The Grind, Plainsboro, NJ

Despite the embarrassingly high number of visits my local Starbucks receives from me, I am so much more excited when I have the chance to taste the nectar of a locally made roast. Though it has been two months since my last coffeehouse post, I have still been in and out of several coffeehouses whose home roasted beans have made me want to sit down and write a sonnet about them.

That is, if I was the sonnet writing type.

The Grind in Plainsboro, NJ is located on a teeny, tiny, cute, little strip lined with restaurants, frozen yogurt, gyms and the most adorable bakery, Sugar and Sunshine Bakery. (Yes, perhaps there will be a future post…)

Though it is a chunk of a drive from my home (30 minutes), it is located between two different malls I frequent. Translation: go out for coffee, end up shopping for a few hours, or vice versa.

20150723_200310We didn’t order their signature blend, our reason being that they serve their coffees in the carafes pictured above rather than from a carafe sitting behind the counter where the coffee is brewed. To us, that seemed recipe for stale coffee, of which we wanted no part.*

* Note: I do not believe their coffee was actually stale. Hopefully next time I go I will have the guts to get passed this not-wanting-to-serve-myself-coffee issue and be able to try their signature roast.

20150723_200605Lance and I ordered the same thing: a Mad Caramel. Lance ordered his blended and I ordered mine hot. As a blended drink it was as you would expect a caramel frappuccino to taste; smooth consistency, creamy with the sweet flavor of caramel throughout.

As a hot drink, it was overly sweet. This is the only problem with first time visits to local coffee joints–not knowing how they make their drinks. I don’t want it too sweet, I just want a hint of sweet, and since I never had the drink before I don’t want to dare say, ‘Just a little sweet, please’ in case their idea of sweet is the same as mine and I end up with not enough sweet.

Does that make sense?

Good.

However, I did order their cappuccino on another visit and it was delightful.

They also offer a wide variety of eats including breakfast items, lunch items and lots and lots of sweets.

The Grind was one of the larger coffeehouses I have visited, a real selling point where I am concerned. Tiny coffeehouses intimidate me. They are either always packed or always completely empty; neither being a sign if they are actually any good, but both being a factor for the all-eyes-on-you feeling when you walk in.

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We stumbled upon a group working fireside…of  course the fire wasn’t on, but I imagine in the winter it is the spot to be in.

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Even better than the spacious, welcoming environment was the artwork. Brilliant, realistic paintings are scattered about of famous musicians posed doing what they do best. I had to snap this quick pic of one of my favorites in the room: Billie Holiday.

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The surrounding area, the spacious interior and the beautiful artwork were non-coffee related reasons that make me want to return. The delicious coffee is just an added bonus.

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