But First: Rook Coffee
Up until last year, I didn't drink coffee. I know I'm weird, okay? I've always loved the smell but just could not get over the bitter taste, no matter how much sugar and milk was added. However it was only a matter of time before I decided to be a full-on grown-up and drink a cup of coffee. I'm still and forever will be a tea lover but coffee is slowly growing on me. The thing for me about drinking coffee is that, because I'm not all about it, coffee is a special treat for me. Since I don't seek it out on the daily, when I do try to grab a cup I want it to be a special cup. No plain old cup of diner coffee for me, thank you! I'm a terrible coffee snob and will only drink a cup if we're at a small, local shop. Snob might not be the right word since it's not about the coffee but more about the experience. But all of this is to say that my coffee snobbery is about to benefit you since I'm going to share some of my favorite small coffee shops in New Jersey and Philadelphia for the month of April. So if you're actually really a coffee snob who's always on the lookout for a local cup of joe in your travels, then you're going to want to follow along with my But First coffee shop series.
The first coffee shop I just cannot wait to share is Rook Coffee. Just talking about Rook makes me crave a visit! Rook is a small New Jersey chain of coffee shops that also has a roastery and distribution center. They have ten locations throughout Monmouth County, New Jersey (well, almost ten- Holmdel is opening soon!). I'm hoping this glowing blog post will convince them to open up a location closer to me on the Western side of NJ!
The thing that makes Rook so awesome is that, according to my unrefined palate, their coffee is just so drinkable. As a sometimes coffee drinker I get nervous about ordering something I don't know. Like the time I went into an unnamed coffee shop in Philly and somehow ended up ordering some Guatemalan pour over coffee that took about 20 minutes to make and tasted like plain old coffee to me. Rook coffee is just plain old GREAT coffee to me.
My favorite drink hands-down has to be their latte style cold brew. Guys, I know cold brew is having a moment right now but Rook's simply cannot be beat. I don't know what they put in it but it is creamy and smooth and the right mix of sweet and bitter. It would be dangerous to my wallet if they weren't forty minutes away!
Even if you don't live in New Jersey, you can still enjoy Rook Coffee through their subscription plan or purchase from their online shop. The Bali subscription, with notes of dark chocolate and strawberry, sounds heavenly as does the Guatemalan subscription. In their online shop, they sell bags of their coffee along with gift boxes that are perfect for the coffee lover in your life (or yourself, if you're like that).
I cannot say enough good things about Rook Coffee. I am so happy I decided to meander into their Red Bank, NJ location and try a latte. Who says good coffee is only in a big city?