I spent this week driving around New England, and visited some old favorite cafes and tried a few new ones. I also experienced a first, as I visited a coffee shop I will recommend in my guide – with the coveted asterisk! – even though I didn’t really like the coffee.
I was on the highway driving past the town of Brattleboro, VT in the middle of the day in need of a coffee fix, so I fired up the googles and found Mocha Joe’s Coffee Roasters downtown.
Like I said, I didn’t really enjoy the coffee very much. Overroasted for my taste, collar of fluffy milk foam on top. I’ve certainly had much worse, but on the drink alone I wouldn’t think twice about the place.
What hooked me, however, was the people. There were three people working at the time, all what I would consider young, and they were all friendly. Every single guest was engaged by a staff member in a real conversation, and the guests clearly appreciated it. In my case we talked about my KeepCup, the woman in front of me asked what song was playing so a staffer pulled out his phone (his Spotify account was the source) so he could write down the name of the song and artist for her. Everyone was getting the nice treatment, even though they didn’t seem to be many repeat customers.
Lots of smiling and interaction, for those few minutes I felt like I was in the happiest place on earth, and I loved it. I’m normally a bit of a curmudgeon, but it was another great reminder that part of what makes coffee houses attractive and successful is the free helpings of humanity.
So congrats, Mocha Joe’s. Damned right that you’re going up on that fucking board.
Mocha Joe’s Roasting Company
82 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT