In case you didn’t already know, I have an undying love for little local coffee houses. Try to tell me the atmosphere and coffee of a large brand beats the hand selected beans and well-thought out atmosphere of local, and I’ll tell you we may just have to fight.
In my search for the perfect coffee house, I’ve come across some gems in the Lehigh Valley and I wanted to share them with you so you can experience them too. This list will definitely grow, but for now, I wanted to keep it short and sweet to the shops I frequent the most.
Blockers Coffeehouse, Catasauqua
The coffee house I frequent the most, because well, it’s so conveniently located incredibly close to my house. Originally a family-owned fuel and service station, it evolved into a space I now love to go on my days off to edit and grab a different drink combo each time I go. Prog/funk/psychedelic music plays in the background and vintage/pin-up decor is displayed, making for an atmosphere I am so down with. They responsibly source their organic beans through Conscious Coffees in Boulder, Colorado, which ships weekly to the shop. To snack, they offer Egypt Star and Blondie’s baked goods (both local!) Also offered is Macungie Mountain Farm tea. The Gas House Dance Hall is connected to the shop. There, they have yoga, bellydance, and swing dance lessons (um, someone PLEASE come with me) as well as live music. Recently, they just hosted Lorna Shore and I honestly can’t wait to see what other gigs they have lined up. To be able to walk to get coffee AND go see a show is a dream for me.
I was able to sit down and talk to the owner, Vicki, and it was inspiring to hear the pure knowledge she has on the product, from the source of her product, down to the perfect temperature for her brews. The staff there are so down to earth and that’s something so important and hard to find. Can I also just say- big bonus- they’re dog friendly, so y’all should bring your pups so I can stare at it while I do my work!
Staff recommendation: Ethiopian Sidama (undertones of blueberry or chocolate) or Ethiopian Yirgacheffe (berry undertone) pour over
I recommend: Cinnamon Toast Crunch and a Double Espresso with a dollop of Anise syrup and a dollop of cream (trust me on this one- you haven’t tasted anything like it before!)
Coffee House Without Limits, Allentown
Connected to an art gallery, this shop has staff and interior decorating that make you feel so welcome and leaves you with a feeling that you’ve made the right choice for your coffee. They value sourcing their coffee locally and utilize Monocacy Coffee, a local roaster, and have vegetarian/vegan options. Owner Billy Mack and his staff offer a unique house blend of Ethiopian and Brazilian (#shoulditakeaselfieblend). They pride themselves on providing a space space for all who enter, similar to that of a ‘community living room, with opportunity for socialization, creativity, and relaxation’ (can definitely confirm this). Check out their free music and poetry events, such as their no mic open mic nights, as well as their pay it forward program! All events are listed on their website.
Staff recommendation: Dirty Chai, The London Fog, and The Miel
I recommend: My first time visiting, I went out of my comfort zone and decided to make my “own creation.” I ordered a lavender vanilla latte… and my friends, I fell in love. It’s hard to describe, but, as it is (obviously) lavender, it has the perfect amount of floral notes and (this may just be in my head) but was such a calming drink to sit there and relax to do some work.
Taylor Roasted, Northampton
I hold this one dear to my heart. Taylor Roasted was the first local coffee shop I ever frequented. The OG. The one that started it all. Owned by John Weber, this shop is located on Main Street Northampton, right by the historic Roxy Theater and within walking distance of my high school alma mater. I’ve had many a wonderful memories hanging out here with pals for a cup of coffee and for a few open mic nights. On the walls, they have local artists’ work, including the work of local high school students. Burlap bags of beans decorate the floor, waiting to be brewed. The coffee is picked primarily based on flavor profile, but also based on the quality of it being fair trade and organic.
Staff recommendation: White Chocolate Blackberry latte
I am ALWAYS looking for more coffeeshops to visit. I’d love for some new places to give a shot and honestly, comment your favorite coffeeshop in your area. Who knows, maybe I’ll find myself there at some point! Also, to be THAT gal, if you stop by any of these shops, let them know I sent you! I’m not making any sort of commission- I just would love to see that my post is bringing these amazing shops the attention they deserve! Support local.