05 Sep Sipping Java along the Coffee Trail in Columbus
I have to admit that I am slightly…ok completely obsessed with coffee. We have taken several coffee tours in the past, and thankfully, Micah has become a fan of this certain caffeinated beverage in the last several years. So, it goes without saying, when I read about the Coffee Trail in Columbus, Ohio, I knew it would take a prime spot on our itinerary.
What is this Coffee Trail you might be wondering? Well, the Columbus coffee experience is essentially a way to explore the coffee scene throughout the city of Columbus. A group of excellent coffee shops are listed together in a booklet, and each time you visit a new one, you can get a stamp in your passport book. There are currently 17 shops on the 2017 trail, and once you visit four or more, you can turn in your card for a cute coffee themed t-shirt! All of the coffee shops showcase quality craftsmanship and they all have a commitment to education. Columbus also offers two other trails called the Ale Trail and the Made in CBUS Trail—they are the same theme as the coffee trail, except one sends you to breweries and the other to shops with a focus on local goods.
While I would have loved to visit each and every coffee shop on the trail, our 4 days in Columbus wasn’t quite enough time to check them all off the list. I had hopes to visit 2+ coffee shops per day, but we failed quite miserably. We did manage to make it to five shops though, so I’d still say we did a pretty decent job during our limited time exploring.
Micah and I are both fans of black coffee—no sugar or cream for us—though occasionally I do like to spring for a specialty drink. So, we went the basic route and ordered drip or pour over coffee at all but one of the coffee shops we visited. A few of our visits also included a pastry or two because they were near impossible to resist!
Out of the stops we made, my favorites were Fox in the Snow Cafe and Hemingway’s Coffee Nook, but each shop had something unique and exciting to offer. Mission Coffee Co. and Pistacia Vera were high on my list to visit. Unfortunately, we couldn’t squeeze them into our trip this time, so hopefully we can check them both out on our next visit to Columbus.
Our first stop on the trail was Café Brioso. After an early morning flight to Columbus, we decided to pop into Café Brioso for a quick coffee pick-me-up. It was only a couple of blocks from our accommodations at Hotel LeVeque, so it was a great choice for our first stop. While the new location, Brioso Roastery and Coffee Bar looks a bit more aesthetically pleasing than Café Brioso, the location was convenient and the coffee was good. This was the one stop where I ordered something other than a drip coffee—I had the Ohio Maple Latte. My latte was fantastic, and Micah enjoyed his pour over coffee, as well.
One Line Coffee Short North
During our second day in Columbus, we stopped into One Line Coffee in the Short North neighborhood. We had just made our own candles at the nearby Candle Lab, so we settled in for a cup of joe just a few buildings down while our candle creations set and dried. The atmosphere inside the shop was cute, and we found a couple of comfy chairs to cozy up in. I pulled out a book that I purchased at the Book Loft earlier that morning while Micah caught up on his social media channels. We spent a good hour relaxing and sipping on our coffee. Both of us ordered a 16 oz. coffee and because their mugs only hold 12 ounces we were able to get a refill of our coffee when we were close to finishing our cups. I’m a slow coffee drinker, so I loved being able to warm up my brew part way through.
The Roosevelt Coffeehouse
Our third day in Columbus was mostly spent outside the city. We made our way to Hocking Hills State Park for a hike to look at the beautiful waterfalls and scenery, so an afternoon visit to The Roosevelt Coffeehouse was the only coffee shop visit we could fit in for the day. I’m so happy we were able to make it to this coffee shop as I love the mission behind it. The tagline of Roosevelt is “Good Coffee for Good”, and they really knock it out of the park. Our coffee was definitely more than good and the atmosphere inside the shop was wonderful. But, what I enjoyed most was that they are really in the business of saving lives. The Roosevelt Coffeehouse partners with organizations that focus on fighting hunger, providing clean water to communities in need, and fighting human trafficking. Set up as a nonprofit, this shop really goes the extra mile to help fight both local and global injustice, and that’s always something we can get behind.
Hemingway’s Coffee Nook
For our fourth and final morning in the city, we walked to another coffee shop that was somewhat close to our hotel: Hemingway’s Coffee Nook. This spot is a bit hard to find—it’s located on the main level of a skyscraper office building. But, it’s definitely worth the effort to get there. I couldn’t stop swooning over the Paris themed details scattered throughout the shop, and the baristas were a hoot! We had fun chatting with them and couldn’t stop laughing at the funny stories they told about missing plates, mugs and more. This was our breakfast stop for the day, so Micah ordered a toasted bagel with cream cheese and I scored the last almond croissant—one of my all-time favorite treats! I loved that the plates and mugs were all different, too. There’s something so charming about mix and match dishes, especially when they remind me of Paris, a city that I love so much. Hemingway’s was such a cozy little shop that I could have spent hours there either reading a book or working on my laptop.
Fox in the Snow Cafe
We had a little time to kill before we had to head to the airport for an evening flight home, so we made our way to Fox in the Snow Café. I’m so glad we were able to fit this shop into our trip as it was number one on my list of coffee shops to visit. The coffee was good and the design was beautiful, but the real standout of this stop was the baked good section. We were not hungry when we pulled into the parking lot, but once we saw the bakers at work through the glass window and had a peek at the pastries by the register, we were sold. A vanilla custard filled donut was our pastry of choice, and wow! It. Was. So. Amazing. It was almost as delicious as the one we had at the Christmas Markets in Austria last winter, and that’s saying something because we still can’t stop talking about the deliciousness of the Austrian treat we inhaled in a matter of seconds. As the rain started to drizzle outside, the tasty treats in front of us and the abundance of greenery surrounding us made the afternoon feel anything but grey. It really was a wonderful way to close out our trip to Columbus!
Have you ever been on a coffee tour or coffee trail?
We visited Columbus as part of a video project campaign. Special thanks to Travel Mindset and Experience Columbus for hosting us on our adventures through the city. As always, all opinions are our own.