Wild Bean – Lewisburg, WV

27 Mar

It’s a first! I was inspired today to start writing about food  & drink stuff I discover, love, or loathe, and the charming little places from whence the aforementioned stuff comes. How apropos that my first comes from the quaint village of Lewisburg, West Virginia, and its local coffee shop/eatery/hippie central: The Wild Bean.

Food & Drink: The menu boasts an impressive and creative mix of specialty drinks and the old coffee house stand-bys. I decided to try a Sugar Maple latte, but modified.  Half the syrup (I like my drinks on the mildly sweet side), an extra shot (for caffeine and stronger flavor), and with whipped cream (because it makes everything better).  I can’t imagine how tooth-achingly sweet one with the full dosage of pure maple syrup would have. Mine was perfect. The taste of the maple highlights the smokiness of the amazing espresso shots. Extra point for a great barista who knew how to (and took the time to) pull great shots.

I saw after I already ordered that they have almond syrup. Since its discontinuation from the Starbucks lineup, I always get excited to see it in other shops. So yummy, but I’ll have to do it another time.  Other menu items that caught my eye: Stout Chai — a 20 oz. chai latte with a doubleshot of espresso; and Swift Kick — 8 oz. of espresso with brown sugar cream stirred in (okay, I may actually get one of those before I leave here).

Wild Bean has a kitchen and sports a small but interesting food menu that is super veggie-friendly.  I am sorely tempted to try the Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana, or the Ultimate Grilled Cheese. As I write this, they are baking chocolate chip cookies that almost make me drool on my keyboard.

Local Color: Artwork from local schools and local artists line the walls, along with vintage coffee makers, burlap bags, and pictures.  There’s a stage up front that is used for a raised seating area when it’s not being used by one of the bands or artists whose upcoming performances are listed on chalkboards by the front door.

Wild Bean has a nice selection of coffee and accessories, including hand-thrown coffee mugs and plates from a local potter.  Stone jewelry and photog postcards are also available, along with CDs and some books.

The Little Things: The only downside I found with Wild Bean is that their wi-fi access is not free or unlimited. You have to get a code for a one or two hour access window with your purchase. It makes sense to keep people from living up here online without buying things, but it’s kinda annoying.

The music is eclectic and loud enough that you can enjoy it without feeling like someone is beating the notes in to your head (Hello, Starbucks. Tell your stoner employees to leave the volume dial alone when they get to work.) It’s also at a volume where you can have a conversation in a normal tone of voice without feeling like everyone around you is eavesdropping. There is a good mix of people — hipsters, middle-aged marrieds, the requisite strange 50-something fat white guy, and maybe even a gay person besides me.

Seating areas are mixed and comfortable.  There’s a section with couches, a coffee table, and a fake fireplace. And toward the back of the shop you’ll find a kid’s play area with toys, a soft floor, and books. Nice touch.

They recycle! Gotta love that there are separate bins for plastics/glass/paper. Why every coffee shop does not do this is beyond me.  It just makes sense.

All-in-All: 4.5 out of 5 beans. I could totally see myself hanging out here and writing or meeting up with friends for a bite to eat.


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