Coffee plays multiple roles in life, stimulating and comforting its drinkers, while coffee shops provide a social scene for people of all ages, especially as the temperatures drop. These local coffee houses are great spots to stay warm and cozy inside this winter. What’s your favorite local coffee shop? Tell us about it on The Edge blog.
Ciara Mulcahy, Patrick Henry High School
Mill Mountain Coffee and Tea: Southwest Roanoke
A visit to any Mill Mountain Coffee and Tea location illustrates why the business has successfully expanded from its original Roanoke location in 1990 to five locations across Virginia. Anna and Rebekah Phillips, sisters who have been working at the Southwest Roanoke location for six and three years, respectively, said people like the shop because of its convenient location. The atmosphere is appropriate for all ages.
The coffee shop is regularly filled with students being tutored, various groups holding meetings, individuals working and customers simply enjoying the food, coffee, and tea.
“Summer business is probably the busiest time of year with groups coming in from nearby pools,” Anna said.
Rebakah continued, “Also, many people come in for coffee or breakfast after workouts at Gold’s and the RAC year round.”
Anna also pointed out it’s a nice spot to pick up gifts. “During the holidays, families will come for coffee or a meal and then buy bags of coffee to send back home with their family members from around the country.”
Trends at Mill Mountain Coffee and tea reflect the season. Sabel Fink, a barista at the Southwest Roanoke location, commented on the popularity of specific drinks, “This time of year, people get a lot of mochas. Also, we just transitioned out of pumpkin flavoring season. Mill Mountain Blend is always good.”
Shivani Chati, Hidden Valley High School
From drip brewed coffee, to espresso drinks such as mochas and lattes, to cold drinks like frappuccinos, Froth offers it all.
Froth is a great place to warm up in the winter to sip a hot cup of coffee or tea and have a cafe meal. It is centrally located in Southwest Roanoke and is convenient to high schools, residential areas and businesses. Froth offers an extensive coffee and tea menu, including coffee served in a French press and 18 different loose leaf teas. The shop also has a full menu with a unique variety of food options as well.
For the holiday season, Froth promotes seasonal food and drinks such as pumpkin spice lattes, spiced apple cider and gingerbread and peppermint lattes.
Customer service is a priority for Froth.
“It starts when the customers walk in the door. We make sure they see friendly, smiling faces from all the way to taking customers’ orders and how it looks when they get their drinks or food,” Luke Higginbotham, owner of Froth, said. “We try to maintain a professional image of ourselves and I think that carries over to how we treat and serve customers. Presentation is very important.”
Hidden Valley freshman, Lily Flick said, “I’ve been to Froth a couple of times before. It’s really nice and cozy as well as a great place to do homework. They have good drinks and coffee too. One of the coolest parts is that you can get seasonal drinks there too.”
Mehreen Imam, North Cross School
Located on Grandin Road, Cups Coffee and Tea is a warm coffee shop. When walking in, seeing the neon signs, the wall, or even the logo for the shop, one can capture that the theme of the place is its namesake: cups.
Michelle Bennett opened Cups Coffee and Tea on Sept. 7, 2012. She sells coffees, cappuccinos, lattes, teas, mochas, hot chocolate and many other hot drinks. The teas include different variations of black, green and herbal teas. Depending how chilly one is, there are three cup sizes to fight the cold. Each of the sizes are labeled with the letters “a”, “b,” and “c,” and are sized 12 oz. to 16 oz. to 20 oz. respectively.
The shop also sell food, like giant cookies or scones, which go well with most of the hot drinks. It is an easy place for parents to bring their children to have some dessert or a place for teenagers to study or hang out. Even in the winter, this shop is opened seven days a week, but will be closed by 8 p.m. Cups Coffee and Tea is a nice, small shop that one can easily stop by at to warm up.