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The Tale of Two Coffee Shops

My hometown…..small and quaint……Berkeley Springs, WV. This little town is the home to three coffee shops, but today I visited just two of them.

The first one can be found in a beautiful old building in the heart of downtown. The history can be felt immediately upon walking in. The vintage ceiling, old wood floors and exposed brick wall, I just love the personality of the interior!

As I do with all baristas, I inquired about the roaster the cafe uses and he was unable to provide me with that information. I tasted the two black coffees that they had to offer and was disappointed with the strength and flavor it left on my tongue. The coffee lacked body and depth, no flavor profile could be tasted with either brew.

I also tried my usual, a skinny cappuccino and once again disappointed. Primarily because I was served a latte. The foam was lacking and I cannot tell you how the espresso was because I couldn’t taste it past all the skim milk, lol.

The cafe atmosphere and place itself is charming & I could have sat there for hours. Sadly, the coffee made me leave. I hope they look into choosing a different roaster in the near future. We have amazing local coffee roasters and this cafe would hit the top list with me if they would simply change roasters, and maybe educate the baristas a bit more.

The second coffee shop can be found on the outskirts of town. It is newly done inside, very roomy, yet lacking in some character.

I stepped to the counter and ordered my usual, immediately the barista asked me if I wanted my cappuccino a little wet, or on the dry side. When asked this question, I know the person behind the counter, understands the art coffee and how to make specialty coffee drink correctly.

The cappuccino? AMAZING! You could taste the complexity of the espresso and the beans were fresh –  it left me wanting more. This cafe uses a local coffee roaster, Hopscotch Coffee Roasters and you can tell. The coffee quality is amazing. They also offer pour over, another sign that the coffee shop owner understands coffee trends.

I will be back to this cafe, every time I visit my hometown. Quality beans, by a local roaster and that is what I’m all about……always searching for the best brew.


UPDATE – 2018 Sadly, BOTH shops are now closed. PLEASE visit your local coffee shop to keep this from happening to them.

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  1. I’m not sure if its changed since I gave up on Fairfax Coffee House, but when I used to go there, I was told that they got their beans from Costco or Walmart.

  2. It is such a disappointment when a coffee drink is underwhelming, isn’t it? When I’m traveling, I like the adventure of trying new places, but I’m also harsher about throwing something out right away when it sucks.

  3. I found Fairfax Coffee House several years ago and immediately became a fan. Their coffee was excellent taste and quality. I was terribly disappointed when I tasted the coffee during my last visit. My double shot cappuccino was 80% milk! When the barista remade it, it tastedl like bitter dark water. I was honestly shocked and heartbroken! I have since learned of a new owner. I sincerely hope the new owner will take some constructive criticism and strive to acquire some expertise so that Fairfax Coffee House doesn’t become merely a hang out that serves coffee.

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