Dollop Coffee

Okay so I’m finally settling into a routine back here in Texas and knew that i HAD to do a post on Dollop Coffee in Chicago’s Gold Coast. This place is freakishly adorable and only a couple blocks to Lake Michigan. Which is just plain fantastic since if you sit in the right spot on their patio, you can totally see the lake. And if it’s nice out, there’ll be people out enjoying the start of summer.

If you’ve never been to Chicago, I definitely recommend checking out the lake and surrounding areas. It’s got this vibrancy that isn’t really similar to any place else unless you grew up on an ocean or at another spot on Lake Michigan. This body of water is freakishly huge — i’m still sometimes surprised it’s a lake. But anyway, back to coffee.

Apparently, Dollop Coffee has a few spots around Chicago but the one I went to is just off the Miracle Mile, a go to if you’re a shopping fanatic. I’m not but kudos if you are. I ordered their almond milk vanilla latte and though it wasn’t the best cup I’ve ever had, the location, atmosphere, and the staff more than made up for it.

Their pastries looked fantastic but my stomach was acting funny so decided to stay with something I already knew and take a walk in my old stomping grounds. But this place is small, cute, and totally perfect for what a local Chicago coffee shop should be.

4/5 

4/5

Teavery Blends

I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love this company. Recently, we partnered up over Instagram and I have to say, their stuff is wonderful. It’s not only a subscription service for tea but you can also try some of their loose leaf teas as a one off to see which ones you like the best.

If you go subscription based, you can choose the level of ‘tea addict’ you are based on how much you actually want or think you’ll drink. Obviously, you’ll be able to switch it up if things change or you want more.

It’s pretty high quality and it’s based in Seattle. 100% organic and budget friendly as well. Personally, i like their Chai and their Earl Gray with Lavender.

Use code ‘EGT15’ at checkout for 15% off any order and free shipping over $10. Learn more here!

Houndstooth Coffee

This place is wicked adorable. It’s off the beaten path in a fun part of town and basically next door to a health food store called Sprouts. Score! Anyway, I had some trouble connecting to the wi-fi initially but that’s because I was inputting the wrong password. #blondemoment.

This place is precious. Their vanilla latte with 1% milk is close to perfection and their motto is “The Pattern of Coffee & People”. It’s a little hipstery but that’s the way I like my coffee shops. There’s even a dude with a man bun and hipster glasses standing in line. That’s how you know you’ve made it, I think, in the coffee shop industry. Plus, there’s a pokestop here for any of you PokemonGO players. Fair warning, it’s addictive and a great way to explore your neighbourhood and get outside. Just make sure you’re paying attention to your surroundings and don’t go anywhere you’re not comfortable!

Anyway, the staff is friendly without being too overbearing and seems to be pretty knowledgeable about their beans & tea that’re in stock. It’s got a pretty good vibe too with a mixture of wood, brick, and also chalkboard walls. I’ll definitely be coming back.

Finally, though this place is a little further from my apartment, it’s got a spark about it that doesn’t feel Texan at all. Well, maybe a little Austiny or San Antonio, but definitely not like Dallas. It’s fun, quirky, and has strong coffee. What more could a West Coast girl want in a coffee shop when she’s in the Lone Star state?

4.5/5

The Indy 500!

So this past week has been insane, which is probably an understatement. My boyfriend moved in a week ago (no more long distance? yes please!) and then we were off to Indianapolis for the Indy 500. And holy wow, was there some good people watching. But I’m also pretty sure I’ve never sweated that much at a sporting event without participating in it.

ANyway, onto the more relevant stuff. We went to Milktooth for brunch and that place was chalk full of hipsters with a 45 minute wait. I didn’t even think there were hipsters in Indiana but surprise, surprise. They’re everywhere But the food was worth it. I got a Belgian waffle that had cheese on it, surprisingly good, with some pork belly bacon.  SO GOOD. And my boyfriend got a strawberry rhubarb pancake with some bacon and eggs. The coffee was good apparently but I got some red rhubarb earl gray tea and it was actually surprisingly good. And the actual restaurant seems like it’s in an old auto body shop that they rennovated. Pretty dope.

But before then, we stopped by this place called Bee Coffee in downtown Indy and their honey lavender latte was AMAZING. So good! We picked up some of their beans but then in quintessential travel fashion, we left it in the rental car. Hopefully they’ll be able to send it to us since it was surprisingly expensive. It’s a little out of the way and on the edge of downtown but she recommended milktooth, probably because as a fellow hipster, we related.

Anyhow, the race was fantastic. I was a little overwhelmed by all the people and the heat but it was a great experience. I went with my  brother, my boyfriend, and a friend. Definitely recommend going if you can but wear comfy shoes and something that’s light!

Yogi Tea

It’s about time I talk about one of my favourite herbal teas on the market right now-and that’s basically all of the Yogi line. They’re light, delicious, and actually as soothing as they claim to be. My favourites right now are probably the Bedtime and Stress Relief right now, though Chai Black and Green Antioxidant are good secondary choices as well.

As some readers know, my mental health hasn’t always been the strongest over the years and I’ve tried a variety of things over the years to make it more manageable and tea has always been a great way to relax at the end of the day or if it’s been a rough one.

Probably the funnest thing about every tea bag is that on the end there’s a great little phrase that’s uplifting and resonates with creating a stable environment. Each one is supposed to be different, but i’ve had a few repeats over the months in which I’ve been drinking their stuff. I’m sure it’s a little difficult to ensure every one is different so it’s understandable.

Right now, I’m having a cup of Stress Relief while writing this-it’s a honey, lavender one and I put some lemon in it as well as I’ve been having some flu bug that’s been going around. If you haven’t had any of the Yogi line before, I totally suggest you pick some up. I’m not really into the whole ‘real food’ fad but I do try to keep everything in moderation and know where my food is coming from as best I can. And Yogi is a great medium for me because I love tea, it’s made from great places, and it’s super relaxing.

You can usually find them in most grocery stores but I’ve had the most luck at places like Whole Foods or Trader Joes, where there’s more of an emphasis on local and organic food. Now go go go!

5/5

Ascension Coffee

So I’m finally mostly moved into my apartment in Dallas, save for a few books and art pieces, and I decided to venture out into the coffee shop scene to stake out where I’d become a regular. Bring on Ascension Coffee. It’s so fancy, they have a valet. And actually fancy brunch. I’m talking nice plates, sustainable art, the works. It’s like hipster paradise here but if hipsters admitted their hipsterhood and decided to make a profit off coffee. But anyway.

So far, I’ve just tried their coffee and lemme tell you, it’s strong. Granted, I added a shot (of expresso! geez…) but it’s going to hit me like a freight train soon. And I cannot wait. But I’m not sure if it’ll be the spot I frequent. Maybe because I don’t feel quite fancy enough for it or because it’s in the Design District of Dallas, which almost seems too fancy to function. But maybe one day, I’ll be able to afford a coffee table here. Even if it’s on sale.

But anyway. I will give the spot this. It’s clean, super cute ‘for here’ cups, and great caffeine. Their latte art is absolutely fantastic. I love the art on the walls and it seems like they also have local music showcases weekly, which is awesome! Maybe next time I’ll come here for brunch and it’ll change my mind. For now, the coffee will keep me going. And I have a feeling I won’t be needing another cup anytime soon today. Which, for a caffeine fiend, that’s a rarity but always welcome.

3.9/4

 

Coffee Time-Kansas City, MO edition

Ever since my parents moved to Kansas City, MO, I’ve been dying to find a quality coffee shop that reminded me of something homegrown and local while still having a great flavour and inexplicable vibe to it. Bring in The Roasterie, in the city’s Brookside district just off 63rd and Ward Parkway. They have a fancier spot where they roast all their beans elsewhere and is more of a factory feel to it but this one is still industrial looking while still maintaining all the qualities of a local coffee shop you want to frequent.

If you go there often enough, the baristas will learn your name as well as your go to order, and they make their coffee with a sense of compassion and need for perfection. The coffee itself if you take it black is a little light for my taste but it sure makes a great latte or cappuccino. Plus, they have an assortment of goodies too to rep the shop like lunchboxes, mugs, and even a BBQ sauce too. Strange, I know, but it somehow works.

 

 

About a year or so ago, they upgraded their menus now so that they’re on four or five TVs just behind the register. It gives it a great, clean feel and usually, every Sunday morning, there’s a ton of churchgoers speaking about the service and not wanting to leave each other yet. But come hear early, or during an afternoon lull because often, it’s tough to find a table.

Also, they have a cinnamon & honey that i really want to try before I head down to Texas to make a name for myself. Maybe I’ll grab one before I go. So moral of the story? Check out The Roasterie if you’re ever in Kansas City and you’ll find a homegrown coffee shop that combines both Midwestern Charm and big city  dreaming.

4/5