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.

8-arm-2a8-arm-3a

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.

8-arm-7a8-arm-5a

 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.

black-tap-coffee-12black-tap-coffee-11black-tap-coffee-8black-tap-coffee-10

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

the-daily-coffee-12the-daily-coffee-11the-daily-coffee-7

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.

the-daily-coffee-9 the-daily-coffee-10 the-daily-coffee-8

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.

the-rise-charleston-3the-rise-charleston-2the-rise-charleston-1

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

kudu-coffee-5kudu-coffee-8kudu-coffee-6

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!

bread & butterfly

It’s been high time that I try some of the new spots round Atlanta! Bread & Butterfly was at the top of my must-try list, knowing that a) I love breakfast and b) all pastries I’ve had from Proof Bakeshop are finger-licking good. These folks know how to do baked goods right and I’m so glad that more and more we’re seeing established Atlanta restaurants spread their wings into different neighborhoods.

bread-and-butterfly-5abread-and-butterfly-1a

This Parisian-inspired cafe is open like all day long – perfect for lingering – and switches up their tastefully small menu at strategic times of day. My friend Alicia and I made it right as the breakfast menu was coming to a close. It was the perfect start to a weekday off; with time to really savor every item, it was simplicity that I sought and simplicity that I got. It was a Wednesday morning so the place was absolutely empty save for two loners. So if you’re near Inman Park and needing a new quiet place to hole up and read, study, whatever… here’s your new spot! It was way too cold to sit outside but I imagine once we warm up again, the patio will be just divine.

bread-and-butterfly-3abread-and-butterfly-8abread-and-butterfly-6a

I will warn you, the prices aren’t as casual as I had hoped. It’s the perfect place for a day date, a nice brunch, or treating yourself with your girls. But everyday pit stop it is not. Should you need to go somewhere a bit more friendly to the wallet, I’d recommend Amelie’s.

The food itself was carefully made and I took my time in eating it. It was worth enjoying the moment, the flavor, the textures. You could probably go there and spend less than I did if you just ordered regular coffee and a pastry. But if you’re going to indulge in a nice breakfast, just let it happen. I’m pretty happy I did.

bread-and-butterfly-12abread-and-butterfly-7abread-and-butterfly-15abread-and-butterfly-2abread-and-butterfly-11a