I love coffee. Evidently I’m not alone in that love. Over 100 million Americans are daily drinkers of coffee; 30 million of these drink a specialty coffee daily (such as mocha, latte, espresso, cappuccino, as well as frozen/iced coffees).
The Europeans have coffee figured out. Going for coffee is an event for them – often a daily event. I regularly drink my morning coffee in my kitchen with the morning paper. However, like the Europeans, I like an occasional coffee indulgence later in the day – an event. I want it to be an experience – a break from my daily grind. (no pun intended.)
Therefore, besides wonderful tasting coffee, the ambiance/atmosphere of coffee shops that I frequent is equally important.
Since my spouse’s retirement several years ago, I began to introduce him to my secret coffee experiences. As a result, we’ve set out on our own to seek out a weekly Coffee Crawl adventure! At least once a week, we seek out various coffee shops throughout the local area. It recently dawned on me that I could share our findings and experiences with the CW readers. In return, I ask that you offer coffee shop suggestions for us to check out. We’ll give a shout out to both you and the coffee shop for your recommendation! We’ll be reporting back to you soon.
One of my favorite coffee drinks is café au lait, which is often referred to as the poor man’s latte. It’s not a widely offered item on most coffee shop menus. I’ve only been able to find it offered at two places in Peoria. One place is Panache on Sheridan Road in Sheridan Village. The other place is One World at Main and University Streets. Both places have uniquely wonderful ambiances. Both have wonderful desserts to savor along with their great coffees. Both establishments display local artists on their walls.
Panache offers a homey feeling sort of place. Orders are placed at the counter. You’ll see people sharing their coffee experience with their laptops (free WiFi) or with friends and family. Also at Panache you’ll see board games and books to peruse and use while you’re there. They obviously don’t want you to feel pressure to rush your departure.
One World offers a totally different atmosphere – a sort of eclectic type of feeling. It has a restaurant atmosphere with a distinct personality. They’re laid back and will treat a coffee and dessert customer the same as a lunch or dinner customer. They also offer free WiFi. You’ll see people of all walks of life there; from business people to college students.