on each one (can that hurt my numbers?). I did want to respect you all enough to both let you know the reason behind the sudden dive in post-numbers, as well as not pad my stats necessarily if that’s a thing. 

     That aside, I realized I hadn’t written about Side Track Coffee in Opelika. My previous partner in blogging, Miss Jeans, kept telling me about it but I never did find a chance to actually go. That is, until I worked literally 4 minutes from the place. Once I got my job in Opelika, despite it being terribly inconvenient to make that trip on the daily, I did look forward to hanging out with the kind people at Side Track Coffee. The rumors were true of them this shop being some kind of promised land for the coffee disadvantaged. There are no set prices, which when I was super broke and wanted coffee that was great for me. I was amazed at the number of locals to the town that hadn’t heard of the greatness that is them.

 

    I had to carpool to get people to walk in because they didn’t believe me. It reminded me of myself, and how I never made it over there. And, no one ever did, much to my dismay. For this post, I found my notes for my first trip there, so I’m going to share that first experience with you here! When I walked in, the first thing I noticed was how open, and airy it was. The aesthetic is light with white oak, and a naturalistic vibe. To the right of the register, there’s a tree which is driving their instagrameter way up. There’s a conspicuous lack of menu/pricing, which is usually above or behind the front counter, which we’ve already discussed. There’s just a clipboard with their current seasonal drinks, and they are all fantastic! 

    Adding to the welcoming, homey aesthetic is the light music that you can hear just over the chattering of other patrons. The music this particular day, was especially railroad appropriate. I remember they had that chugga-chugga rhythm, which is why I feel like they fit their location. So, definite thumbs up on atmosphere!

Young Man Coffee

  That’s not what this post is about, it’s about The Young Man. It’s a marriage of House Vanilla, Steamed Cream, Vanilla, Cinnamon and of course, Espresso, and is frankly, to die for. The scent is warm, despite being on ice. Which I’ve always loved about the scent of coffee, really. When I took the first sip, I was hit with the powerful flavor of espresso. The flavor wasn’t too aggressive, but just surprising to me at first. I found the flavor to be fairly smooth and reinvigorating. I was exhausted when I showed up, but I was much more alert when I left. The flavor wasn’t as saccharine sweet as I generally prefer, rather it was rich. Like a chocolate bar is rich- if that makes sense. 

   Their beans when I visited were Ethiopian, but they did tell me that they periodically change out their beans. These were much more subtle than the Jamaican Blue Mountain beans I have at home. Much less earthy and nutty. Smooth, with a nice acidity to the taste. 

   I’ve written you guys a veritable book, so let’s go ahead and move on to the rating! 

Taste;Side Track Rating

     I love this place! From their compassionate price model to the quality of the drink they serve. One thing I didn’t mention above is that if you hang out and nurse your drink there, they bring you a bottle of water to cleanse your pallet. Every time I go in there, I find someone to chat with and the locals, as well as the proprietors are the sweetest. I literally can’t recommend them enough! If you’re in the area go check out Side Track! Feel free to tell them I sent you, to be honest you won’t get anything for it, but it’ll make me feel cool!

Instagrameter;

I don’t feel like this would quite get a 5/5 on instagramability, it’s not bad by any means. I love it, I just think it doesn’t quite speak to me as instagramable to the highest degree. Although, I do love their aesthetic, but there’s only so much you can do with with it. 

Coffee Abroad; Thank you, Mama (mocha’s)!

Drink; Tirraman mocha (heavy caramel and mocha)
Stop; Auburn, Alabama
 
  Hey guys! I’m so sorry that my post for today is late! If you’ve been following on Instagram and Twitter, I’ve been rather sick. I tested the Tarteist Pro Remix palette for my next video (with my updated setup!), but I’ve lost my voice. So… there’s that. 
 
       Anyway… let’s get to today’s delayed post! While on my weekend adventure to Auburn, I visited Mama Mochas again. This time I was pleased to see that they had completely rearranged their shop, which changed the aesthetic just a little bit. The lighting was different, I believe, as well! Then again, it could have been an illusion by the seemingly different decor. They changed up their seating arrangement, but despite the changes, it was this still the same old mama mochas. This time I also noticed, that they had a thrift rack. Where you could buy clothing that I assume was donated by the Bristow’s of the establishment. But before I perused the rack, I decided to get my long awaited coffee! Today, I got something new.
 
Mama Mochas tirraman mocha
 
         It honestly took all of my self-control not to get my usual White Russian, since I do gravitate towards the same flavors. I gathered my strength and this time I got the tirraman mocha. It’s their mocha with heavy caramel, and I gotta tell you, it is not the same as my white Russian. So tasting it shocked my taste buds because what I wanted was the white Russian, and it’s what I was expecting. That aside, this is not a bad drink. At first it’s got a very earthy tone underneath the richness of the caramel. There’s a fair bit of bite from the espresso. But once you get used to it you’re able to recognize the sweetness just underneath.This is another one from my trip, that you want to drink and great moderation. Small sips are your friend. Which sucks for me, because I like to drink my coffee fast. I’ll learn one of these days!
 
       Before I left, I perused the aforementioned thrift rack. I found this some super adorable pieces that almost came home with me! I had nearly settled on a super cute Jersey dress, or some really cute shirts that would be perfect for work. But, know I did not get anything I could wear to work. Except, on a casual Friday, maybe. I got an adorable black sweater comet looks like something I would see at the posh peach. With the word Love on the front.  It was only $5, no regrets. 
 
     My final consensus on Mama Mochas for this visit is….
 

Taste; /5

    This one honestly wasn’t for me, I prefer much sweeter flavors than this one delivered. It wasn’t bad by any stretch, so if you enjoy the bite of Espresso, you may really like this!

Instagrameter; /5

A new look means a new score! I wanna say I gave Mama Mochas a similar one last time! I really liked the openness of their new arrangement and found it very welcoming and cozy feeling. You know, despite being a fairly large and open floor. 

       As some real quick final thoughts of post, I want to thank you guys for joining me to check out another selection from Auburn! I sincerely do think that 2019 is going to be a year of content, and travel! Also, I haven’t done a giveaway in a while, so if you guys want in on any future ones that I’m planning, go ahead and sign up for my weekly newsletter! 

    Don’t forget to follow on twitter and instagram! The links are in the sidebar!

 

Coffee Abroad; Twofer with Lightnin Bugs!

  For an adventure, my lovely partner and I headed to Warm Springs, about an hour outside of our hometown. The small town of Warm Springs, Georgia has some of that small-town-charm that I’m so big on. We had found that there was another coffee shop out near UniquExpressions and we had to see how it stacked up against one of my all-time favorite spots.
 
        The cafe in Warm Springs is called Lightnin Bugs, and the ladies behind the counter were polite and courteous- always a plus! The hype was real when we walked in and saw the decor- I adored all of the wall hangings, and low-key want to buy one for our kitchen! The Lightnin Bugs Cafe has a fairly large shop area that has a variety of items, ranging from purses and apparel to stuffed animals. I find it really cool, because up to recently, I had never seen a coffee shop that also sold wares. Check out the small slide-show below for a quick peek at their inventory!
 

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Picture 1 of 3

 
        We perused the menu for a while and eventually decided on the French Vanilla Iced Latte, since i don’t think I’ve done this basic coffee-staple on the blog quite yet! Sadly, the picture I took of the drink got erased in the meantime between actually drinking the coffee and writing this post. It was just your basic coffee cup, though so you’re not missing too much there as far as aesthetic goes.
        
        I was really not too excited to do a a writeup on this drink.  It had a very generic flavor that was simiar to the Starbucks Frappe you can get in the convenience stores. In fact, it was so similar in flavor to that, that I’m half convinced that that’s what I served. It was extremely mild and a little over-sweet. The vanilla, while refreshing and likewise on the overly saccharine side. The coffee had little to no bite, unfortunately. Sadly, I can’t recommend this particular drink just due to to the over-whelming generic quality of it.
 
        I did get another beverage tho that I did quite enjoy- I tried a hot Peppermint Bark Latte. I really get the feeling that this was a light roast, due to the mildness of the blend. The flavor was not unlike a York’s Peppermint Patty, to my great pleasure. There was a light mingling harmony of flavors, with the peppermint and the dark chocolate that was charming and rich. The mildness of the coffee itself lent to a more relaxed vibe that I altogether enjoyed. 
 
            This was definitely one of those times that I enjoyed the Hot latter a fair bit more than the iced. Which is rare, as I’m generally pretty big on iced coffee. I do intend to return to Lightnin Bugs Cafe to give them another go with a different flavor. I feel like they have such potential and I need to see what they can do. Next time I return, I intend to sample something from their personal favorites and see how it stacks up.
 
        My general consensus for Lightnin Bugs Cafe, right now, is that their hot drinks are leaps and bounds better than their iced variants. They have a charming, down-home aesthetic with baked goods and wall hangings adorning the actual cafe portion of their building. They have some cute wares that you can see in the pictures I captured while I was there.
 
        No one yet has managed to dethrone UniquExpressions, we’ll see if one day someone manages to come close!
 

Instagrameter; /5

    I really liked their walkway to the door. The hanging plants made me feel like I was (somehow) back in time. It has a very old-timey feel that is only magnified by the quaintness of the town in which it resides. I loved their ambiance, and the neutral tones that were contrasting nicely with the banners that were hung along the outside.

Vanilla Latte Taste; /5

    Generally not something to write home about. If you like Starbucks Bottled Frappes, you may like this iced latte. I know that this comes across as just being overly negative towards this particular drink- but it really was that similar to a bottled coffee. I hope to have something different to say on my return. 

Peppermint Bark Taste; /5

    This one was much better than the iced beverage- it had a distinctly holiday vibe. I really love the harmony of Mint and Dark Chocolate, and this one made me very happy. Despite the climbing temperatures outside. It’s not a menu item, so if you find yourself in their cafe, just tell them the recipe!