Coffee Tour 2016

Good morning! Currently, it’s still rainy and cloudy here for the 367th day in a row, and not sure when we will see a complete clearing in the skies. So, how appropriate that we join in the celebration of National Coffee Day?! Whose a coffee drinker around here? I certainly am. I live for perfecting my morning coffee, brewed at home on most days. I’m trying to cut way back on buying coffee out; some weeks I probably spend as much as $10/week on coffee! I had a really good pair there going for a while. Ellwood Thompson’s own Dark Roast coffee with my new favorite nut milk, Califia Farms Toasted Coconut Almond Milk. This combo was so good, I looked forward to it every morning. Currently, I have Blanchard’s Dark as Dark on hand with Califia Farms sweetened Vanilla almond milk. Still delicious, but not quite as good.

I digress. This summer, I had a revolutionary idea of going on a Coffee Tour around Richmond. I asked my dear friend Susan to come along, and she gleefully accepted.

Our first stop was the artistic coffee corner at Quirk Hotel a.k.a Maple & Pine restaurant. Everything from their own blend, brewed by Richmond’s own Blanchard’s Coffee Roasting Co. , to the packaging was perfection. You just know the day is going to be great after grabbing a cup from Quirk. #fuelthelove

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My next stop is one that I actually went to on a whim, and didn’t give Susan enough notice  (sorry, Susan!). Over the summer, Blanchard’s poured hot or iced coffee for FREE if you brought your own cup. How awesome is that?! So, one balmy summer morning, I drove over to their location with my Tervis and said, “Iced coffee please.” Let me tell you. Their cold brew coffee is out of this world. I believe they use a nitro process, which means it is infused with nitrogen, and comes straight from a tap, resulting in a smooth sip, with just a little bite to it. If you can handle it, drink it up. Otherwise, I would recommend Blanchard’s cold brew on a day when you wish you had gotten more sleep, because it will perk you right up!

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Back with Susan, our next stop was Whisk. Whisk is nestled in the hustle and bustle of Church Hill, illuminated with Edison bulb pendants, painted crisp white, and serving up none other than Blanchard’s coffee! Again, summer mornings in Richmond begin as warm as 75 degrees, so iced coffees, or latte in Susan’s case is a must. Whisk is known for their gluten free and oh-so-decadent Macaroons. Made in house. We shared the PB one. We devoured it before taking any good photos, whoops!

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Sorry for the little tiny pics, ya’ll! I must have been on a delete-pics-to-make-more-room-for-storage-on-my-phone rampage and deleted the photos not documented in Instagram. So check out my Instagram for full versions.

Next up on tour was to Crossroads Coffee & Ice Cream. Hold the ice cream. At Crossroads, they serve Rostov’s coffee, which I believe pre-dates Blanchard’s. Rostov’s and Blanchard’s basically rule the Richmond coffee culture. We each got latte’s, mine with almond milk, Susan’s with cream, and they were dee-licious! Definitely lives up to their best seller status. Again, I apologize for the teeny, tiny photo.

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Our last stop on the tour was to Early Bird Biscuit Co. Early Bird has been all the rage this year, and I just had to try it for myself. Reco: the basic biscuit with any of their Blanchard’s coffees. The biscuits are amazing; so light, so soft, so warm, so delicious. I believe I paired my biscuit with an Americano. High fives for Early Bird Biscuit Co.!

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And that’s a wrap for the 2016 Coffee Tour! Susan and I were thinking of starting a Happy Hour tour next, so stay tuned! Until then, #rundontwalk to one of these delightful coffee shops. You’ll thank me when you do.

XO,

Ellen

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