Tag Archives: Social Media

Instagraming My Coffee Consumption in the Buckeye Capital.

On an early morning recently during the holiday season I decided to take a day road trip and coffee shop hop in Columbus, Ohio. While there I Instagramed my coffee consumption in the Buckeye state capital.

My first stop, in the early morning, was at Yeah Me, Too in the Clintonville neighborhood. Their store front is simple with the one word that will always grab my attention. Coffee! I grabbed a coffee to-go which is the norm there. They are cash only and there is no wi-fi or indoor seating. They have a menu of one: french press coffee, hot or cold, large or small. Very simple and yet very good. Was a great way to get the day started. The place to go to grab a coffee on the way to work. ๐Ÿ™‚

Yeah, Me Too, coffee shop, Columbus, Ohio

It was time to go to a place with atmosphere within to do some travel writing. There isn’t a better place in town for that then Stauf’s Coffee Roasters in the Grandview Heights neighborhood. Upon entering you’ll notice their space is divided evenly between a cafe and a retail storefront, both offering plenty of seating options. For coffee, I went with appropriately named “The Buckeye”. Peanut butter and chocolate coffee deliciousness.

The Buckeye coffee, Stauf's, coffee shop, Columbus, Ohio

The place was hopping with locals, people on their laptops and holiday shoppers. I setup my #coffice in the retail store front and soaked in the holiday atmosphere. Along with my coffee beverage, I bought some beans from amongst the dozens of choices. The customer service throughout my stay there was exceptional, offering me tips on the best beans and coffee to get based on my interests. ๐Ÿ™‚

Tip: The place fills up fast and there are not a lot of outlets, so if you’re looking to get work done, get there early. Their wi-fi is great even with the traffic.

Stauf's coffee shop, Columbus, Ohio

Right after lunch I moved right down the street, staying within the Grandview Heights neighborhood, to Luck Bros’ Coffee House. It’s off the beaten path and provides a quieter alternative to Stauf’s. It little longer to get my pour over, but that was because of the great care they took in making an individualized coffee. I enjoyed the Guatemala Pour Over while also checking out the neighborhood right outside. Each person there made sure I was satisfied with my coffee choice.

The perfect true neighborhood coffee stop I found on this day. It’s where I would go to read the Sunday morning paper and relax. ๐Ÿ™‚

Luck Bros Coffee House, Columbus, Ohio

Whenever traveling, no matter the itinerary, I always seem to wind up somewhere random and unplanned. This day was no exception. Later in the afternoon I decided to take a coffee break and visit the foodie paradise known as North Market. Whether buying food for home or looking for something local to eat, this market in the Short North section of town is the place to be. Passing one delicious food stand after another I wound up at, surprise, surprise, a coffee shop stand within the market called A Touch of Earth. The java and I always seem to find each other.

A Touch Of Earth, North Market, Columbus, Ohio

I sat on a stool at the counter and went seasonal enjoying a Pumpkin Cappuccino while people watching. Lots of conversion was also had with the baristas about coffee, the market, the weather and whatever else was going on that day. Other customers were ordering pumpkin and other various types of lattes. Something for next time! You’ll also find a good loose tea selection along with chocolates, candy and other snacks.

Pumpkin Cappaccuino, A Touch Of Earth, North Market, Columbus, Ohio,

Throughout the year of 2013 my goal was to visit one-hundred non-chain independent coffee shops. My last stop of the day in Columbus happened to be stop #100 for the year. Cafe Brioso was the lucky spot right in the heart of Downtown. The lucky drink was the Ohio Maple Latte, just one of the many unique coffee drinks on the menu. A delicious way to complete the day and year in coffee drinking.

Ohio Maple Latte, Cafe Brioso, Columbus, Ohio

I sat on a stool looking out into downtown, watching business people come-and-go. During my stay at Cafe Brioso I also had my eye on the bags of beans that were just outside the door. You better not leave anything coffee related unattended around me haha! ๐Ÿ™‚

When Cafe Brioso is brought up, their salads and lunch are often mentioned, along with coffee. I should start a series on the food of coffee shops. Hmmm. I consumed food from home on this day.

Cafe Brioso, Columbus, Ohio

The evening rush was beginning and it was getting darker outside, so it was a good time stop the coffee flow and start the several hour drive back home. Of course I would have no issues staying awake with the amount of caffeine consumption.

It was a great day in the Buckeye state capital and I look forward to getting back and exploring more of their thriving coffee scene.

Columbus, Ohio coffee shops

Any coffee shop recommendations in Columbus or through out the state of Ohio? What cities would you say are coffee shop hopping worthy that you have come across in your travels?

#ElCafeDe2013 Coffee tip of the week: Socially Promote!

As a continuation of last weeks tip of the week, if you’ve tried to include some conversation and failed, take to the social channels and…

Tip #12: …socially promote that coffee!

Even if you enjoyed the coffee with friends or struck up conversations with the barista or other coffee drinkers, take to the social channels after the fact to show off that great coffee you just had as I did at Intelligentsia in Chicago the other week.

I’m showing off the place with a photo on Instagram that posts to my Twitter account, including Intelligentsia’s Twitter handle so everyone knows exactly where I was at. Of course if the coffee wasn’t great, I wouldn’t post it being made or sitting right in front me teasing me. That Intelligentsia La Tortuga, Honduras Pour Over yum.

Note: Still exploring the video feature launched on Instagram yesterday. More additions to this tip ahead I’m sure. ๐Ÿ™‚

Intelligentsia Pour Over, Chicago

Showcase those cups of java that you wish others to experience too! ๐Ÿ™‚

Technology and the Open Road.

I’m out on the open road on a day or long road trip and as they say in golf, “What’s in my (golf) bag?” In this case my technology bag.

There is so much technology out there in regards to phones, apps, social media tools, cameras, tablets, I could go on-and-on. Even with all that is available, I like to keep things pretty basic and light-weight when on the road. A recent day trip to Cleveland, Ohio to coffeehouse hop, work and roam the city will showcase what I use.

I only carry a small camera and phone. My camera is a Canon PowerShot A3300 IS usually set up in Auto or Easy mode with most of the default settings. I play around with flash on or off depending on the time of day and lighting. An extra battery and memory card is always on hand in case the camera is getting a lot of action. ๐Ÿ™‚

Canon camera, travel

After the work day ended I walked around the city capturing this autumn, dusk shot with my camera alongside Progressive Field. The historic Terminal Tower is all lit up straight ahead.

Cleveland and Terminal Tower at dusk, Autumn

Photos are captured from my phone as well. In general I don’t mess with photo effects like vignette, vintage and grayscale. I like capturing the shot as seen in front of me. My current phone is a HTC Desire HD Android smartphone. My walking led me to this shot of the Cleveland skyline from Edgewater Park using the Android near sunset.

Cleveland skyline from Edgewater Park using HTC Desire HD Android

In regards to effects, after the photo has been taken is a different story. I’ll add a filter or effect before I post on to a social media app like Instagram because I’ll still have the original. Below is a picture of the skyline at night while on the Hope Memorial Bridge using the Kelvin filter.

Cleveland skyline from Hope Memorial Bridge, dusk

Speaking of Instagram, I started using it like gangbusters as soon as it was available for the Android. What took so long haha?! Coffee, martini and skyline shots seem to highlight my feed.

The work day and Instagram featured Koffee Cafe in the Ohio City neighborhood. Get the Turtle Latte.

Working at Koffie Cafe, Ohio City neighborhood, Cleveland

A trend recently has been for people to combine images into one, creating a collage of sorts. I use Diptic for that purpose, combining several photos from a city, coffeehouse, trip, etc. to highlight what a place has to offer. I then post it to Instagram, among other applications. A college of my evening roaming in The Cleve is below. When visiting make sure to get to the Public Square downtown.

Cleveland, Ohio collage using Diptic, Instagram

On Instagram I’ll also checkout hashtags related to the area I’m in to get an idea on somewhere else to go by seeing the pictures.

I’ll also checkout the hashtags, along with the local Tweetstream, on Twitter to get local ideas on the fly. Checkout hashtag #HappyinCLE. Those that know me know I’m very active on Twitter. I’m always looking to strike up conversations with friends and fellow travelers. I’ll checkout if the place I’m currently at or looking to go to has a Twitter presence and I will reach out.

Another one my offices during the day, as you can see on my Twitter feed, is Phoenix Coffee just outside the city line in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Get the Speedball. You’ll really be energized haha.

Phoenix Coffee, Cleveland Heights, Ohio using Foursquare, Twitter

As you can see above I use Foursquare too. I’ll check-in and post a picture highlighting a place I think other people would like to checkout. I’ll use this app mostly on the road. I’ve passed the local, day-to-day checking in everywhere phase. I don’t think there’s much interest in my grocery shopping habits. ๐Ÿ™‚

Once in a while when on the road I’ll post to my own Facebook wall as well as on my fan page, but I usually save that for later on to highlight my recent travel experiences. You have to draw the line somewhere!

A shot from inside Gypsy Beans & Baking Co. in the Gordan Square neighborhood, as well as another from Edgewater Park.

Cleveland shots on Facebook fan page

I also make sure to see places with my own two eyes sans technology, just starring and soaking in everything. Pictures and technology are great, but nothing beats being somewhere in that moment without distraction, enjoying the way people did before smartphones came into the picture.

A tidbit from my youth: I’ve been a walking atlas since I was young, so I rarely use Google Maps, Foursquare maps or GPS to help me find my way. I like the unknown and I always seem to get to my destination.

When I do look for a little guidance I like to be old-fashioned and pull out a state map or the Rand McNally Atlas. Where to now Cleveland?

Rand McNally Ohio map, atlas, Cleveland city map

Checkout how some people navigate in Road Trips: Finding Your Way. That’s my technology story when out on the open road. During my time in Cleveland on this day I was able to post and interact via my smartphone, capture photos and at the same time enjoy everything around me without the technological interruptions. I got lots of work done and of course consumed lots of area brew.

With technology continuously evolving who knows how different this post would be if I wrote it at the end of the year. Perhaps I would have additional technology in my arsenal. You’ll have to see as I will write one then. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m actually on the lookout for a new phone and/or camera as we speak. The day began with some java at Gypsy Beans & Baking Co.

Gypsy Beans and Baking Company, Cleveland, Ohio via Twitter, Foursquare

What do you carry phone, camera and technology-wise during your road trips and travels? What are your social media apps of choice?

A travelers thoughts on checking-in.

Foursquare. Gowalla. BrightKite. Yelp. Your reading about these terms, you hear people talking about them, but what are they? Basically these are social technologies that allow you to (check-in) let people know where you are and in the process your winning badges, smack talk rights, points, sometimes even promotions from places that you visit. This phenomenon is still relatively new so both individuals and businesses are still figuring out how to most effectively use these technologies.

I’ve used Gowalla a little bit, but Foursquare is my choice because it’s the most well-known, popular and I find it easy to use.

How am I using these technologies? As people that follow me on Twitter and Foursquare know, I tend to check-in a lot more when traveling then when at home, sometimes going overboard. Why do I do that? What is my goal? Basically to showcase what a certain place has to offer. I’ve “somewhat” lost interest in the day-to-day checking in a lot around home and gathering mayor ships. Believe me, I still check in and give shout outs to great places around home, but I’d rather have a variety of check-ins in different towns, states, even countries just to highlight great places to check out. I’m sure no one is interested in my daily gas station, fast-food, grocery and errand habits anyways.

New York Welcome to Sign - I-90 North

When traveling my favorite check-in spots include welcome to signs, coffee houses, tourist attractions, sports stadiums, unique restaurants/bars, parks, river fronts, piers, anything around water for that matter. Just checking in at these places is not enough. I love adding a water photo shot, a great meal tip, something special that will make someone else want to experience the same thing.
I’ve definitely got the parks, stadiums and water shots covered in the Foursquare screen shot below on a recent trip through Tennessee.

Using Foursquare when traveling.

The day road trip. My staple. On these, I’ll check-in usually only on the way to a destination. I find no reason to check back in at the same places, trying to collect mayor ships unless there is more to see. On a recent day venture I checked in at the same park in Cleveland to and from because I wanted day and night photos.

When traveling, contrary to my statement above, I will check-in at a gas station or fast food joint, especially on long distance trips. It’s to let followers know where I’m going and passing through. Sometimes I’ll drive through a whole state and that’s my only chance to give them a shout out.

How about when flying? Airports are a must. They show your on the move, ready to travel. I check-in at the airport itself and usually a restaurant within. I just laugh at all the gates, bathrooms and seats that have been checked in at. Do people really to be that specific with their check-ins?

So next time I’m out on the open road, I’m sure you’ll see me checking in a lot, shouting, tweeting while taking photos. Maybe I’ll see you out there.