But First, Coffee: Kaffeine Coffee Company

Third wave is the new wave

Image Credit: Sarah Moralez

It takes me so long to get around this city to see all of its sights and meet its people, but like most every other experience I have when I venture out, Kaffeine Coffee Company has been warm and inviting every time I visited!

It’s built out of an old garage behind Circa Apartments in the Mass Ave district and it’s chalk full of nostalgia. I love the tile work on the floor as soon as you walk in, the old frame and brickwork, the original restroom, the textured glass on the doors… I could go on, but you have to see it for yourself to truly appreciate it.

I love how hidden away this place is and it’s rare I come across a friend who has been or has heard of it so I want to help get the word out. This shop has insanely good coffee, and the baristas are so open to answering your questions. I love knowing where my coffee is sourced from (and you can see it match up on the gigantic map behind the bar), and Kaffeine adheres to a moral guideline with their fair trade, single-source coffee (and treats) that has my full respect.

As these last couple of months have progressed and my son has been made to venture around town with me to coffee shops, he’s become vocal about what he’s looking for in a coffee shop. Mostly it’s WiFi-related because he wants to be able to watch videos and play games online, but if a shop has a kids corner, he will fully endorse you. Kaffeine has a cute reading corner with kids books and a couple of cozy chairs (and yes, they have WiFi) that he likes to make his own. It’s been mom and kid approved for your referral!

PS: He also recommends the peppermint chocolate bars and the hot chocolate.

If you’re wanting to jump to their website for more information, unfortunately you won’t be met with much. I had to do a Google search and came across a couple of articles that were from the start of 2017 in Nuvo and The Indy Star, but I cannot for the life of me figure out why there aren’t more. They are news-worthy!

Because of this, I plan on making many more visits, sipping on some Vietnamese coffee and asking a lot of questions, but maybe that’s the better option. After all, what’s a coffee shop if you aren’t getting to know about it and its people?

SARAH’S RECOMMENDATIONS: Vietnam coffee, honey latte and chai latte. As always, every drink I mention that requires milk gets a substitute due to a dairy intolerance.

BONUSES: Sunday hours, atmosphere, selfie-worthy, ample seating

BUMMERS: no classes, music/art nights, or
community outreach that I’m aware of at time of posting (ask shop for details)

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And as always, stay tuned because I will update my posts as I learn new things and experience new drinks!

But First, Coffee: Rabble Coffee

Ya ol’ rabble rouser!

Image Credit: Rabble Coffee

This is a little shop with a lot of heart, and it absolutely has stolen my affections!

I was living downtown when I heard about a new coffee shop opening on the Near Eastside just minutes from my apartment. Located on E 10th St, Rabble is small but oh so mighty!

It’s eclectic and has a big heart. The owner, Josie, is a staple in her shop and the friendliest person. She works hard with and for this community and is really going to be seen as someone who has helped lift the spirit of the Near Eastside when they write about the changes to the area five and ten years from now.

This place is a top favorite for my son and I. They are filled to the brim with games and once my son made the tiniest paper fortune teller for their bookshelf and just left it for them to find. The next time we came in and proclaimed, “Hey, it’s still there!” and everyone told him how much they loved it.

Josie partnered with Tinker Coffee Co. (another local shop you should check out so stay tuned *hint hint*) to create their signature house blend, Rouser. (Get it? Rabbel Rouser! Best ever, right?) It one my recommendations if you’re just looking for a quick cuppa joe. I like my coffee black and don’t even register the bitter taste anymore, but you can always tell a cup of coffee is amazing if people don’t add anything to it, in my personal (biased) opinion.

While the space itself is small, there has never been a time I felt anything other than cozy. There is never a closed-in or cramped vibe here and they even host popular classes and events for all ages without a problem for capacity. (It’s still a fresh wound that I was not able to make it to their NYE party, but I definitely followed it on their Instagram stories.)

I could gush all day long about my infatuation with Rabble, but I also try to keep these blogs short and sweet for you, my readers. you will always feel welcome (unless you instigate problems, I’m sure) and you will always have opportunities to help others who cannot always do for themselves.

What I mean by this is a pay-it-forward mentality. Sure, buying a sugary drink for someone behind you in line at Starbucks is nice, but they can afford their own drinks. They’re fine. At Rabble, you can buy a breakfast burrito or cup of coffee for someone who cannot afford either of those things and doesn’t have the livelihood luxuries we all experience day-to-day.

A winter program Josie began was to collect gently used (or new if you were so inclined) winter outerwear and then she literally put it on a coat rack in front of the store imploring anyone in need to take whatever they needed.

They hold classes for furthering adult education on a multitude of topics, which you can find posted just inside the front door.

I love the atmosphere and energy of this little shop that could, can and will continue to impress from the moment you walk in the door.

SARAH’S RECOMMENDATIONS: Rouser, Mayan Mocha, and the Americano. As always, every drink I mention that requires milk gets a substitute due to a dairy intolerance.

BONUSES: Sunday hours, music/art nights, atmosphere, selfie-worthy, community outreach (ask shop for details), classes

BUMMERS: smaller seating area (though I’ve never been unable to find a place to sit a spell)

Image Credit: Sarah Moralez

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And as always, stay tuned because I will update my posts as I learn new things and experience new drinks!

But First, Coffee: Indie Coffee Roasters

This place is like everyone’s Cheers but with coffee!

Image Credit: Indie Coffee Roasters

Saddled beside Carmel High School is a total gem of a spot! I have never had the same thing twice and tend to stick to Indie Coffee Roasters‘ signature drinks, crafted by their baristas. I love that the owners have thought of small details that make big impacts on your experience. It has shot up the list to one of my favorite Indianapolis coffee shops for these reasons. The interior of “The Dog House” is bright and modern; inviting in every sense of the word. Everything from the baristas they choose to the lighting (natural and unnatural) lends itself to your enjoyment. You will always be greeted with a smile by humans who love what they do at this establishment! BONUS: They will know your name quickly. Without telling them, on my third visit, they brought my drink to me and knew my name. I’m guilt-ridden that I do not know all of their names yet, I must admit.

It has been very nice, though, to learn about the baristas and their passions. They truly enjoy their work, but they all do some really cool things outside of their careers as well! I think at some point I would love to embellish on this, but for now you should walk in, order your cuppa, and conversate with them yourself!

Roasting their coffee since 2013, their doors to the shop opened in 2018 and that’s when I heard of them. Took me a while, but once I walked in the first time, it’s hard to think of another place I’d want to be. The chemistry was immediate and lived up to the hype of my reliable source: my best friend! This place makes me want this blogging side hustle to be my only hustle, so I can sit down at their counter or a cozy working table, and enjoy life!

UPDATE (1/9/19): Original post had the opening year of The Dog House in 2017; they will be celebrating one year on Jan 23 2019. Go congratulate them, buy some merch and sit for a spell! Specials will be announced very soon to help them ring in their new year!!

SARAH’S RECOMMENDATIONS: Admittedly, I’ve only had the signature drinks from Fall and Winter 2018, and I’ve yet to drink the same thing twice. I absolutely recommend these options! Every drink I mention that requires milk gets a substitute for me due to a dairy intolerance.

Indie Grog; Image Credit: Sarah Moralez

BONUSES: good amount of seating (more in the summer, and dog-friendly outside), atmosphere, selfie-worthy, classes, community outreach (ask shop for details)

BUMMERS: no Sunday hours, no known music/art nights at time of post

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Stay tuned because I will update my posts as I learn new things and experience new drinks!

Exploring Indy: But First, Coffee Series

Death before decaf (or Starbucks)

Image Credit: Sarah Moralez

I have always loved the written word for as long as my memory will allow me to recall. Whether it was Shakespeare, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Margaret Mitchell, Stephen King, and so many more. I have felt the weight of words because words have taken me away from situations, into others, and everywhere in between. They have carried me through, lifted me up and brought me down.

I decided a long time ago I wanted to be a writer, but I never knew how (nor had the confidence) to just do it. Then one day, something happened. Someone said things to me and it was the weight of those words, alothough not entirely new to me, but that seemed to be the point where I was going to allow myself to become broken or I was going to build something from it for myself to be proud of.

I won’t lie, it seemed really bad there for a moment. It is very hard for me to hear certain things and not be taken to a deep place within myself that feels worthless and unlovable. These are things I want to tackle in some of my writing, but not right now. Just know that while I was close to allowing myself to break from rejection, something incredible happened and I ended up here instead. That is to say, just going for it. Will you like it? Hate it? Will you like me? Hate me? I don’t know, and I’m sure either way people will be okay with telling me which way they’re leaning. That’s fine. I have a lot of plans for myself, but it’s a process and this is my starting point.

Exploring Indy Series

Image Credit: Google

This is my startup project. Everything I read about building your portfolio from the ground up instructed to start with what you already know and love, but with research added. As I was thinking of what I love and know, I kept cycling back to this idea that Indy seems to get a lot of negative attention in the media aside from bigger things like sports, concerts, and the bar scene. For many years, friends and I have lamented that we need to get positive coverage for other things the city offers such as art, music, film, markets, shops, and historic neighborhoods.

So this is where I’m starting. In the city I was born and raised. I haven’t traveled (much), I haven’t really accomplished anything major outside of becoming a parent and an employee who receives high praises. This is a lot, it takes time and maturity to accomplish these things, small as they may be, but there’s something bigger out there for me and it’s beginning in my backyard: Indianapolis.

It’s a big task taking on a whole city by oneself, though, and so I decided to break it down according to a To Do list I’ve had stuffed inside a journal for a couple of years now. One part of exploring my own, ever-growing city was to visit as many of the local coffee shops as possible. It’s really something of a Best Friends To Do list, but solo is just fine as well. I love coffee, I love the local coffee shops tucked away in historic neighborhoods, and I really love the people I meet in these establishments. I have narrowed the large list down so that every Sunday, you will get a new blog from me between January through March, and at the end of it all there will be a vlog post of my top 5 picks from those features. I’ll also send shout outs the other local shops this city has to offer at that time! So stay tuned in and, again, thank you for your support already!

This is it then. This is where we begin. There are probably better writers out there, estabished in their writing careers for magazines and newspapers, but this is my take on it. If you like it and stick around, I have other Exploring Indy ideas that will come up in the future.

I say let’s jump in with the first installment of my Exploring Indy Series: But First, Coffee. (Coming Jan 6 2019)

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