Iced coffee—its shade of brown may vary, but its power is clear!
I don't know if it's the heat or the kids, but I'm a much nicer person when I'm sipping strong caffeine through a straw—especially the week before camp kicks in. I'm actually a tea drinker by nature but, when summer hits, my sanity-saver is bean-oriented with tons of caffeine.
So schooled are my out-of school-kids in the power of my elixir of choice that during trying times they'll even suggest we go to town because "Mommy could use some iced coffee." Not only do they know iced java keeps me from acting like Jabba the Hutt, but it will also immensely increase the likelihood of them scoring ice cream—after I've had a few sips.
Here then are my favorite spots for spot-on iced coffee satisfaction, prices included:
Village Coffee: Selene probably views me as a stalker, but the parking and choices are bountiful at this place. Hence, my frequent visits. They specialize in coffee, and their iced versions are a strong contender in any category or flavor. You also have access to sugary accompaniments—which can be a blessing or a curse.
Basic iced coffee - Small, $2.47; Large, $2.95.
Kari's Cafe: Just walking into this place puts me in a calmer mood. Now that the owner often has bakers baking in her new back kitchen, it also fills your senses with home-baked goodness. Kari gets her coffee straight from the Ironbound section of Newark and grinds it on site to make sure every cup is fresh.
Small, $2.50, Large, $2.75.
Crane's Deli & Cheese Shoppe: Steve is quite confident in his iced-coffee prowess, having already enjoyed a top-notch Patch shout-out. Crane's uses only Kobricks coffee but jokes that what sets their brew apart is the fact that it's brewed with love. I like the crisp, clean taste, the $2.00 price tag and the proximity to the ice cream store—especially when I'm lugging my munchkins along.
One size, $2.00.
Maplewood Deli & Grille: Ask the owner, Sean, about his iced coffee and he'll perk right up! Seriously, he prides himself in serving organic, Fair Trade coffee with a strong sense of purpose. The blends Sean serves support various causes like breast cancer research, the Rainforest, Domestic Civil Rights and female bean growers. Not only is his iced coffee ($2.75) conscientious and delicious, it's also our Patch Shop Localista DEAL OF THE WEEK! Just mention PATCH/MAPLEWOOD DELI and Sean will serve up a 2-for-$5 iced coffee special, so you can share your good fortune with a friend. (I'm also available if you need someone to take the second one off your hands!) Offer good Friday, July 9 through Thursday, July 15!