Saxonburg Coffee Co. is a pretty stellar establishment. As their first anniversary approaches, I can only regret the four months spent not visiting. The shop is cozily renovated in the heart of (you guessed it) Saxonburg, PA. It invites patrons with warm atmosphere, warmer aromas and a staff that’s, well … pretty warm.
Backing up for a moment, I am not coffee expert. I cannot discern beans from Kona from the ones that those Indonesian monkeys poop out. I drink about three cups a week. Yes. That’s not a typo – a week, not a day or in a morning. In fact, I still think that people who cannot function in the morning without a fresh brew are quite sad for being muddled in addiction. My only means of making coffee at home is a never-used Mr. Coffee from my wedding registry. I think a good cup of coffee is a special treat to be enjoyed and savored. It is not one to be guzzled down at work leaving brown rings on my paper work.
Every trip to Saxonburg Coffee Co. gives me just what I am looking for: a treat.
Because I can’t tell the difference between a latte and an Americano with milk, walking into a “real” coffee shop is a bit overwhelming. Hell, I have been known to pronounce it eXpresso on occasion, but each time I’ve strolled through the door of SBCC, I’ve been greeted with a smile and a patient disposition. The selections are numerous without being excessive, which I appreciate. The truth is, eight months into my experimentation, there has not been a beverage not enjoyed. I’ve had lattes, hot and cold; Americanos; straight coffees and frappes. The daily specials are actually special and always manage to entice with Nutella, coconut and other pleasant combinations thrown into the mix. Any time I’ve been stuck between options, the staff has offered suggestions that were well-informed and geared towards educating me. This information helps me broaden my coffee horizons and taste all the shop has to offer. The great staff helps you become a better customer.
My trips to SBCC fit into two categories: business and pleasure. The business trips consist of me rolling in solo with my laptop to do some writing or, the always loathed, editing. On cold days, I’ll opt for the coffee of the day. They always serve up their special “Wired Blend” with two other options for trying. A refill will only set you back four bits (that’s $0.50 to you and me), which means a productive few hours wont set my budget back too far. Walking down a set of steps takes you to a nice-sized sitting area with tables and chairs. For distraction-free working, I recommend sitting on the left facing the front of the store. You will notice a steady stream of patrons without being distracted from your screen. A set of headphones will send you to isolation from the world, but the Pandora-streaming staff might be playing a better mix of music than you.
The pleasure trips are stop-and-goes with at least two of the three women in my life. On these days, I’ll target a mocha or caramel bliss (read caramel latte) while my sidekicks head right for the cakepops that are in supply with a rotation of flavors that always please the crowd. SBCC doesn’t make any treats in house. What they do is outsource the goods from bakeries in the immediate area, Evans City and beyond. The macaroons are amazing for anyone even remotely interested in coconut. The best thing about my pleasure trips is the anticipation during the drive home with my cup holder filled with SBCC goodness. Those mochas are hot, and the 12-minute drive home is the perfect cool-down time to preserve a severe burn to my overly sensitive tongue.
The coffee is great and the eSpresso drinks are brilliant. It has to be the credit of the beans, the roasting and the preparation. The drinks are strong, never overly-sweet and as inviting as the shop itself. The taste sits on your tongue in such a delightful way enticing another sip. The only disappointment is when the last slip slides down my throat and the figurative tear slides down my cheek.
The space feels small at times as it is littered with syrups, teas, the daily brews and tables but doesn’t feel too busy or cluttered. Bottlenecks are common at the door since payments are made right inside, but it’s never a deterrent. The entrance is dark, but the filament bulbs draw your eyes up making it feel brighter. The reality is that every quasi-negative I can concoct about Saxonburg Coffee Co. is met with a “but” because it is that good, it is that well-organized and it is that well-staffed.
With summer around the corner, I plan to spend many evenings like this one: sitting on the patio sipping an iced drink and watching my companions scarf a cakepop as the live music from Hotel Saxonburg floats perfectly through the background. I might even spot a hot air balloon or two. In a Starbucks world, I’m a Saxonburg Coffee Co. man.
Consume.Review.Repeat gives Saxonburg Coffee Company 9.7 green (with envy) Mermaids out of 10. Happy Anniversary!