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; Gotta Catch’em all!

       Hey guys, I know, I’m back to my old delay-in-posting behavior. I’m sorry- I’ll hopefully be able to make it up to you guys with some upcoming content. I did not, in fact, think of anything good for the Fourth and due to my joblessness I had no drive. But, I’m happy (kind of) to announce, that I’m once more a functioning member of society. I found a job… unfortunately an hour away, but hopefully it will put me in an area to gather content before I go in for my shift, which begins at 3 PM EST. 

     This post comes really late to the game, evidently, Starbucks has been doing a Pokemon Go Frappucino but its not really been on the menu. I had no idea it existed, but I did finally wake up and try it! Nothing about this drink screams Pokemon to me. You’d think it would… make sense? I might actually take it on myself to make a Pokemon Frappe that makes sense, I have a few ideas. I might try to bring back my experimental Homebrews stuff from its slumber.

Pokemon Frapp

 

       Is it just me? Does that say Pokemon to you? What it is, is basically a Vanilly Frapp with Blackberries and Chia Seeds. You may remember the Chia seeds from the Witches’ Brew, at the time I thought they were Slimy yet satisfying and even now I kind of like their strange, foreign texture. It’s a really interesting surprise when you get a sip and a few seeds mingle in with the creamy consistency. This drink was pretty much exactly what I expected going in. Even though it’s a bright shade of purple, that’s the only sort of unique thing it has going for it. 

      That’s not to say it’s not good- it is. If you like berries and cream.  It’s made with a cream base, so cannot be considered coffee. If you have children or young family members who like pokemon and enjoy a super sweet treat now and again, I would recommend this. Realistically, it’s unremarkable and more dessert than an actual pick-me-up. As expected the flavors are complementary and taste pretty great together. 

Let’s go ahead and move on to the rating, shall we? 

Taste; /5

Because I can be considered a literal child where my tastes are concerned, this gets a 4.5. Half a cup was deducted just because of the pretty blah nature of the drink. For what it is, it’s delicious. A berry milkshake, essentially and I can’t really say anything too bad about it. It tasted good, it was cold, what more can I ask for?

Home Brews; French Vanilla Great Value (K-CUP)

ey guys, I’m so sorry for my unannounced hiatus. It’s not been a good time in the JNJ house. Coffee, and makeup have been my only escape from the defeatist summer I’m experiencing. Who knew being unemployed could worsen symptoms of depression? I have luckily managed to land a freelance thing, so I’ll hopefully be able to sustain a little bit of adventure. I have a friend over at Kalon Kosmetics, with whom I’m affiliated, that I plan to pay a visit to when funds permit! Let’s get to the blah festivities, and look at the French Vanilla K Cup from Walmart!

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.