Where to get your Morning Joe
Needing my morning coffee on a cold, snowy late-March morning, I decided to warm up by exploring some of the local coffee specialty shops in our area.
Stone Fruit Coffee Co., located in Canfield, is owned by Jenn and Josh Langenheim (or J-squared). They roast their beans on-site and have been open about a year. A group of morning regulars came in and the banter and laughter carried on while Josh created several of their specialties, including an Oreo Mocha Crumble and a Bean Me Up. Stone Fruit will be expanding to the new Canfield Library, which is currently under construction. Barista Ben told me that their top-seller is a Javaccino, with a variety of flavor options. You can also take home a bag of freshly roasted beans for brewing at home with catchy names like Idora Perk, Federal St. and The Rust Belt.
Owner Mike Avery opened Joe Maxx Coffee Company in downtown Youngstown in November of 2011. I’m told their most popular specialty coffee is their Black and Tan Mocha, made with real peanut butter. Dale and Victoria were the baristas behind the counter on the morning of my visit when customer Erik walked in. They greeted him like an old friend and when they asked what they could get him on that cold morning, he replied, “Whatever you want”. Now that’s a vote of confidence! Erik told me he wasn’t worried about what he would be served, because, “everything they make is fantastic.” As you look at the menu board, the options seem endless. By the way, Erik wound up with a Kolachi Latte pictured here—WHAT COULD BE MORE YOUNGSTOWN? I had a sample—it was simply delicious.
Pressed, located on Lincoln Ave on the YSU campus, opened on February 6th. Owners Frank, Amy and Pam say the response they have received since opening has been fantastic. The updated interior is warm and inviting. I found customers Dom and Josh engaged in what looked like a serious conversation. I asked what they were drinking—Dom had the Sumatra and Josh went with the House Blend. I chatted with Frank while he created a Snuggle-Up Latte, which seemed like a perfect choice (and a good idea) for a cold morning. Busy college students came and went while I was there, fueling up for their morning classes. Pressed also serves all-day breakfast, and lunch options include paninis, salads and soup. Their baked goods display case is too tempting to pass up.
On my way into Friends Specialty, at the corner of W. Federal and Phelps downtown, I encountered Melissa drawing the Friends logo in their front window display. (What a talent!). I also saw Chris, who was enjoying a Tanzanian coffee made through a full immersion process. He gave it a hearty “thumbs up”. Owners Patricia and Mitch have operated a location in nearby Salem, Ohio for about 12 years, and opened this downtown location a little over a year ago. They roast small batches of coffee beans each day from a variety of countries to ensure freshness. They also offer an extensive variety of organic teas. Barista Kayla pointed out that Friends is dedicated to the organic, fair trade philosophy. All baked goods are made fresh daily, using only all-natural ingredients. (Just an FYI—Kayla told me they plan to begin offering lunches soon, similar to what they have begun to serve at the Garden Café at Mill Creek MetroParks Fellows Riverside Gardens. Yummm!)