Three years in the making I’m not sure if I could even properly guesstimate the amount of drinks I’ve served. Cappuccinos, lattes, coffee, hot chocolate, lemonade, etc I have probably made it, and if you live in Doylestown, PA, I’ve probably served your mom and dad. House of Coffee is where I learned the etiquette of the steam wand and how to pack a portafilter (the traditional way of making espresso). After the shop was closed after a year, I hadn’t lost my lust for the brew life so I set my sights on another coffee shop. The Zen Den, located in Doylestown as well, was just a few blocks away from my previous stomping ground. 2 years in the making I’m still a somewhat employee.
Now living in Philadelphia I made a switch to commercial coffee and I worked at the local Saxby’s on campus. It’s likely I’ve served you a latte. I’m also currently employed as a Barista at a Stephen Starr restaurant in Rittenhouse, Il Pittore. In my few short years I have grown as a barista and more importantly have grown to love and appreciate my craft. But I do not just “love coffee”, I admire it and I find it intriguing; it is an art I will always be able to improve.
Freshly brewed from barista Kathryn Justice.
Cream-colored walls and dim lighting set the stage for this South Philly coffee shop.
The intimate seating allowed for me to hear the conversations of coffee lovers and see the playlists on their computer screens featuring artists like Cold War Kids and Afternoon Delights.. A large pitbull sat in the front corner while the dog’s owners drank black iced coffee on the cool fall morning.
I ordered an eight ounces latte with soymilk, which is one out of maybe 60 items I could have purchased. The latte itself was not my favorite. The espresso was a little more bitter tasting, which I assume is appealing to their clientele– mostly hipster 20-somethings. The milk, the bubbly, not latte milk had no real foam. All in all, it was tasty, but it was just hot milk poured over espresso, nothing special. I paid in cash and coins due to the unexpected “Cash Only” rule, which was a little old school in my opinion.
B2 is more than anything a café. It serves not only a plethora of coffee drinks, but also serves sandwiches, smoothies, and juices—everything made to order. For $6.25 they serve gourmet sandwiches, brie and honey or goat cheese, cucumber and basil are just two of their options. A little expensive for my taste, but considering the ingredients, it was a worthy purchase.
What I liked about this neighborhood spot was the atmosphere: quaint, quiet, and a sense of home in the best way. The baristas seemed to know many of the people who came through personally. I happened to visit when the owner was present, who was singing along while she danced around and made herself a cone of soft serve.
Over all, B2 gave me a different experience than much of the bustling coffee shops in center city. It felt personal, like somewhere I could meet people and make friends rather than business partners.