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. 

Hometown Cravings; Zebras in Midtown?

Stop: Columbus, GA
Shop: Midtown Coffee House
Beverage: Zebra Mocha   

 

Hey, guys! Happy Thursday and yet another awakening from yours truely accompanied by an attempt to keep this site alive in the midst of having NO time for anything ever for the moment! For today’s post, I visited Midtown Coffeehouse in my little town of Columbus! I do plan to branch out again once time permits- I can’t wait to be able to resume my initial post schedule. For now, I’m probably going to change my post schedule temporarily to Thursdays, and resume Monday posting once I have time to do so… 

      Plans aside! I was finally able to go see what they have as far as that new new, because sometimes I go in and they have something so unique on their blackboard, like the wedding cake latte from ages ago, that I can’t find the post for. This day they were still repping for the Lemonade, and while that was DELICIOUS I’m not using my day off for drinking something I’ve already tried. I hate being a pain for these lovely people who enable my addiction, because I love their work, but I asked for something new. I kind of ran over flavors I enjoy and what I’ve tried from there, all the while casting glances at the sweet couple chatting behind me debating on apologizing outright for taking (what I felt) was so much time.

     In the end, the Zebra Mocha was pitched, a mixture of dark mocha and white. I’ve probably had something like it before, because it is mocha. But I haven’t had it from them specifically, I went with that. And after paying, I apologized for taking up so much to the couple behind me, turns out I didn’t need to worry because they were just as lost as I had been. I told them the lemonade was kicking and took a seat to wait. 

     Once it was brought out to me, I took the first sip. Anyone who goes without anything for any amount of time, and then gets what they’ve been deprived of, knows how sweet it is. The espresso was mild, as is their custom. It’s not overly earthy, like my Jamaican Blue Mountain, but has just a little bit of presence in the taste. The primary flavor is a tossup between the two mochas. I’m moved to say that the white mocha is slightly more prevalent. The darker trails behind and leaving a lovely richness on your tongue. 

 

Onto the rating! 

Taste;/5

    Due to the somewhat noticeable taste of the espresso itself, I wouldn’t recommend this for those who loathe a bit of earthiness in their coffee. But if you can make it through a nice soft earthiness and like chocolate this is for you!

Hometown Cravings; Iron Bank’s Soggiest Jogger

City; Columbus, GA
Stop; Iron Bank
Drink; Soggy Jogger

 

Hey guys, look at me being on time and such! In the midst of starting a side-site, doing makeup challenges and job hunting! Go me! For today’s post,  I tried something new for a change from Iron Bank, the Soggy Jogger. This particular one is in a similar vein to the Be Mine latte that I so love. It’s vanilla, hazelnut and cinnamon. Which makes it a little bit of a gamble for me.

It does taste quite similar to the Be Mine without the chocolate notes. The Hazelnut, which historically I have hated, is but a whisper underneath the dominant flavor of cinnamon. The overall taste of this coffee is smooth, and a little spiced. I didn’t pick up any vanilla flavor while sipping my way through it. Which, in retrospect bummed me out a little. 

There is pretty much absolutely no espresso flavor to this one, much like the Be Mine, so it’s another one I feel safe recommending to someone who doesn’t like coffee. I do want to warn you that it is quite sweet. So, if you like the more bitter side of life and coffee, you may not like this. But then again, is that a surprise? I like sweet things, this is a thing we all know by this point. 

If you don’t like cinnamon, I would also say to pass on this one. Because it is the main flavor that is on the surface with this one. It overpowers the vanilla. It overpowers the hazelnut (thankfully). The drink is fairly creamy though and really mingles with the cinnamon flavor that is fighting the good fight.

If you find your way to Columbus, I do heartily recommend a trip to Iron Bank Cofee on the corner of 12th and Broad for one of their delicious specialty lattes. In their first post, I did post a picture of the menu for you to peruse and tempt you to my neck of the woods.

Taste /5

Despite not being the Be Mine latte, I did quite enjoy this. I liked how the cream mingled and relaxed the cinnamon flavor, and masked any hint of hazelnut aside from the faintest whisper. Not quite something I would replace my Be Mine with, but still rather delicious.

 

 

 

Hometown Cravings; Forray into the Secret Menu with an Affogato

   Hey there, guys! For today’s post I tried something new and a little more expensive than I was planning! My fiance has been trying to get me to try Affogato, but being so hopelessly hooked on a macchiato, I have yet to do it. What better place to ease myself in and dip my toes into that area than America’s sweetheart, Starbucks. I’m using this drink from the secret menu, if anyone wants to have their own experience with this drink! 

I suddenly remembered that I’ve been advised to try Affogato style coffee, while I was sitting and leisurely sipping my Macchiato, and watching guilty pleasure videos. I figured, “why not” and got up to order it. “Why not” is because it’s a whopping 7 dollars for a grande, but me loving you guys just so much, I decided again, “Why not?” and swiped my card. 

I’m going to give you a play by play. First sip, I hated it. When I say I hated it, it made me gag. What happens if I stir it? Which I’ve gathered isn’t what real coffee drinkers do, but I’m me and not them, so I’m going to stir it. I stirred it and moved the straw about midway up to get it away from the pure, unadulterated death at the bottom of the cup, which by this time has had time to settle while writing this. Why do people do this to themselves?

I’m hunting for the vanilla flavor that should be there and just getting sip, after cautious sip of pure espresso, which as it turns out, I don’t care for in it’s pure form. After stirring, it became a bit more pallatable. I wonder how this would be with legit ice cream, rather than whip? 

Day five, I’m finally adjusting to the flavor and I feel like I’m moving fast… I’m sitting still. Maybe it’s because I’ve downed 2 shots of almost pure espresso and I’m finally left with mostly vanilla frappe and java chips. I really can’t say in good conscience that I will try this near-death experience again, just because it’s not really up my alley. I may try an authentic one, if I get a chance, but this has not been a pleasant experience for yours truly.

Honestly, once the espresso died down a little, I found myself enjoying it. It’s probably because I had gotten rid of the parts I didn’t like and was left with what I do. I don’t  know if that’s the drink’s credit, or mine. 

If you’re brave, and relatively uninitiated, like me, give it a go and let me know what you think down below!

taste; Affogato rating/5

Do I really need an explanataion here? 

Coffee Abroad; Circa Coffee and Antiques Signature Frappe

Hey there, everyone! I actually have some coffee content for you today and piping hot… errrrr cold. You know those pieces of shortbread heaven called Biscoff? Do you like it? If so, have I got the thing for you! We made a trip to Tyrone, Georgia on a whim and found Circa Coffee , an adorable little place by any standards and just the kind of aesthetic I absolutely die for. I’ll stick a gallery down below so you can enjoy it with me!