Monthly Archives: April 2013

Lookout Joe

Despite compelling assurances to the contrary, Ohio has some wonderful coffee roasters. Case in point, Lookout Joe in Cincinnati, OH. A quaint coffee shop and coffee roaster in one.  I stopped here early one morning with some old college friends during my midwestern vacation earlier this Spring. I couldn’t imagine a better way to end such an incredible time in Ohio — with a mocha!  AND check out this new coffee quiz:



Taste: 3

Lookout Joe did not get this one right. This tasted like hot chocolate, which is fine if you ordered one, but I ordered a mocha (to go, no whip). It was not even hot! For shame, Lookout… Perhaps I should have ordered one of their regular drip coffees (I recommend you do the same).

Appearance: 1

This looks like hot chocolate, no? Oy. Lookout Joe didn’t even try with the latte art, and they were not even busy! No excuses.



Ambiance: 4

Despite their sub-par mocha lattes, this is a place I could stay in for a while. Lots of comfy seating options, including outdoor seating in warmer months. We arrived here at about 8:00 am on a Saturday morning and there was a constant steady flow of folks. Lots of food and drink choices with reasonable prices all around. I particularly enjoyed the 8 flavors of drip coffee; not because I actually drink flavored coffee, but because this brought me back to the first time I ever tried coffee. It was my first year of college and I was about to take my first final exam – statistics. I was so nervous. While my mother encouraged me to have a drink to relax before my exam, I opted for a cup of coffee instead (thanks, mom). I went down to the nearby dining hall, and made a to go cup filled halfway with flavored coffee and halfway with milk. This was delicious! I immediately felt like a grown up, like a real college student. I marched off to my final with a bit more confidence that day. I haven’t turned back since — from coffee drinking, that is. I left the statistics far behind. While my coffee preferences have evolved, I will always remember my roots. O – H…





Posted by on April 22, 2013 in Ohio



Love and Honor… to Miami! I recently took a vacation to the midwest and had to stop by my alma mater, Miami University.  There were many important stops along the way — Slant Walk, Bagel and Deli, King Library, and my favorite coffee shop: Kofenya Coffee.  I remain convinced that Kofenya is the place for coffee in Oxford.  Kofenya was established in 2004 by two Miami seniors. They must be doing something right because now there are 2 Kofenya locations: one in Oxford, OH and one in Hamilton, OH. While the owners of Kofenya appear to have shared the same interior designer as that of my senior year landlord, I can assure you that their coffee is newer, brighter, and :::ahem::: cleaner.



Taste: 5

GOOD MORNING! I was immediately jolted awake by the overpowering espresso taste. I quite liked it, but wish I could have tasted more of that milk-cocoa-espresso equality I so love in a mocha. Kofenya sources their espresso beans from 7 Hills Coffee, locally roasted in Cincinnati, OH.


Appearance: 6

Ahh, the steamed milk leaf. To the untrained eye, this mocha art is something worthy of praise. “How did she do it?” one might ask, awestruck. “I don’t know,” one might reply, “those firm white lines in juxtaposition so exquisitely against the dark espresso appear almost stenciled by hand.” But alas, to the (mal)adroit mocha latte consumer, this aesthetic is mere kid stuff. It is time to move on from leaves depicted in foam, Kofenya. Perhaps, a MU monogram? And a cup with a matching saucer while you’re at it – don’t you know any hot beverage tastes better with that pairing?



Ambiance: 9

I am so biased, I had to give this place a 9; old memories served as my compass for this Ambiance assessment. The decor is old and mismatched, much like the interiors of my senior year house.  The wall paint appears to have been completed by fraternity boys and the wall art is like Freshman art history major amateur hour. A small stage for live music, couches, tables, and wobbly chairs crowd this small cafe. Kofenya is mostly for students, but also definitely for professors and passerby’s. You could spend all day and night here at Kofenya, what with their expanded menu now including drinks, soups, sandwiches, and pastries.  I remember this place being open 24 hours per day during finals’ week.  My favorite study spot was to sit by the window so I could people watch as I revisited all of my abnormal psychology class notes. I miss this place and so look forward to my next trip back to campus. O-H…




IMG_0284 Waited 5+ years for one of these bagels.

IMG_0283 Messy Katie bagel.

IMG_0301 Miami now recycles & composts in the library cafe.

** For the coffee consumer: note a recent list of the best coffee spots around the States! Have you been to any of these?

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Posted by on April 15, 2013 in Ohio