Coffee shops have always had a strong allure for me. I’m not sure exactly what it is, but I don’t think it’s all about the coffee. It could be the ambiance– mild lighting and low chatter mixed with the steaming of milk and the smell of brewing coffee; or it could be the romantic history of coffee shops as hubs of creation and change. Whatever it is, I’m glad there are plenty of them to explore in Cleveland.
One of my most frequented is Phoenix Coffee Co., specifically the one in Cleveland Heights on Lee Road. They have their roastery downtown and another cafe on the west side and even another one in Cleveland Heights tucked away in the ever-popular Coventry neighborhood. But the Phoenix on Lee Road will always be my go-to.
This particular shop has become a little more “rustic minimalist chic,” with a couple of long raw-wood tables, some smaller 4-tops, and stools at the bar. Those looking for cushy couches and armchairs to sink into will not find that kind of cozy spot here, but that certainly doesn’t minimize the charm. Edison bulbs glow throughout the space and the large front window lets in the sunlight. Menu items are written on chalkboards and ingredients are kept on wooden shelves. There’s also a patio in the back and some tables out front to enjoy during the warmer months. It’s a very peaceful place to be.
Their coffee is, of course, very good– not too bitter, a bit of natural sweetness, very smooth. But the thing I like best is their unique menu. When I first started patronizing Phoenix, I was drawn to the Speedball Mocha. As a college student, how could I resist two types of espresso and two types of chocolate syrup? Easy. I couldn’t. So I didn’t. Now with a slightly more refined palette (who knew things could be too sweet?), I’ve started to enjoy their cappuccinos and their Golden Milk turmeric latte.
No matter which side of the city you’re on, I recommend stopping at a Phoenix an enjoying a locally roasted and brewed cuppa joe. Or tea. Or a pastry. Or just the cafe atmosphere. For work or play, it’s really great.