I know it's January in New Hampshire, but this current cold snap has been a shock to the system. It's reached the point that I'm shopping for coats and boots for the dogs. Since we have several more months of winter ahead, It might be a good idea to look at Durham's options for warm drinks to help restore your body's core temperature.
Breaking New Grounds
Breaking New Grounds is a popular hangout on Main Street. If you're a simple person like me, they offer four daily pour choices. When I visited, they had House Blend, Ethiopian, Guatemalan, and Hazelnut. As you would expect, they also can make you a latte or expresso, and they sell a wide selection of whole beans.
One thing that really separates Breaking New Grounds from many other coffee houses is the machine pictured on the right. It's a roaster used to freshly roast beans shipped to the store from around the world. Since coffee begins to degrade shortly after roasting, roasting in-house ensures the highest quality. It also gives the store a wonderful aroma.
If you're looking to relax with your beverage, there are tables and chairs in the front and back of the store.
The Candy Bar
Hard to believe, but not everyone enjoys coffee. The good news is that you can find a yummy alternative at the Candy Bar . They offer a delicious variety of hot chocolates. As you might expect, the key to a good cup of hot chocolate is to start with quality chocolate. What better place to find it than at a candy store?
Looking over at the menu, the fresh toasted marshmallow is a big upgrade from what you find in packages. While we might be in the middle of a polar vortex, brave souls can order ice cream in their hot chocolate.
The store carries a wide assortment of candy to give you the energy to make it to spring.
Saxbys opened this fall in Mabury Commons, and the company specializes in partnerships with universities. The CEO is a faculty member at Drexel and promotes the idea of experiential learning. The manager, Trisha, is a recent UNH graduate, and many of the workers are UNH students.
The Store's motto is "make life better" and they offer a comfortable environment that caters to both UNH students and Durham residents. It's not uncommon to walk in and find UNH Innovation tech works, students, and moms.
The menu includes coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and fruit smoothies. They also offer breakfast sandwiches, bakery items, and lunch sandwiches.
The Works Bakery Cafe
After walking the dogs at Wagon Hill, this is my wife's go-to spot. Located in the Mill Plaza, they have several varieties of coffee that you can pour yourself. Lattes, cappuccinos, hot chocolate, and chai are also available. After a walk, you're likely going to need some food to go along with your coffee. As the slogan "Breakfast All Day" suggests, you can get bagel sandwiches anytime, and they also have sandwiches, paninis, and wraps.
The Works makes sure that their ham, bacon, turkey, and eggs come from family farms that raise healthy animals with nutritious feed. That means vegetarian grains, no hormones, and no antibiotics. The coffee comes from an estate in Costa Rica that is Rain Forest Alliance Certified.
Like Saxbys, they attract a mix of students and Durham residents.
Aroma Joe's is located on Main Street next to People's Bank. It shares half of the building that used to be the Tin Place. After nearly getting frostbite taking the photo on the right, I headed in for a cup of coffee. Turns out that despite a windchill of -8, many people drop in for iced coffee.
Aroma Joe's is a great place to grab a cup of coffee on the go. They sell hot and iced coffee, hot chocolate, tea, and flavored drinks.
In order to be considered a real New England town, you have to have a Dunkin' Donuts. Ours is located in the Irving gas station on Newmarket Road. While they do have a couple of tables, this is a commuter place.
They have a wide selection of drinks that range from a traditional cup of coffee to the Macchiato. Did I mention donuts? They have them, and yes, you can find a Boston Cream. As you would expect, they're very busy most mornings.
Stay warm and keep in mind, it's only 81 days until opening day.