Back when I was about 9 years old and falling in love with the show “Gilmore Girls” for the first time, I decided it was time to try coffee. At the time, my moms office was based in downtown Annapolis and whenever I spent the day with her at work I would usually take an hour or two to walk around and window shop. One of my favorite stores to stop in was the Hard Bean Coffee shop because, in addition to selling a strong cup o’ Joe, they also had computers I could play on and books I could read. It was in that shop where coffee and I met for the first time…and well let’s just say it wasn’t “love at first sight”.
The latte I bought was very bitter and I ended up drowning it in an unprecedented amount of milk and sugar. I thought that was it for my little caffeinated friend and I but little did I know that first cup while gross was also the start of a very beautiful relationship. Eventually, as my teen years kicked off, Starbucks was becoming popular among my friends and I discovered the deliciousness of a Frappuccino which led to more lattes and then, over time, just straight up coffee with cream. It’s safe to say at this point, coffee and I were on a whole other level.
While I have always considered myself a very independent woman, I became incredibly dependent when it came to coffee. With living on campus now, miles away from my staple coffee establishments, I decided it’d be a good idea to go out and rate some nearby cafes until I found my next staple coffee spot.
OK, this one is easy because they’re everywhere, and they’re all the same. My current drink at Starbucks is a sugar-free vanilla soy latte (wow, that’s a mouthful) and I find it the perfect drink when you’re in a pinch, just walking to class or combining with a breakfast pastry. I love Starbucks and I will continue to drink it and take hipster pictures with the cups, but because it’s so common I’m going to give it a score of six on a scale of 10.
Little French Market
About 5 to 10 minutes away from campus, depending on traffic, is Ellicott City. Ellicott City is filled with little shops, places to eat and places to get coffee! After asking the cashier to give me whatever she recommended, I received a “Carmel Kiss” latte. I will be completely honest that I was a little turned off by the name. It made me feel as if my coffee was once a badly paid prostitute, but despite the name weirdness, it was absolutely delicious. It had a perfect balance of caramel- not too sweet but also not bitter and the service was wonderful. They were all very kind and even complimented my overalls (score!) I give the Little French Market eight points.
If you ask anyone in Ellicott City (which I did) they will all tell you the best coffee in town is located at Bean Hollow. This café right off of Main Street was packed when I went in and for good reason too. The service was efficient and the quaint, personal feel of the inside made me feel like I wanted to sit at a table for hours sipping coffee and reading a good book. My coffee of choice was the special of the day- the “Rose Nylund” named after my favorite character from the TV show “Golden Girls." This coffee was amazing. In the words of Barney Stinson, it was “Legen-wait for it-DARY!” Along with my coffee, I also had the veggie sandwich which was equally delicious. Long story short- I’m giving the Bean Hollow a 10 out of 10 and I will visit again.
Tea On The Tiber
If you’re not much of a coffee drinker and have still somehow read this far into an article about coffee, then the Tea Room in Ellicott City is for you. They have wonderful afternoon teas (reservation only) served with beautiful pastries in a room full of Victorian era décor. If coffee is not your thing, I suggest a trip to the Tea Room.While there are of course other places around to grab your choice of Americano or cappuccino, this is where my journey for coffee ends…for now. A girl can only have so much caffeine in one day, but for now I hope this article will suffice your coffee needs and if you haven’t already please give these places a try. The service was all really great and although I didn’t judge the food, it all looked absolutely scrumptious!