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WNY Bucket List: Coffee Shops

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By Jennifer Weber

Some people need a cup or two to jump start their day. Double double? Black? Or even non-fat, no whipped flat white with one shot of caramel and two shots of vanilla and a few ice cubes? No matter how you like it, you know where to find your favorite coffee shop and nearest coffee fix.

Here in Springville, we have the usual suspects to choose from—drive-thru at Tim Horton’s and Dunkin Donuts, a quick pick up with the morning paper at Crosby’s or Country Fair. A weekend refill or three at your favorite breakfast spot. And soon, we will have Art’s Cafe right in the center of town on Main Street to satisfy our caffeine addiction.

But until that moment arrives, I challenge everyone to go out of your cozy coffee comfort zone and discover a new place in WNY to cross off your bucket list. There’s no better time than the present—while the days are getting colder and darker—to warm up and enjoy a cup of coffee (and dessert, because who are we kidding— the two go hand in hand) at one of the following local coffee shops.

The first thing you might not notice about the outside of Undergrounds Coffee House and Roastery, located at 580 South Park Avenue in the First Old Ward of Buffalo, is in its past life, the building was a funeral home. Once inside, however, that theme is abundantly clear and reason enough to visit! In addition to serving cups of coffee to die for, they offer a very cool Roastery Club where you can choose to honor a dead person of your choice (famous, not famous, the possibilities are endless) and a local artist will create a unique handcrafted mug in their honor to keep on a shelf for your use whenever you visit. And even better, the five different varieties of coffee beans they serve are locally hand roasted weekly. For more information visit www.undergroundscoffeebuffalo.com.

Tipico Coffee, located at 128 Fargo Avenue on the West Side of Buffalo, boasts of being a coffee shop designed around the largest Kachelofen masonry stove in North America. Of course, when I visited, I had no idea of this fact at the time. I just enjoyed the very clean, classic, modern feel and the delicious cup of coffee. Currently on the menu, they are serving coffee beans roasted by Plume Coffee, Ruby Coffee Roasters and Detour Coffee Roasters. For more information, visit www.tipicocoffee.com.

Perks Cafe located at 448 Elmwood Ave in Buffalo, offers locally roasted coffee beans from Finger Lakes Coffee Roasters. On the menu, the must adored Butterbear Latte, which is created by a blending espresso, steamed milk, caramel, hazelnut and toffee flavors. You can also find a unique option called the Rose Latte created by blending espresso, homemade rose syrup and steamed milk. For more information, visit www.perksbuffalo.com.

Public Espresso + Coffee has two locations in Buffalo: Hotel Lafayette at 391 Washington Street (moving this week from a space at the lobby bar to their own corner retail space) and at Larkin Square at 745 Seneca Street. They are a small-batch coffee roastery made up of “self-proclaimed nerds dedicated to the science and art of coffee and espresso.” In addition to their very fine coffee selections, Public Espresso partnered with Lockhouse Distillery to make Revolution Coffee Liquor, Lake Effect Ice Cream to make Revolution Coffee Ice Cream and you can find Revolution Chicory Coffee served exclusively at Toutant Restaurant in Buffalo. You can also find their beans at Hertel Avenue Lexington Coop. For more information, visit www.publicespresso.com.

The Daily Planet, located at 1862 Hertel Avenue in Buffalo, has a mission statement of “Make People Happy, Make Good Friends, Make Good Coffee, and do something nice for the planet, daily.” With this mission in mind, they do not do their own coffee roasting, rather they choose to support already existing local roasters who create blends specifically for their customers.  For more information, visit www.dailyplanetcoffee.com.

Taste, located at 634 Main Street in East Aurora, is one of those places you can’t miss because of the giant three-foot steaming coffee cup sign located outside the building. The cafe was once an old grain mill and everything inside the walls was found and preserved from East Aurora, Orchard Park and Buffalo, including the lighting from the former Westinghouse Plant, a countertop refurbished from a metal sign from a 1950s diner and so much more! In addition to a long list of coffee (and non-coffee beverages), Taste also is one of the few coffee shops around that not only serves breakfast and lunch, but dinner too. For more information, visit www.tasteofea.com.

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