Java Spots & Coffee Stains

Coffee Break serves up pretty good brew
-- without the crocodiles

by Eric Schmoyer

Downtown Emmaus used to have an exotic-pet store where one could buy alligators, anacondas and just about every other form of scaly thing you can think of. Even a few you probably can't.

Well, the demand for tegus and crocodiles wasn't sufficient to keep the zoo/pet-store/small-rodent-nightmare in business, and it's now gone, replaced by a new cappuccino place that reminds me a bit of my living room. Actually it reminds me of a bar in Allston, Mass., that had couches, coffee tables and board games for a seating area, and that reminds me of my living room.

Coffee Break Cafe doesn't have any couches, coffee tables or board games that I could see. It does have some nice bookshelves, and tables and chairs that are just worn enough to make you feel at home and yet still look great.

The most important thing, of course, is the quality of the brew. I would have to rate it as good. Not amazing or wonderful. Don't anyone drive from their respective cities to have a cup, but for the locals it's worth the trip to the other side of the Valley. Good froth on the cappuccino, with a nice assortment of stuff to shake on, stir in, or otherwise use to pollute your coffee if you're into that sort of thing. (I occasionally add a dash of cocoa when no one's looking.)

I happened to visit the place in the morning, and they were out of bagels -- enough to get anyone up in a huff. I was finally calmed by some biscotti. It was fair. I would rather have had a bagel.

I think the place has great potential as a place to listen to local performers, and just as a general coffee-house hangout place. I'm planning to spend a Saturday evening there sooner or later, so maybe there will be an update on the evening life there next month. If you get a chance and it's within a few miles of your normal hangouts, give the Coffee Break Cafe a shot. I promise, there are no reptiles in the restrooms.

Coffee Break Cafe is at 506 Chestnut St. in Emmaus, Pa., a block west of the "triangle" center of town.

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