Why do speakers complete sentences that begin with the words “it goes without saying”? If I may indulge in the same contradiction, I propose that, needless to say, not all coffee shops are alike. In this series of blogs, I will tell why six shops are my favorites, but I hasten to add that I love many more than six.
|Lattes to Go at Java Johnny's in Middletown, Ohio|
Java Johnny’s in Middletown, Ohio, heads my roster. In the copper ceiling ambience, my dear friend and co-author Eleanor Y. Stewart and I composed significant segments of the plot of our highly reviewed middle grade novel Maggie Quick. Eleanor and I walk five miles every other day, except when temperatures sink below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. When we are rained out, we often retire to Java Johnny’s for low-fat lattes. Sometimes, we add whipped cream to balance the low-fat milk. Our lattes are consistently delicious!
While gathering my thoughts about coffee shops, I asked myself if the flavor of the coffee is the sole criterion for determining my favorites, and I decided that a host of intangibles contributes to the experience. Here are a few in no particular order.
A steady stream of patrons keeps the door hinges from rusting. Does Java Johnny’s have plenty of customers? Yes, and the shop is large enough to handle constant orders without becoming crowded! We can check this item on our list.
The feeling stirred by the coffee and the surroundings is the same comfort inspired by slippers. Check! From the aroma of freshly brewed java, through the nicely spaced tables, to the pleasantly decorated copper of the ceiling, the shop wraps customers in contentment.
The baristas are friendly and knowledgeable. Check again! Whenever I enter the shop, I have complete confidence that everything will be up to the highest standard, thanks to the baristas. Never an obligation, leaving a tip is always an accolade.
Yes, Eleanor and I worked on our novel while sipping lattes. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience of writing Maggie Quick, set in an Irish–American town and featuring a girl guided by three women to discover who she is, so that she can rescue her village from evil forces before it is too late. Both Eleanor and I have Irish ancestors. Three fourths of my genetic characteristics are expressions of the British Isles, and Irish culture constantly leeched to the surface of my hometown. Eleanor and I relied on our background and experiences in forming our novel for middle grade readers. We wrote much of the dialog while walking, jotting it down after returning to Eleanor’s home. At Java Johnny’s, we tried out various trajectories that our plot might take. Without the shop, would Maggie Quick have been the same? Probably not!
So, Java Johnny’s, please accept our thanks! We will soon be back for lattes!