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If there is one piece of wisdom my father imparted to me, it’s that there’s nothing better than a good cup of coffee. I grew up learning the vital factors of a superior pot of coffee: freshly brewed, 100% Arabica beans, spring water, and the perfect scoop-to-water ratio for the grounds.
While my girlfriend may lament the fact that we always buy the more expensive brands during our grocery shopping trips, I simply can’t do in the mornings with a less-than-perfect cup of Joe. You could call me a coffee snob—which probably wouldn’t be wrong—but I like to consider myself a connoisseur of all things espresso.
When I’m on campus, there are a multitude of places to get a cup to go: The Chat, the Dining Hall, Easton Cafe, and sometimes even the library will offer free coffee for visiting students during sleepy mid-semester mornings. But sometimes it’s nice to leave campus and find a new coffee spot to sit and do homework, or simply enjoy the atmosphere. In the spirit of a “pub crawl,” a popular term in the U.K. for when one visits multiple pubs in a row, I have crafted a list of my top-three nearby coffee shops in the Glenside area for my very own “cafe crawl.”
One of my favorite and most frequented places in the Glenside area is our local H-Mart, a Korean grocery store complex that also includes an upstairs food court and a downstairs cafe called Paris Baguette. Paris Baguette is a Korean bakery franchise that offers a variety of baked goods and drinks in a delicious French-Korean fusion. Whether you’re going for something inspired by the East or the West—from matcha tea to iced coffee, red bean donuts to macaroons—there’s an abundance of choices. And since the H-Mart food court is directly overhead, it makes the perfect location for dessert and coffee following a lunch date.
My first experience tasting White Horse’s coffee was during Glenside’s annual Food Truck Festival. After having my fair share of barbequed goodness from another food truck, I felt myself craving coffee and dessert. When I stumbled upon White Horse’s truck, a mobile cafe and ice creamery, I realized I could have two in one! My favorite White Horse coffee is a specialty drink called “The Abdullah,” named after a champion race horse. The drink is a chocolate and hazelnut latte (a flavor combination that can never go wrong) topped with whipped cream and a chocolate drizzle. In my opinion, the Abdullah is less of a coffee that you chug to finish a big assignment, and more of a coffee to sip and truly savor. I prefer to get a small size of this one, as I think a large would simply overpower me with sweetness, but overall it’s a perfect dessert coffee to enjoy after dinner. I don’t think I could drink it every day (well, maybe I could, but my jeans would be less than forgiving if I did), but if you’re looking for a unique treat, White Horse is the place to go.
Elcy’s Coffee House is the perfect place for an Arcadia student to have brunch off campus or grab a coffee before heading into the city. Elcy’s offers a variety of fair trade and organic coffee blends, many of which are named after notable Philadelphia places or roads, such as the “Schuylkill Espresso,” “Wissahickon” blend, or the “Forbidden Drive.” In addition to their Philly-centric coffee choices, Elcy’s also offers a wide spread of smoothies, teas, oatmeal bowls, and breakfast or lunch foods. I’m a personal fan of a classic strawberry banana smoothie, but I’ve heard good reviews of their “morning mocha buzz,” a caffeine-loaded smoothie comprised of two shots of espresso, peanut butter, banana, oatmeal, chocolate milk, and syrup. Now that’s one way to kick off your morning!
Aside from Elcy’s convenient location, Arcadia students can use their Knight Card (student ID) for a discount on purchases. This is a big selling point for me, because like any college student, the second greatest word next to “free” is “discounted.”
While this exploration gave me just a brief taste of the assortment of coffee houses in the wider Glenside area, I enjoyed the variety of local flavors and cultures brewed together in each cup. I think that if it’s our destiny to live off of coffee during the academic career, we ought to splurge every now and then, and enjoy the finest of it!