Sunday, April 10, 2011

Coffee and then some

Coffee is much more than a morning buzz or a dunk for doughnuts. Consider its uncanny ability to bring folks together into artsy spaces, complete with overstuffed couches, free Wi-Fi, sun-dappled countertops, and alternative soundtracks.

Beyond this, a fresh cup of locally roasted bean is an anytime pleasure.

That's what's on tap at Spartanburg's Little River Coffee Bar, showcasing the java-good stylings of its eponymous Little River Roasting Company minutes away.

The shop shares a prime downtown spot inside the Masonic Temple building alongside Hub City Bookshop and Cakehead Bakeshop, which generously supplies muffins, scones, biscuits, quiche, and other yummies for conspicuous consumption. (Pause. Books, coffee, and cinnamon buns? Yes, yes, and yes.)

Coffee lovers will revel in the bean selection, comprised of a rotating roster from about 25 varieties, and a roasting spectrum (displayed on a nifty "Roast-o-meter") from light to dark, with light-medium and medium-dark in between. I can vouch that the medium Little River Blend is a balanced sip (just enough acidity) with a hint of chocolate.

But for those who prefer more milk than coffee, the friendly baristas will cater to your wishesand you can rest (or recharge) assured, tasting the local difference in each frothy sip.

Check out this spot morning, afternoon, or night (live acoustic performances on Fridays and Saturdays)and you'll likely discover more than a fresh cup.

Little River Coffee Bar, 188-A W Main St, Spartanburg,