Bean Brigade!

Traveling the country, one sip at a time…

Archive for the month “May, 2013”

Oldie but goodie

We have really been on a winning streak lately guys. Every coffee shop we touch turns to gold. Haha! No, but really, we are finding the best places. This is something we are truly passionate about and enjoy so thank you faithful followers and new followers! We are honored that you have choosen to take this journey with us! Momma bean still gets a rush everytime she enters a new coffee shop. Seeking out coffee shops in each and every new town we go to has always been our thing. Blogging about it now just makes it that much better. Anyway, our audience has spoken and we listened, we have been working on adding many more Hampton Roads area coffee shops. You guys are going to love this place!

This coffee shop is so unique in the way its set up. There are different rooms that are seperated by half walls so its still very open and spacious feeling. They thought of everyone when they designed this place. There’s a back screened in porch type of room that has a large variety of games and is perfect for families, kids, babies. The main room has comfy couches and a fireplace, relaxing, good for studying or dates. There’s a room to the side with tables good for larger groups, meetings, etc. The staff is very friendly. The drink selection is outrageously good!  To give you an idea poppa bean had the cinnamon roll latte which literally tasted just like a cinnamon roll. Momma bean couldnt resist the name and description of my drink, the butter crunch, which has almond roca. Ive never even seen this flavor and I was so excited. But honestly and unfortunately it wasnt good, bit of a let down. Should have got the cinnamon roll, once I tried that nothing could compare. This is the first coffee shop in Norfolk, and still going strong, and I can see why. Any place that gives you a whopping 3 shots in a large is worth going to! Check it out beans!

Bean score…

Customer service 4/5

Atmosphere 4/5

Taste 3/5

Uniqueness 4/5

Price 3/5

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Fair grounds
806 Baldwin Ave #2
Norfolk, VA

This place is conveniently located right by Norfolks McArthur Mall, they have such a great kids play place there! Heres our wild beans having some fun.

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See ya next time!

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Beary good coffee

Today we went to the BEST coffee shop! Actually, it is our first ever PERFECT SCORE!!!

Sleepy bear coffee, as soon as we heard the name we knew we had come across a winner! This is truly a hidden gem that absolutely everyone needs to check out, especially every parent!!! It is a family owned business.  We had the pleasure of meeting the owners daughter today. The whole family works together at this business. Everyone is so sweet and welcoming. They went above and beyond to make our experience wonderful in every way, shape and form. They have over 50 scrumptious drink flavors. Feeling healthy? They have fresh smoothies and soothing herbals tea as well. Momma bean choose an iced latte with peanut butter and banana,  it is definitely my new favorite, the best drink I’ve ever had. Poppa bean had a hazelnut coffee and he said it was the best he ever had too! As you know he is very picky.  It is very reasonably priced.  Which I will go into more later about what they offer the kids! This place is simply perfect in every way. We couldn’t think of a complaint if we had to.

As we entered we were greeted by these friendly bears outside. Big hit with the kids!

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Pick your treat, then pick your room. There is the main room with a nice big flat screen TV and comfy couches, nice big windows, and a beautiful fireplace. Even enjoy conversation with the very sweet and knowledgeable barista.

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They have a great little selection of local,  jams, honey, etc. Your kids will enjoy finding these stuffed animals throughout the place.

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This is the Forest Room. It’s a nice, quiet, private room open for meetings, groups, or any gathering you would like. There is a nice big flat screen TV in this room for your entertainment as well.

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Sorry the picture below is blurry but this is another great find as you wander through, there is a few stuffed toys and even a little dollhouse inside the log.

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Prepare to be amazed!!!! This is BEAR TOWN! This kids paradise is only $3 for your whole family to play all day!!!!!!!!

I told you this place was amazing.  This play place has THE best toy selection we’ve ever seen! Our kids had a total blast! They have one of everything! So sit back,  relax, read a book, or meet with friends while the kids have a great time playing with all the great stuff!

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The first ever PERFECT SCORE as promised…

Customer service 5/5

Taste 5/5

Uniqueness 5/5

Atmosphere 5/5

Price 5/5

Talk about a sleepy bear! This little bear, or bean one we should say was totally wiped out after the best day of fun at Sleepy Bear coffee shop!

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I’m telling you, even if you don’t live all that close.  It is worth your drive.  Kids play all day for only 3 bucks!!! You can not beat that, trust us, we’ve been everywhere! Even if you don’t have kids, everything is separate so there is quiet, peaceful places for adults to enjoy a delicious treat of any kind. This is the perfect place for meetings, dates, birthday parties, play groups, parents, kids, babies, everyone! Come check it out. You can thank us later. 🙂

Please tell them bean brigade sent you!!!

We are so proud to be featured on their website.

http://www.mysleepybearcoffee.com/

We will see ya there soon!!

9555  C Kings Charter Drive

Ashland, VA

23005

 

WE ARE GLAD YOUR HERE!

Bean Brigade now has a facebook, please, be so kind as to like us on facebook, we’ve got all kinds of cool stuff going on there…

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bean-Brigade/166726723504017

You can even follow us on Twitter…

@bean_brigade

See ya next time. 🙂

Pretentious bean

Borjo coffeehouse

Along our journey we run into a lot of things. Some coffee shops exceed our expections and come up with such unique drinks and fun atmospheres, we are constantly on our toes. Then, of course some places are a huge disappoint and you honestly wonder how they even stay in business. Most places fall somewhere in between. As was the case with Borjo.

Pretentious is the best word, sums up this place perfectly. The decor, the crowd, the staff. The place was fancy, which I do appreciate and enjoy, it seemed a little over the top for a coffeehouse and sometimes places are so fancy that you dont even feel welcome, esp with kids. But it was a cool, pretty, different atmosphere. Momma bean loves blown glass so the special glass lights earned extra points from me. think it would be great to study or for a date.

The staff was rude. Even made a stupid joke at our expense, totally embarrassed us. Everyone in there had a dirty look on their face. The drink selection sucked. What we got tasted bad. You can count on honest reviews from us, not everyplace is good. They did have a nice little area with books and a fireplace which was cool. They also had beer. What we did get was some cute pictures, so enjoy, after your bean score…

Customer service 1/5

Taste 1/5

Atmosphere 4/5

Price 3/5

Uniqueness 3/5

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Super bean

Crossroads is a wonderful coffee shop, with two locations in Richmond. They have great coffee and yummy food. They have a lot of vegan friendly options. Their vegan chocolate chip cookies are to die for! Its a cool place inside, colorful, lots of seating and lots of board games to play. They have a big outdoor seating patio area as well.

It was here that I was introduced to something truly life changing for coffee lovers. Drum roll please…

“Thai coffee” Have ya’ll heard of this??? Its black coffee AND espresso with sweetened condensed milk. It is just the right blend of everything. Such a good and different flavor. Not to sweet, not to bitter. Very, very powerful. It is definetly one of my new favorites!

Baby beans were asleep in the car, so momma bean just ran in for a drink and a few pictures.

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It was clearly very popular because it was crowded and they have two locations in Richmond.

We went to the 26 N. Morris street location by the way.

Bean score…

Atmosphere 3/5

Taste 5/5

Customer service 4/5

Uniqueness 3/5

Price 3/5

Not another coffee house…

Poppa bean and I joke…if we have to go to another “coffee house” (okay technically this is the coffee shoppe but you know what i mean) were gonna go crazy. We get it, they dont all have tbe named that!

300 Main Street
Portsmouth,VA

But dont let the boring name fool ya. This was an awesome place. It was a little corner coffee shop in a perfect location on Main street across from the Childrens museum of Portsmouth. The outdoor seating is just perfect. Its a cozy place inside. I always love brick walls. There drink selection is very impressive. I (momma bean, who writes all the blogs by the way) had the campfire mocha with one of my all time favorites, ARAMARETTO! Poppa bean loved his drink with irish cream, hazelnut and caramel, doesn’t get much better then that. They had ice cream and sprinkles for baby beans too. Yay! We really enjoyed it here.

Bean score…

Customer service 2/5

Taste 4/5

Uniqueness 3/5

Atmosphere 4/5

Price 3/5

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They had this funny sign…

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And of course we wont leave you without children’s museum pictures. This place was incredible! Worth the price. Worth the drive no matter where your from. We had the best time!!

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Be sure to check back tomorrow, I cant wait to share a very special and powerful new coffee drink I found with you guys!!

Jo jacked up prices

Jo Jacks Espresso bar
5700 Churchland Blvd
Portsmouth, VA

Today was an adventure for sure. We decided to go somewhere momma and baby beans have never even been before. Portsmouth! We really enjoyed it there!!

Our first stop was coffee, of course. The thing is, for the first time in history momma and poppa bean have completely different opinions. So different, that were going to have to right seperate reviews. Starting with momma bean. Momma bean really really likes Jo jacks. I thought it was unique. They had a very delicious drink selection, a real good variety of coffee drinks. I had a real hard time choosing between the cookie dough frap and the Irishman which had vanilla, caramel, and irish cream. The irish cream drink ultimately won, as it usually does with me. It was extremely good. They had a pretty good food menu. Momma bean had the chicken caesar which is just like the usual salad but in a wrap, it even had the croutons, so good! The place was a little small for my taste, but i really liked the private backroom where we sat, perfect for the kids. The best part for momma and baby beans was that they had baskets of toys to play with. We picked a basket, brought it to the table, and the kids were happy while we enjoyed our drinks. Going above and beyond for the kids like that will always win points with me. This is a great place your whole family can enjoy. Although I must warn you, its pricey. If your in a hurry they even have a drive thru. Momma beans scores are as follows…

Customer service 2/5

Uniqueness 4/5

Atmosphere 4/5

Taste 4/5

Price 1/5

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And as for grumpy ol poppa bean, this place rubbed him the wrong way all around. He didnt like how small and crowded it was. He didnt think there was anything special or unique about it. He couldn’t find anything on the menu he would eat. He thought the staff was rude. What really got to him was the prices. Momma beans drink was almost 6 dollars for a small frap with only one shot of espresso. Thats just not right. He compared it to a run down diner without any good diner food. Anyone that knows poppa bean knows hes not one to hold back. Haha! Beware, poppa beans scores…

Customer service 1/5

Taste 2/5

Atmosphere 1/5

Uniqueness 1/5

Price 1/5

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See ya tomorrow our beloved beaners…thats what poppa bean wants to call you, is that okay? 🙂

Coffee for a cause

Sorry beans, we havent been posting due to momma beans health. Momma bean is suffering from heat exsaustion and dehydration and that means, NO COFFEE!!!! Gasp!!! It truly is as dreadful as it sounds. But, shes on the mend. Thank you so much loyal and faithful followers. Also welcome new followers, fellow bloggers who have subscribed to our blog lately. We look foward to catching up and getting to know your stories and families through your blogs as well.

Today we ventured out for the first time, and we stayed close to home. We went to a great little place in Williamsburg called, “The Coffeehouse.”

5251-6 John Tyler Highway
Williamsburg, VA

We happen to know a little backround on this place through things weve heard and seen through the community. We know its a family run business, which is so valueable these days. The family is kind hearted, they do and give a lot to the local church, this is a great place who cares about giving back.

So, what about the coffee??

Well, I must say, momma bean has had hundreds of iced mochas in many different states and this one is absolutely the best! They roast their own beans, in store, which we always love! They sell a yummy variety of fresh blends. They also have a nice food menu. All in all, its a wonderful place, a hidden treasure you should check out next time your in the area. Dont forget to tell them bean brigade sent ya. Until next time, enjoy your sip, wherever you sip. Onto the bean score…

Taste 5/5

Customer service 4/5

Uniqueness 2/5

Price 4/5

Atmosphere 2/5

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I wouldn’t leave ya without your baby bean fix…although it was raining, bean 1 was asleep in the car, so only momma and bean 2 ran in quickly so, no coffeeshop pictures but heres some randoms…

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Bean 2 is just as obsessed with coffee cups as his momma!

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Babies first popsicle!

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Bean 2 lookin cool, has to be wearing camo 24/7! He even sleeps in camo. Hopefully its a phase that soon passes. 🙂

See ya tomorrow!!!

Home brew

Today we are doing things a little differently. An inside look if you will. For the days we dont get out to a coffee shop for whatever reason we have got an awesome little set up at our place.

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At any given time we always have at least two types of coffee and two types of espresso. We always have variety of creamers, syrups, etc. We even have a few varieties of instant, mostly for guests or camping. We even have decaf for when grandma visits.

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Not all are pictured but we have a 4 cup coffee pot, a 12 cup pot, a keruig, a frappichino machine, and our most priced posession, the espresso maker.

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Meaning, at any given moment I can make you a frap, a latte, an americano, iced coffee, hot coffee, flavored, plain, decaf, whatever you need or like, we’ve got it. Ive even got a couple varieties of chai tea I add espresso shots too, which is a favorite of these beans.

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We’ve even got momma beans prized starbucks cup collection to serve up your coffee in.

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So, on your travels if you ever need to stop by for a caffeine fix we are right between Richmond and Williamsburg and we’ve got you covered.

Can we score our own house? Hey, we own this blog, why not?

Customer service 5/5
(and the bartistas are so good lookin)

Uniqueness 4/5

Taste 4/5

Price 5/5

Atmosphere 4/5
(Its always loud but at least we have a playroom)

These lazy, stay at home beans are signing off, see ya tomorrow.

Colonial coffee

Aromas Cafe
431 Prince George St
Williamsburg, VA

Hey Guys, if you live in, or plan to visit the Colonial Capital which is Williamsburg we have the place for you! It’s definetly one of our hometown favorites and managed by our good friend Angela (www.momspotoftea.blogspot.com) By now we hope you know you can trust us when we say it’s good coffee! They offer a full bakery and cafe menu with really off the wall items like our favorite Mac n’ cheese with bacon, cherry tomatoes, chives, and bbq chicken on top. They have a drink of the week which momma bean tries every single time we go and has yet to be let down. They also offer spiked smoothies and a spiked Irish coffee! Right in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg it’s packed full of tourist, locals, and William and Mary college students that flock there to get their hands on some good coffee! A major downfall in our opinion is that it is very expensive. They even charge almost a dollar extra for soy milk, ouch. It’s always slammed full with a good social atmosphere. Maybe, a place to meet Misses or Mr. right. Weekends usually include a local musician or poet. The walls are covered in art by the locals. Its kid friendly with very special food and desserts including smores and every kids favorite, goldfish. It is also dog friendly with a beautiful back patio area where pets are welcome to hang out with you while you enjoy your coffee. Come stop by and be sure to sip it on a stroll down Duke of Glouster st. where you’ll see men wearing funny hats, plenty of friendly puppies, and even a little shopping!

On to the score than shall we (colonial slang for ya)

Atmosphere 4/5

Uniqueness 3/5

Customer service 3/5

Taste 4/5

Price 1/5

Enjoy a few pictures of the coffee shop and Colonial Williamsburg…

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Your gonna love it here…

“Welcome to Ethereal cupcakes and coffee, your gonna love it here”  were the first words spoken to us as we walked in and we left with an amazing latte! It was a wonderful experience overall. We were informed that all the cupcake and coffee ingredients are organic which is something so special and rare to find.

The cupcakes are truly amazing. They have 10 flavors that change daily which includess one vegan and one glutten free cupcake a day. They have a variety of yummy coffee drinks, they even carry illy products, one of momma beans favorites. The staff is super friendly and cheerful. They have some neat events during the week like open mic nights. Its a must have for us every time we visit the Pennsylvania Town Center. Check it out sometime. You really will love it!

Bean score…

Taste 4/5

Uniqueness 4/5

Customer service 5/5

Price 3/5

Atmosphere 3/5

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