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.
We 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.
Lance 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?
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.
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.
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.
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.