There’s nothing better than a steaming cup of joe, but with so many coffee shops around, how’s one to know where to find the best brew in town? Lake Country is a prime destination for coffee lovers, with many unique cafes available. Let’s take a look at what area coffee houses have to offer.
The Pink Mocha, Hartland
With eight family members on staff, The Pink Mocha is, at its core, a family affair.
Taylor Nugent, one of the family employees and daughter of owner Heidi Nugent, explaind that they serve five different coffee flavors a day, all from different Wisconsin coffee roasters. Customers can choose from regular, decaf, French, and two flavored coffees. One drink that is made in a more unique way at The Pink Mocha is their mocha. Instead of using chocolate syrup like many places, they use chocolate powder, which makes for a thicker, creamier, better tasting mocha.
With so many family members around, “it makes [work] fun,” Nugent explains. “It’s our life. We enjoy being here.”
Nugent adds that her mom’s dedication to catering to each customer really makes for a unique coffee experience.
Malabar Coast Coffee & Tea, Pewaukee
Unique to most of the other coffee shops in town, Malabar Coast Coffee & Tea roasts all of their beans in house. It roast both single origin coffees, meaning the beans are from one country such as Peru or Mexico, as well as blends that the team mixes themselves. The café has a strict policy of keeping fresh roasted beans for only 10 days, ensuring that customer are getting only the freshest coffee around. (Don’t worry, beans rarely make it past those 10 days.) Customers can purchase beans in bulk to brew at home.
Each day, Malabar features a mild- or medium-roast coffee, a French roast and a decaf. The mild/medium brews change on a regular basis. Its popular mocha steamer is unique to Malabar. It's made with cold pressed coffee, chocolate sauce, hazelnut sauce and milk, making it something like an amped up hot chocolate. Even those who don’t like the taste of coffee love this drink. Additionally, Malabar features 20 loose leaf teas.
What sets it apart is the mix of personalities that you’ll find behind the counter. Each employee makes an effort to get to know customers by name. The coffeeshop also offers a drive-through, and owner Jason Wessels says they just opened a new location on Main Street in Sussex.
Roots Coffee Bar & Café, Oconomowoc
Each day at Roots Coffee Bar & Café, caffeine seekers will find two coffee options: one regular, which is always fair-trade and organic, and one all-natural decaf. Owner Hilary DeVries said that two options are selected to be brewed in smaller urns to guarantee super-fresh, hot coffee.
The staff is always coming up with new recipe ideas, and each month, a new variety of latte is featured. The cafe also features a unique and popular chai and a Matcha latte, which provides health benefits.
Roots strives to accommodate each customer, and make them feel like home. Staff is happy to customize drinks based on each customer’s preferences. Groups often occupy the space, and live music fills the walls on weekends.
Brewer’s Two Café Coffeehouse, Pewaukee
To support small coffee shops like theirs, Brewer’s Two Coffeehouse serves up fresh steaming cups of Anodyne and Door County Coffee. Beans are available for purchase there, too.
Owner Ellen Grabo explains that several coffee options are brewed daily: a strong, mild, and a featured flavored coffee -- pumpkin spice and vanilla crème brulee are a few options. Each week, it features a different drink special.
What sets the space apart, says Grabo, is that Brewer’s Two is a neighborhood coffee house. It takes on a new personality, depending on the people frequenting it at any given time.
“I think that every coffee shop is unique based on where it’s at and the people that frequent it,” she adds.
Steam Yard Coffee, Hartland
Coffee connoisseurs will love Steam Yard’s one-of-a-kind coffee beans that are made for them by Altitude Coffee Lab, who was named the best coffee house in Phoenix in 2014. Owner Tom Loper explains that "we like to think our product is a step above because of the quality, richness and flavor.”
Steam Yard offers drip decaf, house blend and a different flavored blend each day. Beans can be purchased in 12-ounce bags. "We do mix it up quite a bit,” Loper says.
The most popular drink by far are the lattes, which people love because of the exceptionally flavored beans used. Steam Yard opened in November last year and was designed with a modern industrial look using warm tones that invite customers into the space.
"It really feels as though you're in the Third Ward downtown or in an old factory, " says Loper.
Outside, the café offers a patio and drive-through service. As long as the fire is roaring out on the patio, guests can take advantage of the free s’mores fixin’s.