Cool Beans Coffee & Bagels

Written by on February 18, 2012 in I Eat America, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

(No website found at time of publishing) – Lexington, Virginia

How I heard of this place: When we made our way into the tiny town of Lexington, we drove past Cool Beans on our way to the B&B. We made a mental note to check out the quaint, new cafe addition to the village of Lexington.

Type of cuisine: A mini, Virginian version of a gourmet coffee shop and café serving specialty espresso drinks, coffee, a limited selection of baked goods and bagels.

Ambiance: Number 23 S. Jefferson Street is the new (1 year or so) home to Cool Beans Coffee & Bagels, where the awning boldly pronounces their name and the door its cheesy logo (a coffee bean with pink sunglasses). The floor-to-ceiling windows of the storefront have a simple coffee mug with steam sticker on each side. We walk in to find a long, rectangular space with hardwood floors, white walls with a waist-high wooden trim and moldings up the length. The pink painted wooden cashier counter is home to baskets of tea selection, and a stand-up glass case with muffins and donuts. To the left of the space, and just before the wall, another larger glass display holds two silver platters: one for individually wrapped brownies, and one for slices of pie, while the white rack shelf on top holds a silver tray of danishes for $3.45 each and individually contained cupcakes. Paintings on the near-empty walls look like generic pictures of Coffee and Java often found in stores like Ross, TJ Maxx, et. al. Either that or a colorful poster promoting “Real Fruit Smoothies” framed and hanging over the wooden podium island with recycled java jackets, and small spaces for napkins, sweeteners/sugar, straws, a carafe of cream, and small containers of chocolate powder, vanilla powder, nutmeg and cinnamon. A wooden rack promotes area attractions and brochures for local entertainment and shops in Lexington. Tiffany’s-inspired lamps light the four rustic, matching bar-height and normal tables with chairs/backed stools availble to patrons dining in. Each table, decorated with St. Patricks Day themed leprechaun print fabric napkins with glass tops, also hold a variety of shapes of small containers full of only green M’n’Ms. The space, oddly reminiscent of grandma’s house, extends back towards the restrooms, and to a fridge of sodas, decorated with jars of flavored syrup, ultimately leading to a hidden barquette, where more pink walls give way to a private study area. Chalkboard style menus sit up against the back wall from the walk-up cashier counter, and patrons can select from a variety of colorful beverage options, including espresso, specialty drinks, and bubble tea. The large kitchen area extends far back, easily the size of the front of house and cafe seating area.

What I ordered: Chris immediately stepped in and with a cute, scrunched-up face, exclaimed, “Oooooh! White Chocolate Mocha!” and then excused himself to use the facilities while I placed our orders. After placing the order for my husband, a large (16-ounce) whole milk white mocha ($5) with three shots of espresso (normal amount at this place), at the recommendation of our barista, I went with the popular: Indulgence ($4) – nonfat milk, with one ristretto shot, caramel, chocolate, hazelnut and coconut. Both beverages were topped with whipped cream (from a can) and mine had a drizzle of mocha and caramel atop.

What I loved: Between the two mugs of joe, I most thoroughly enjoyed the Indulgence, despite the two-and-a-half extra shots of espresso.

Why I loved it: Even though they got everything in our order wrong, the young barista and barista-in-training were sweet and friendly.

Cost: Average to high ($2.05-$5.25 per beverage)

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