brash coffee

Have you heard of fika? Fika is a concept in Swedish culture with the basic meaning “to have coffee” and I read a little more about its cultural significance in a lovely book one morning at Brash.

“Fika demands that we create space in our lives for a break. It discourages getting a cup of coffee to go and drinking it in solitude in front of a computer. Fika is about slowing down, getting together with friends, and spending a moment completely present in the company at hand. As any Swede will tell you, life without fika is unthinkable.”  Continue reading

8 arm

When a new coffee spot in town opens up, you know you’ll find me there drinking lattes like there’s no tomorrow. Typically I visit a new place just once or twice to take pics and feel the vibe, but with 8 arm I’ve already been there like 5 times since I first visited it a month ago. Is that insane? I very rarely find a place I love as much as Octane but this one is right up there.

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First of all, how come no one knows about this spot? It’s right on Ponce, in that spot that used to have all the scooters. It’s open morning until night and has a breakfast lunch AND dinner menu. While the pricing is a little too high to be my every day spot, everything I’ve tried there is delish. Atlanta magazine claimed that 8 arm now has the best biscuit in Atlanta, but the item I’m dying over is the CINNAMON BUN. Go get it. The dining room is flooded with natural light and a weekday is quiet enough to sit and really enjoy the morning.

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 This particular morning that I went, I was feeling really down, out, and tired. Continue reading

coffee in charleston

Earlier this week, I spent two-and-half days in Charleston. It doesn’t sound like a long time, but if you know me then you know that I can pack in a whole lot of sightseeing into one day. This was my summer mini holiday and so I wanted to go somewhere new and do all the things I love with the person I love. Those things include: eating, drinking, walking, marveling, and taking photos of it all. I’m breaking down my trip into categories so I can share every little bit of inspiration with you! And one of my new goals for the rest of this year is to make more time for short trips to nearby cities so that I can continue finding beautiful places and sharing them here.

Anywhere I travel, I have to visit coffee shops. Multiple coffee shops. Partially because I need coffee to function, but also because coffee shops are local cultural landmarks. No matter where I go, if I find the right coffee shop then I can get a glimpse into what it would be like for me to live in that city. So in a way they make me feel at home.

I would never consider myself a sophisticated coffee connoisseur, but I know what I like and what I don’t like. I visited a total of 4 coffee places in Charleston (narrowed down from many internet searches) and here’s what went down.

Black Tap Coffee
The vibe: quiet neighborhood, minimal interiors, a place to sit and work/read on your computer
What I got: black julep (a refreshing espresso, honey, mint concoction) & a blueberry lemon scone
How it made me feel: not cool enough. It was extremely quiet and anonymous inside; there were plenty of people around, but everyone was into their own space which is really good if you want to stay and linger for some peace. Great natural light coming in.

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Would I go back again? Yes. I didn’t try their traditional coffee drinks because I had read about the Black Julep online prior to the visit. I would probably go back if I were alone and wanted to sit and think. They do play music so it’s not silent, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable having a private conversation in the shop.

The Daily
The vibe: easy parking, more of a market/lunch place, meeting up with friends for a chat
What I got: cold brew and a cherry pistachio pastry… thing

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How it made me feel: Casual. Definitely a great weekend spot or breakfast meeting place. They have a wide array of items for your pantry and dishes made to order, but it seemed bustling and perhaps a little more tourist-y. Loved the little patio seating area outside (but it was too hot to partake) and the decor shops right next door.

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Would I go back again? Definitely. Delicious delicious pastry – which makes me think the rest of the food will probably done just as well. A place to go with family or friends to enjoy brunch and browsing.

The Rise
The vibe: Accidentally happened upon this while walking around sightseeing. Found out it was actually a hotel cafe (there are many in Charleston), attached to The Restoration.
What I drank: another cold brew! it’s an easy go-to.

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How it made me feel: I don’t know how I feel about hotel cafes. It was a lovely small space, completely empty and seemed like maybe only made for tourists or hotel guests.
Would I go back again? Probably not. My drink was sufficient due to my need for refueling, but it’s not a coffee destination for me. Totally acceptable though!

Kudu Coffee
The vibe: Easygoing. It makes you want to stay a while, except there’s no wifi.
What I drank: vanilla latte

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How it made me feel: really really good. As the last coffee visit in Charleston, it ended up being perhaps one of my favorites. The side patio is absolutely darling and this spot could easily become a staple in my life if I lived in Charleston.
Would I go back again? Definitely for sure. The patio was lush and serence, and my latte was just what I wanted.

That’s all I got! Did I hit all of the good spots? Probably not. But I think for two days, four coffee shops is definitely a good run. Next time I visit Charleston, I might find it hard not to go back to some of these!

revelator atlanta westside

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Never thought I’d ever say this, but I think there might be more great coffee places in Atlanta than I can handle. They’re actually sprinkled throughout the whole city except, unfortunately, in my own neighborhood (although I think Press & Grind’s opening might have fixed that). I guess the universe decided to make it up to me with four amazing spots right by my workplace, one of those being Revelator‘s Atlanta Westside location.

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Feels like just yesterday they opened up (it was actually June of last year I think) because it does feel so fresh and bright in the space. It’s a stone’s throw away from my workplace and just when I think it couldn’t get better – they’ve just debuted a menu of small seasonal food offerings.

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I think the thing that pushes Revelator towards the top of the list for me is their genuine hospitality. Every barista who works there welcomes me warmly and treats me like an old friend. Some of you may not like that sort of immediate connection, but I appreciate it especially since it’s the same way I like to connect with others as well.

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The new food offerings feature small plates that are oh-so-perfectly lunch-sized. They are fairly priced and come with a little side salad as well! The ham and radish baguette sandwich I had was deeelish as was my friend’s avocado toast with lava salt. It looks like their menu is going to rotate depending on what’s available but I’ve already got my eye on this week’s menu.

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I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the delicious lattes that accompanied our meal. They were flavored with a honey cinnamon syrup that made them taste like a Teddy Graham. So from now on I will want a Teddy Graham latte at Revelator. Does all of this not sound like the best thing for your midday break?

a quiet afternoon at chrome yellow

With numerous cool coffee spots popping up around town, I feel like I’m getting closer and closer to heaven. Atlanta is almost at that point where every neighborhood has a great espresso go-to. One such lovely spot is Chrome Yellow Trading Co.

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The most notable part of my experience every time I visit Chrome Yellow is that I feel an overwhelming sense of calm. This quiet peace makes me want to stay all day, but how many cups of coffee can I drink before the baristas think me crazy?

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I adore the boutique’s clothing selection, but with coffee and cookies in hand I didn’t dare try anything on. That’ll have to change in the near future.

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asheville craft

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creative makers: apple butter bakery

I’m thrilled to share with you the enviable and mouth-watering talents of a delightful creative entrepreneur that I’ve had the privilege of working with, Shellane Pickett of Apple Butter Bakery! Three years ago she took me under her wing as an intern – teaching me the basics of cake decorating and always putting a smile on my face while doing so. After a brief stint on the west coast, Shellane has returned home (thank the heavens) to realize the dream of opening her own brick-and-mortar bakeshop, serving up everything from mini pies to brownies to custom designed cakes.

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I’ve never been more aware than I am now of how difficult it is to do that, to choose a path you love and follow it no matter the obstacles. I remember when this girl had only daydreamed of this moment and to see her finally have it is so uplifting, so inspiring. With her husband, Daniel, and her family by her side, Shellane serves up an array of sweet treats that taste like home. All these delectable creations are imbued with the spirit of the Pickett family; their warmth, optimism, and capacity for love lines every cupcake, cookie, and cup of coffee.

Where did your passion for baking originate from? When did you realize this was going to be your life’s work?

My passion for baking started when I was about 4 or 5 years old… old enough to hold the bowl steady while helping my mom bake some brownies or coconut cake. From then on, I was hooked. I had an idea that this was going to be ‘my thing’ during my junior year in high school. I wanted to go to culinary school, but I took an alternative route and ended up in the same place anyways. I remember I was in my mom’s kitchen decorating a cake and saying to myself “I wish I could just live in a little cottage and bake cakes all day”… I’m still working on the little cottage part!

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dancing goats coffee bar

Dancing Goats in Ponce City Market, Atlanta GA | tide & bloomI’m a self-professed lover of all things delicious, but by no means am I a culinary expert. I just know what I like. And one of the things I like most is coffee. Thank god I have some awesome coffee baristas to teach me what it is to drink (and make) a good cup! If you’ve seen my instagram activities, you probably know I frequent Octane quite a bit. They do have a little piece of my heart, but my other local favorite is Dancing Goats, the brew bar home of Batdorf and Bronson roasters and lucky for me, they just opened a lovely new location at the currently-in-development Ponce City Market.

Dancing Goats in Ponce City Market, Atlanta GA | tide & bloom Continue reading