If you spend some time driving up and down the [very steep] streets of Duluth, MN to find free parking, you will no doubt then spend some time walking up and down those same [steep] streets in order to find a cup of coffee. I did that, and I ended up sitting here at Duluth Coffee Company. There is a sunny bench when you walk in, but to get to the coffee you venture into a dim and delicious-smelling back part of the shop where there is a counter to order at, a wall of guitars made out of what looks like drift wood, and Duluth-themed gear to bring back home. The menu is straightforward and to the point: actual coffee drinks that promise a caffeine rush and plenty of flavor without making your teeth ache from a bunch of unnecessary sugary syrup. Excellent. I have ordered my usual, a cappuccino, and it’s excellent. I also enjoyed not paying an arm and a leg for it (lookin’ at you, Colorado).
There are a few locals chatting with the barista, and a mix of what I assume are other visitors. I can tell that they are visitors because, like me, they pause to peruse all the Duluth-themed gifts for sale. My friends back home would like that stuff, right? It’s pretty quiet overall, with just a bit of conversation and some music. It is a Sunday morning, and unlike some cities, this one seems to actually sleep in on Sundays. The street outside- which is a main drag of the downtown area- has minimal traffic. The temperature outside is somewhere around 68 degrees, and with the sun shining it’s a perfect morning to lounge around outside with coffee.
Between the guitars made out of driftwood (and I see one made out of an old aluminum tin!), the collection of old coffee pots on the wall, and the handful of attractive people in here, I am definitely happy to set up camp and enjoy my drink. This place could easily fall into the trope of tourist trap if it weren’t for the good coffee, interesting people, and comfortable feel that attracts regulars as well as visitors. I don’t recognize any of the bands that are playing softly in the background, but I know that I like them. My cappuccino is almost gone and it’s time for me to pack up and continue on my journey, so I will hurry up and post this now. Cheers!