Now for something completely different
Well, not completely different, since coffee is (some) critics’ best friend. So here’s a word on the three coffee shops in Shepherdstown, home of CATF, host of ATCA’s annual conference. I’m still high on the three-shot Wet Dog (one of the great coffee drinks anywhere), so until I come back down I can’t fairly report on the other two.
Turning off Duke St./Rt. 480, heading east on German St. (Shepherdstown’s main drag), you come first to Mellow Moods on the left, a café and juice bar with a good range of sandwiches. In the collegial mood you’d expect in a small college town, both the serious coffee shops used the same words to agree that I should include Mellow: “well, sure, they have a new espresso machine.” When I visited, the Mellow barista said yes, he does indeed know how to use it.
Further east, just off German St. on the right of the whitewashed library, sits Hypnocoffee, which roasts its own beans and takes its coffee very seriously. No food mars their focus. You select from the bean stock and your cup is made by hand. Even the syrups (vanilla and chocolate) are made by hand, in-house.
Then, further along German, on the right, diagonally across from the Yellow Brick Bank Restaurant, is my mecca: the Lost Dog, a coffee/tea shop/art gallery that’s a serious/lively throw-back to the ‘60s. (Take a look at www.lostdogcoffee.com.) For food, there’s just baked stuff, but the teas go on forever, and then there’s that Wet Dog. It mixes vanilla syrup, heavy cream, seltzer, lots of ice and two or more shots of espresso. The seltzer gives it the sizzle. Heavenly!