Blogtember: Baltimore Coffee Shops

Thursday, September 26: Go to a coffee shop. Order a favorite drink. Write about what makes you happy and what makes you sad. Or write about anything you’d like!

 As most of you already know- I love coffee, Baltimore, photography and home design/décor. When I saw the prompt for this post I decided to check out two new coffee shops and basically write a review on them.

When I worked at my old job I went to Starbucks EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. The office was outside of the city and Starbucks was the only option. I work in the city now and have the luxury of trying the small coffee shops before work, after work, or even during my lunch break. I realized I was paying a fortune each month for a cup of coffee that was made quickly not carefully, and in an environment that was a cookie cutter replica of the one down the street. Don’t get me wrong, I still LOVE Starbucks, but I’m glad that I have found two other great shops in my city.

 LAMILL-

LAMILL sits in the Four Seasons hotel in Harbor East. The location is great because it’s a .6 mile walk from my work and a 1.2 mile walk from my house. I went one morning before work with a co-worker and felt good about waking up early to get some exercise and coffee before starting the day. We were actually able to see the tail end of the sunrise that morning as well.

I had heard good things about LAMILL’s coffee but was nervous being that they are located in the Four Seasons Hotel. I am a budgeting queen and can’t justify expensive coffee, but wanted to give it a shot.

When I walked into the shop, it literally took my breath away. LAMILL looks a lot like what I want my future home in the city to look like. The high ceilings with exposed beams, solid wood tables, industrial light fixtures, and incredible decorative accents. I couldn’t stop looking at everything and then remembered that we were there to actually get coffee. I had read online that their Iced Dark Chocolate Mocha was amazing and since I love both of those separately I figured why not try them together. I was VERY pleased with my drink. Heather got a vanilla latte and we were both impressed with the presentation.

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And don’t get me started on their pastries- they were beautiful! I got the chocolate croissant to take back to the office for a co-worker and she said it was amazing. I’m definitely getting one for myself the next time I stop by.

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 Final Verdict:

Location- I don’t go to Harbor East that much so it’s a blessing in that I can visit a neighborhood that I don’t frequent much, but its also out of the way so anytime I want LAMILL, I’ll be making a special trip.
Price- I was so nervous about the price but it wasn’t bad at all! I paid the same that I would at Starbucks and the coffee was better!
Coffee- So good! I didn’t get their regular coffee because I really wanted to try the iced dark chocolate mocha and I’m glad I did. Next on the list to try: my go-to drink, a vanilla latte.
Ambiance- 5 stars. I might have to clear some time each week to head there early, blog, drink coffee, and relax before another day of work.

SIDEWALK ESPRESSO-

After looking up SIDEWALK online I saw that they offer the Pour Over Brew Bar. I had never heard of this! They make individual cups of coffee by pouring hot water over the coffee grounds which funnels into the customers coffee cup. I typically get lattes, never just a cup of coffee but I had to try this.

My roommate Shannon and I made this visit into an after work walk since the shop is only .5 miles from our house. It was such a beautiful afternoon as we walked among the sea of orange heading in the direction of the Orioles game. The shop was closer than I thought and I might even consider doing a morning run a few times a week and stopping to pick up breakfast on my way back.

The neighborhood was quiet and so was the shop, but it was also 5:30 in the evening when we dropped by. I loved the look inside SIDEWALK, completely different from LAMILL, yet still my style and it still had some industrial touches as well like the hammered tin sign on their bar.

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Shannon got the pumpkin spice latte and I stuck with the Pour Over Brew Bar and asked for the lightest roast they had. Watching the barista multi-task as she poured hot water over mine and then went back to the whip up the pumpkin latte was impressive. She was super friendly and answered all of my questions about coffee, the shop, the neighborhood and everything in between.

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Shannon’s pumpkin latte was the highlight of the trip. The price was more than Starbucks, but she didn’t mind once she tasted the drink. After complimenting the barista and informing her that the drink was better than Starbucks, she let us in on a little secret and told us about the key ingredients that make it unique. Well worth the price, that’s for sure! My coffee was good too, it took me a few tries to doctor it up the way I like it, but the experience and coffee was worth the trip.

Final Verdict:

Location- A little out of the way for a quick coffee run, but still close enough to my house that I can get some exercise and coffee in one trip. It’s also in a residential part of town so the coffee shop itself is so cute nestled in between row homes.
Price- My coffee was priced well, but then again I didn’t get anything fancy. Based on what I’ve heard from others and from Shannon, anything pricey is well worth it.
Coffee- Again, so yummy.
Ambiance- I loved it. The high tables, unique art, and clean colors made it a place that I could easily go to and relax while I enjoy my coffee.

I had so much fun working on this post that I have decided to do a bi-monthly food post on a new restaurant, bar, bakery, whatever I feel like trying! I hope you’re ready for some food talk!

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