Coffee, like people, comes in all types of flavors and sizes. Unfortunately, not all these flavors are good. Sometimes caffeine is necessary, but the aftertaste just does not seem worth the trouble. However, coffee does not have to be something you choke down for energy. Below are a few of my favorite places to visit and relax while sipping seasonal flavors that cover the bitter acidity that coffee leaves.
1. Astraea Coffee
If you are a student experiencing homesickness, this is the perfect place to visit with friends. The shop is located in a two-story home that’s been transformed to accommodate the cravings of coffee connoisseurs while providing a warm, “grandma’s house” atmosphere. There’s a parking lot behind the house and a ramp to provide easy access for entry.
I recommend a 12 oz pumpkin cheesecake latte, which I purchased through the handy dandy apple tech at the register. The cheesecake flavor coats your tastebuds first in a light blanket of creamy foam before the warm spice of the pumpkin washes away the cream and warms your chest like a hug from a friend.
- Location: 2437 N. Landing RD Virginia Beach, VA 23456.
- Details: They’re open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on weekends from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
2. Lucky Cup Coffee Shop
Have you ever wanted to change the world but don’t have the time to commit due to school and work schedules? This coffee shop is a good place to start! Not only can you order a hot or cold beverage but by buying coffee here, you help donate to various charities. Lucky Cup promises that they have “partnered with Virginia Union University and The Virginia Hispanic Foundation to give nonprofits a way to raise money for grants and scholarships for the socially and economically disadvantaged.” There’s a side room with books and board games perfect for meeting with friends or completing work thanks to the free Wi-Fi. I ordered a medium Caramel Apple Butter iced coffee for $6. The apple flavor is crisp and perks you up on the first sip; it made my eyes spring open ready to start the day. The caramel sunk to the bottom and required stirring, but it blended well with the cool refreshing taste of apple.
- Location: 901 Chimney Hill Shopping Center, Virginia Beach, VA 23452.
- Details: They’re open Monday through Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
3. Java Surf Café & Espresso Bar
There’s nothing more romantic than watching the sunrise with someone you love… but if you add coffee to the deal, it’s a match made in Heaven. I ordered a s’mores iced coffee, and it was delicious. The coolness hits first like a cold night camping where you huddle near the fire for warmth. After a moment, the sweetness of the chocolate flavor wraps the tongue cozily, like settling inside a sleeping bag. They also sell baked goods and full meals. I took Rikki Tikki Tavi (my ESA), and he received free water and a place indoors due to his small size. However, the business does provide outdoor seating for you to stay with your furry friends permitting that the weather is not to frigid.
- Location: 1807 Mediterranean Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451.
- Details: They’re open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and on Weekends from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
4. Pale Horse Coffee
Sometimes finding a place with space to escape the clutter of dorm rooms is necessary to take a breath and face the day. Luckily, this business provides tons of space with a number of tables and bar stools for customers who don’t have a group of friends with them. There are giant menus on tv screens near the door when customers walk in, which makes examining the choices for different coffees and flavoring more enjoyable. I bought a 12 oz butterscotch cold brew coffee which masks the coffee flavor for those who are looking for the caffeine fix without the staining of taste buds. However, what makes this business truly special is that it is a Veteran-owned roastery that supports those on active duty and retired troops.
- Location: 540 Belaire Ave Chesapeake, VA 23320.
- Details: They’re open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Weekends from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
I hope you enjoy venturing out to visit these spots around Hampton Roads! I know I have.