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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The “Perks” of Living in New Canaan

The “Perks” of Living in New Canaan
By Mike Lauterborn
© 2010. All Rights Reserved.

New Canaan, CT – Wednesday September 29th is National Coffee Day. For visitors to New Canaan’s many coffeehouses, every day is a celebration of coffee.

The town offers nearly 70 locations at which to obtain the brew, but there are a few local favorites. One of these is Zumbach’s at 77 Pine Street.

“When I come in, everyone smiles,” said local Muffy Lewis about the cozy, wonderfully aromatic coffee purveyor. “You’re in a good mood when you leave here. You know everyone, and they know you. It has a hometown feel. I’m addicted to my large latte whole milk. I have to have one… or two… every day.”

Over at Starbucks, at the corner of Park and Elm, Laura Barker, 42, had just made a pick-up. “I like my soy latte. I usually get the same thing every day. A lot of my friends like Starbucks. We meet here… it becomes a social event.”

Added John Clausen, 63, seated in the cafĂ©’s neat, tree-shaded outdoor terrace, “I come here two or three times a week. I’ll read my paper and mail and have either a tall, grande or redeye coffee. I like their coffee better than most – it’s stronger and full-bodied.”

At Dunkin Donuts, down the block on Elm, Washington, DC resident Mary Shebchuk, had just bought an ice coffee and was visiting with her sister Carrie Luciano and niece Emily. She fiercely defended her coffeehouse choice. “Starbucks burns their beans. I don’t like the flavor. Dunkin is more consistent. It’s all about the flavor.” Interjected Luciano, “I don’t want to have to take an SAT course to order a coffee!”

Across the street, Le Palm Quotidien, offers a more tranquil, refined setting, dishing up proprietary Arabica Villa Rica organic coffee in bowl-style cups with chocolate croissants and tarts. The site is a blessing for Jennifer MacLear. “There was one around the corner on 84th and Madison where I used to live. I feel like I’m no longer a Suburbanite.”

Offering a wholly independent view, Kim Van Munching of Darien, claimed Rosie, at 27 Elm Street, was the best local coffeehouse. “It’s a complete package. The coffee’s very good and you can get a muffin to go with it, a key combination. It’s nice to have the bookstore (Elm Street) attached, too.”

Patrons of Connecticut Muffin, a small shop at 108 Main Street, beg to differ. “The coffee is always fresh here and it goes hand in hand with fresh pastry. I can stay and really enjoy it out of the hustle and bustle,” said Nancy Harte.

A stone’s throw away, Garelick & Herbs, pulled in other fans. “We like the back room here,” said Maureen Bloom of Darien, about her and the group of moms with whom she was sitting. “You can stay as long as you want and their coffee bar is unique. You can prepare whatever you like.”

Opinions may differ but on this local fans will agree: New Canaan offers a wide array of perky options to get you going.