Will Crawl for Coffee

cof·fee crawl

ˈkôfē,ˈkäfē/ krôl/

noun

  1. Similar to a pub crawl but consisting of coffee instead of alcohol
  2. Going to 7 coffee shops in 5 days and trying drinks one wouldn’t normally order
  3. Sitting in as many comfy coffeehouse chairs as possible
  4. The way Lexi Kelson spent #SpringBreak2015

That’s right. While some people flew to see family members and others challenged themselves to consume as much alcohol as possible on a beach with a thousand other like-minded souls, I went on a coffee crawl. I took the weekend before to pick my spots, buy a couple new books (which I’ll fill you in on below), and plan my routes.

It was time to crawl.

Day 1

Coffee Bianco

Newly opened, coffee shop #1 is located in Roswell off Holcomb Bridge. Sticking to the promise I’d made myself to ask for recommendations at each spot, the first drink of my week was appropriately titled the Bianco Latte. With the first sip, my taste buds and lips were dominated by cinnamon, greeted by caramel, and left with a subtle punch of orange.

If this drink had a Facebook fan page, I’d definitely like it.

Right as I arrived, someone walked out leaving me with what one of the baristas claims is THE MOST COMFY CHAIR in the place. I was definitely in agreement. In other news, I didn’t try their food, but they did have a pretty good selection if you’re into that kind of thing (who isn’t).

Day 2

Sip the Experience

I actually don’t mind driving, so the trek to the Lindbergh Marta station on my second day wasn’t bad at all. There was a lovely Asian flare which led me to my Thai tea latte. I LOVE Thai tea, but this was extraordinarily rich. And sweet. (I prefer black coffee so this was a stretch for me.)

At this spot, there were plenty of tables suitable for business meetings in addition to some comfy resting places for people like yours truly.

***Big plus: they sell King of Pops. (!!!)

Day 3

Urban Grind

Located in a buzzing area of Westside, the limited parking at this spot freaked me out (yes, I have parking anxiety). Spoiler alert: I survived. As soon as I opened the door, I was sold. It was eclectic, unique, and artistic. Good vibes. Apparently, they have spoken word nights which automatically tacked on major brownie points in my book.

After explaining my aversion to super sweet drinks to the baristas, we settled on a less sweet version of their black forest latte. Definitely not something I’ve ever had before, but it was pretty good! I even snagged one of their tropical trail mix cups to accompany my drink.

Day 3 (part two)

Chattahoochee Coffee Company: Westside

You know the original Land of a Thousand Hills that overlooks the Chattahoochee River? This is the new Westside location. As opposed to the artsy/chill scene at day 3’s first stop, this place had a more professional and studious feel. Different vibes but still good vibes.

I went with the barista’s recommendation of a light & almost tea-like coffee called something that I honestly don’t remember and couldn’t pronounce. Hands down the best coffee of the week. Although there were several comfy chairs placed throughout, all of them were taken so I settled for a spot at one of their spacious conference tables.

I did notice that there were plenty of nooks and crannies to feel safe & cozy & get lost in your own thoughts while still maintaining a healthy bit of access to the real world. The coffeehouse world is a nice middle ground to stand upon. [Lost in the clouds/planted on the ground/filled with caffeine.]

Day 4

45 South Café

Turns out coffee shop number five was a familiar face. As you might’ve guessed, I asked for a caffeinated recommendation. Before I knew it, a tasty honey/vanilla/cinnamon latte was in front of me. (Pretty similar to the latte at Coffee Bianco that kicked off the coffee crawl.)

Down side of this spot? No comfy chairs. But what it lacks in plush seating, it definitely makes up for in location – historic downtown Norcross. Such charm there.

Day 5

The Cupbearer

I’d never been over to the Vickery Village area of Cumming, but day five took me there. Although this place seems tiny when you first walk in, just take a left at the counter and a colorful/spacious room will appear. I picked up a slight mountain lodgey feel (certainly not a bad thing), and the size of their tables lends itself to spreading out numerous books making this spot perfect for studying.

I’d heard of their famous peanut butter latte so I decided to give it a go. Honestly, not my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, peanut butter & I are in a loving & committed relationship, but in my opinion, cups of coffee don’t need to get involved.

I must warn you, though… there’s a middle school right down the street from coffee shop #6. Do everything in your power to head out before they’re released from school or else you might as well have gone to a Starbucks in Johns Creek.

Day 5 (part two)

Espresso’s Coffee

Situated in a small strip off Atlanta Highway, the final coffeehouse of my week had a spacious inside with several available comfy chairs. (They must’ve known I was coming.) Plus, it wasn’t nearly as busy as my previous stop, thank goodness.

This place has a record player. Hello. Do you even KNOW how many points they get just for that?! Deciding to be adventurous, I created my own latte with peach & gingerbread flavor pumps. Even though the baristas doubted my (apparently strange) choices, I was deeply satisfied with the result.

And with that, the coffee crawl came to an end.

I tasted 7 extraordinarily different cups of coffee out of 7 extraordinarily different mugs in 7 extraordinarily different settings. I poured two new books into my brain. I read, underlined, reread, thought, wrote, and read some more. I worked my brain just for the sake of working it which I don’t do much these days. Instead, I’ve found myself much more likely to plop down on my bed to rewatch an episode of Friends or Gilmore Girls for the 14th time. I wanted to change that.

My coffee crawl changed that. It taught me how to turn my brain back on.

It also taught me that I’m not a huge fan of peanut butter lattes and that peach is actually good in coffee. It taught me about new coffee shops that I can always go to when I need to get away from the Starbucks frenzy. It taught me how to find fragments of a caffeinated community through each one of those doors. With every chair (comfy or wooden) I sat in, with every mug I sipped from, and with every barista I chatted with, I added another address to my home.

I drank a lot of coffee. But I also drank creativity, inspiration, knowledge, and Truth. The best thing that this week taught me was how to truly walk utilizing every single one of those.

I learned how to walk again. Really walk. But first, I had to learn how to crawl.

Go back to the beginning. Go back and learn how to crawl. It’s the first step to taking a first step.

***BEFORE YOU LEAVE! I have to tell you about the books I consumed!!

Proust Was A Neuroscientist (by Jonah Lehrer)

Even after the first chapter, I was hooked. Taking 8 famous artists (chefs, musicians, writers), this book talks about the truths each person discovered about the brain that have since been proven by science. This book is my soul mate. Our relationship began with online dating sponsored by Amazon, and we’ve already grabbed coffee (several times) together.

The Return of the Prodigal Son (by Henry Nouwen)

This is the first book I’ve taken notes on in a long time. There’s just so much good truth in those pages. Plus, I love how it’s intertwined with art- it makes it easier to digest & grab ahold of. Even though I’ve heard the story of the prodigal son a million and one times, Nouwen’s presentation of it makes it feel fresh and new.

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