Cape Cod Life, April 2018 |

Espresso Yourself

Cape Cod Life  /  April 2018 / ,

Writer: Allyson Plessner

good cup of coffee

Who doesn’t love a good cup of coffee? There’s no shortage of places around the Cape and Islands to get your morning cup o’ Joe, and we want to share with you some of our favorite “Best of” winners.

The Hot Chocolate Sparrow started as a candy shop in North Eastham before opening their location in Orleans, serving a wide variety of delicious coffee and sweets. “We’re a candy and coffee shop and an espresso bar,” explains owner Perry Sparrow. “We do everything—ice cream and desserts and coffee. There’s just a litany of things that we serve.”

The Hot Chocolate Sparrow offers 12 different hot coffees at self-serve stations. “People come and mix and match. We let people pair their coffee that day with whatever sweet they want,” explains Sparrow. Be sure to try their bestselling Frozen Hot Chocolate created with “fudge milk,” which consists of homemade hot fudge mixed with whole milk. Don’t have a sweet tooth? The Hot Chocolate Sparrow also serves breakfast and lunch. “We don’t really do dinner though,” says Sparrow with a laugh. “We just skip straight to dessert.”

Coffee Obsession, with locations in both Falmouth and Woods Hole, is dedicated to providing a friendly atmosphere with welcoming staff, cozy seating areas and, of course, caffeine. The walls are decorated with local art. “It’s amazing the amount of talent we have around here. From musicians to photographers and painters and sculptors. Even a couple of the baristas have art in there,” says owner Hugh Birmingham.

Birmingham credits their success to his talented staff. “I really just let people use their personalities,” he says. One of Coffee Obsession’s bestsellers is the Mexican Mocha Latte, flavored with Mexican spices, but you can also find seasonal drinks created by Birmingham’s trustworthy baristas. Enjoy their quiches and baked goods made by a local pastry chef.

The coffee selections at Nirvana Coffee Company in Barnstable Village are as transcendent as the name of the shop suggests. Enjoy their yummy sandwiches—from cranberry walnut chicken salad on cranberry pecan bread to turkey and swiss with fig and mayonnaise—and fresh baked goods in the relaxing great room, or take your coffee and food to go for a stroll down historic Main Street.

“Our goal is to always try to have something for everyone,” says owner Laura Shechtman, who explains that visitors can enjoy everything from pistachio lattes to straightforward cappuccinos. “The atmosphere is really welcoming,” she says, “and we love seeing people from the neighborhood.”

Choosing the perfect coffee shop is almost a spiritual pursuit. It’s important to find the right balance between atmosphere and delicious brews. Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to read while you fuel up on caffeine or a hip spot to make new friends, the options on the Cape won’t disappoint.

Explore these “Best of” winners & more here

Allyson Plessner

Allyson Plessner is a former editorial intern for Cape Cod Life and now works for the publication as a staff writer and digital media coordinator. Born in Florida, Allyson has been a lifelong summer resident of the Cape. She is a recent alumna of the College of Charleston, located in Charleston, South Carolina, where she completed bachelor’s degrees in both English and Spanish. In her free time, Allyson is an avid sailor, beach-goer, and—like her fellow Cape Cod Life colleagues—a dog-lover.