While Athens has its own small-town charm, it seems it would be impossible to find a good cup of coffee in the area. With coffee shops aplenty, a personal favorite of mine is Court Street Coffee. Having only opened two years ago, Court Street Coffee is new to the scene, but isn’t any less popular than the other shops in Athens.
For today, a Court Street Coffee employee, Kaitlyn Crist, agreed to answer my questions about the coffee shop. Crist is a senior broadcast journalism major at Ohio University and has worked at Court Street Coffee for two years.
Wiita: How long have you worked in the food industry, specifically at Court Street Coffee?
Crist: I have worked in the food industry for almost six years. I’ve been working since I was 16. I worked at Greater’s Ice Cream in high school, then at Court Street Coffee beginning my sophomore year. I just celebrated two years there. I also work at Starbucks when I’m home for holidays.
Wiita: Would you recommend Court Street Coffee to incoming freshmen and their families?
Crist: I would highly recommend the shop for freshmen and their families. I personally always try to give out some advice when I know someone is new or from out of town. I know the other employees make the effort as well. The shop is located right uptown near all of the shops and bookstores and is close to most of the major campus buildings and dorms.
Wiita: What makes Court Street Coffee different than other coffee houses in Athens?
Crist: Court Street Coffee is locally owned and focuses not just on the students in the area but the locals as well. Because the company is owned by a local woman, she focuses on making those she knows in the community feel comfortable uptown and doesn’t alienate professors and families for the students.
Wiita: What are Court Street Coffee’s specialties?
Crist: We have so many fun coffee combinations on the menu and they change seasonally! I would say try whatever is on special at the time. Our signature drink is a Court Street Mocha. It is a latte — that’s espresso and milk — with white chocolate flavor and caramel drizzle. You can get the drink hot, over ice, or blended like a milkshake. It is heavenly! Everyone should try it.
Wiita: Most students come into college hoping to not gain any weight or lose weight. What items at Court Street Coffee would you recommend for students interested in staying away from the freshmen 15?
Crist: We have a lot of low calorie options. First, our drip coffee is actually very good, and doesn’t taste too bitter. A little Splenda and skim milk is a good low-calorie choice. We also offer upwards of 10 sugar-free flavors — including a surprisingly good white chocolate flavor. Of course we can make all of our milk-based drinks with skim milk, making it lower fat. We also have several varieties of hot and iced teas that have zero calories.
Wiita: Does Court Street Coffee offer any gluten-free, soy-free or allergy friendly options in their drinks and food items?
Crist: All of our milk-based drinks can be made with soy — excluding the frozen drinks. We have gluten-free protein bars for sale and excellent vegan muffins made locally.
Wiita: What’s up with the bowl of Tootsie Rolls on the counter top?
Crist: The owner is a friendly lady! I refer to her as “mom” all the time because that’s exactly what she is. She is a mom who wants all of her customers to feel happy and welcome. They are a free little treat for the people we appreciate the most and hope to brighten their day. I also eat them all the time. It’s fantastic.
Wiita: What item on the menu that is not coffee-affiliated would you recommend to a first-time customer?
Crist: I would recommend the frozen hot chocolate. It is so good! Our smoothies are top-notch and we make iced tea that can be flavored with several different fruit flavors. We also have chai lattes and apple cider that taste great together!
Wiita: Since Court Street Coffee is locally owned, how do the owner and other employees get involved in the Athens community?
Crist: Many of out treats are locally affiliated. Our scones and vegan muffins are all locally made. And quite tasty! We are close with the women who bake the goods and get their product about three times a week. We also supply sandwiches from The Farmacy organic grocery on Stimson. It allows those on campus to enjoy a local favorite close to home. The owner helps out the university all the time. We give discounts to ROTC and med students. Professors use our space for class stuff all the time. Whenever there is a coffee event in town, we are usually there.
Court Street Coffee is open 7-9 Monday-Friday, and 8-6 Saturday, Sunday. Prices range from $2-$5. More information is available on their website.