With my ever-growing love for coffee, I set the goal at the beginning of the year to visit 100 non-chain coffee shops around home and in my travels in 2013. Guess what? Mission accomplished!
There definitely were some challenges and rule changing along the way. I wasn’t in Georgia nearly as much as expected, so I had to be more aggressive in my coffee shop time and coffee drinking in Michigan and when traveling. I wound up visiting some chain spots like Philz Coffee in Silicon Valley, California. It’s a local chain and if you have had their Mint Mojito Iced Coffee, you’d understand why I stopped in. Some restaurants and pubs also made the list like The Buena Vista in San Francisco. It’s the home of the Irish Coffee! Of course that place is going to count. 🙂
During the process I visited coffee shops from Alaska, Washington and California to Ontario, Ohio and Illinois. I even visited one coffee shop and enjoyed coffee with no land beneath me. The Celebrity Solstice cruise ship was my home for a week enjoying java deliciousness along the British Columbian and Alaskan coasts.
Drip coffee, lattes, french press, cappuccinos, flat whites, specialty coffees, pour overs and more all had their place. As you can tell, Instagram was my go-to application for documenting the java deliciousness.
Some days it was grabbing a coffee before work, other days I was on a day trip experiencing a half-dozen coffee beverages and shops like in Columbus, Ohio recently. Now that’s getting caffeinated!
Along the way I started a weekly series of tips based on the experiences I was having drinking coffee and hanging out in coffee shops. I visited one-hundred coffee shops, but that didn’t mean I only had one-hundred coffee beverages. One my tips was if you like a place and it’s not nearby, take advantage trying out one beverage after another as I did at PRESS in Dayton, Ohio.
A lot of the best times during the year came when I hung out with others. I coffee shop hopped in Georgia with my Dad, in Alaska and Seattle with my fiance, in Chicago and Toronto with Pola of Jetting Around and enjoyed a refreshing iced coffee in Toronto with Karla of Traveller Soul. Not all interactions with people were planned. While at Astro Coffee in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit I randomly ran into and hung out with fellow travelers Alicia of My Life Untethered, Emily of Emily Baillie Photography and others.
Interacting with the baristas, while watching my coffee being made had its place as well.
You can checkout the one-hundred coffee shops that I wandered into in 2013. Also, search for the hashtag #ElCafeDe2013 and my feed on Instagram to see all the coffee deliciousness I have experienced this year like the Peanut Butter Koopa Troopa I enjoyed at the sci-fi themed Wormhole Coffee in Chicago.
Well it’s been a wild, caffeinated ride. The New Year is upon us and so is #ElCafeDe2014. The plan and goals for the upcoming year will be different. Stay tuned as I am in the coffee shop and java planning process now.
I would like to wish everyone a safe and Happy Holiday season. 🙂 I hope to see all of you caffeinated out on the open road in 2014. Cheers!
The Adventures of elATLboy