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Friday, January 1, 2010

A REAL COFFEE HOUSE: LOCAL CUSTOMERS, LOCAL OWNER AND LOCAL FLAVOR

An authentic hometown coffee house is located in Berea, Kentucky. Established as Berea Coffee and Tea about 20 years ago it continues to be a place where locals and visitors can relax and have some drinks with some great fresh fare. My daughter and granddaughter take in lunch here several times when they visit in the summer. Most everything is freshly made on the spot. Above are some locals that frequent BC&T as it is called locally. You'll find no corporate atmosphere here.


It's located along Berea's historic merchant block and across the street from the well known Berea College. Berea is a small town yet is is a magnet for folks that seek out arts and crafts. On any given day one finds visitors strolling the block looking in the interesting shops. Inside or sitting outside, BC&T draws young students, visitors, retirees, and all the ages in between.


Here is a a free spirited musician playing out his soul at one of the outside tables in front of BC&T. In the warmer months there is a roomy outside back area that provides seating in a beautiful container garden landscape.


The owner, Adam Walker, is a "hands on" type of owner. Here he is painting the back area by the back entrance. He uses 100% zero VOC paints. In fact, although the coffee house has been around for awhile it continuously follows updated sustainable practices. Click here to view all the sustainable practices that have occurred.


The idea of having a "sit up to" counter is a popular place for customers. I have noticed some "regulars" only use the counter for eating and having a cup of coffee rather than sit at the tables. All the coffee that is sold is fair trade organic. In back of the counter area are large chalk boards that serve as menus. No need to waste paper with individual menus.


Counters are convenient for bantering amongst the customers as well as the wait staff.

Keeping local community in mind, a bulletin board with local events is located toward the back.

I have been in many coffee houses in many states and I would rank this as representing the true essence of a coffee house as it was intended to be when they first began in the U.S. Starbucks is at the bottom of my list and a place in Oregon called the Beanery is at the top. Click here to read an article about Starbucks that underscores the reason they are at the bottom of my list. I put BC&T along side Oregon's Beanery as a top notch community coffee house.

Berea Coffee and Tea website

2 comments:

  1. This is a great coffee house. There is a college right across from it that brings in lots of students and profs plus other interesting folks. It's an all around good place. Thanks for the comment. -- barbara

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