Some time ago I walked into Greenberry’s Coffee, in Charlottesville, VA to be exact. It’s been a few years, but I most likely grabbed a cup of coffee and a snack to go. It wasn’t the most memorable experience simply for the fact that how many times do we get grab some java and go on our merry way.
Knowing now, what I didn’t know then, I would have appreciated the small town charm of the cafe. Maybe I did for a moment, but I was in a rush. Why was in a rush?
This brings me to a visit to one of my favorite Virginia communities, Mclean. And when I’m in a place I don’t frequent enough, it’s time to discover something fun. To my pleasant surprise, they had shop minutes up the road from where I was. I had no idea Greenberry’s had multiple locations, mainly in VA and DC, until yesterday. Charlottesville was the original store, which in hindsight was what I would like to be writing about. All in good time.
My idealism could be naive but I always thought of McLean as one of those parts of Northern Virginia, that still had most of their historic buildings and character in tact. When I was younger and living nearby, I would go out of my way to drive through this and similar areas, to get a more scenic and down-to-earth vibe.. As I’ve gotten older that sentiment grows. I like big cities but the charm of a smaller community just feels right.
The Mclean location has that feel, but I can sense a change is coming, not so much with the store, but with the town itself. The energy and happy feeling I got from when I parked to walked in, remained.
It’s August, that means more iced tea. Anything else would be a slap in the face to my favorite season. The Ambrosia tea stuck out. A lot of them did, but that name with its positive connotations, is what I was feeling. I’m glad I did.
This is traditionally drank hot, and I’m all for tradition, but lets toss that aside. It’s once again time to break out of my comfort zone, and I went ahead and ordered the tallest glass they had.
Black currant, apricot, and mango flavors makes this a crowd pleaser. I was pleased for sue. It didn’t start off strongly for me but this was a grower. I realized I was sipping just a little more than the previous one each time. It was getting better by the minute. I sat for a good 30 appreciating my glass and the community feel around me.
I’m not an iced tea drinker by nature. It’s not me but for the time frame, it’s only appropriate. But I truly enjoyed this. The tastes expanded over the course of my time there and I was highly satisfied at the end. I bet this tastes even better hot. I hope to get the opportunity to have a cup in traditional fashion.
They made me so much, they had to give me the rest in another cup. I find that very endearing. The staff could not have been nicer by the way, even in the midst of being overwhelmed with patrons.
My teacake was hard to finish. This had more to do with the weather. It was an ambitious choice. Again, when the timing presents itself, I bet I enjoy this much more. But how charming are those owls? Where can I get those plates?
I didn’t see the Ambrosia listed but here’s a list of their teas if you’re interested in purchasing.
There were a lot of people that seemed to know each other. I got the sense this is one of those places where you run into someone, catch up for a few minutes, then the next time you’d see ’em would be right back here, if not before. I dig that.
As neighborhoods rapidly expand development, I get mixed feelings. Some things are inevitable but the community businesses have a place and deserve to have a place. From talking to folks Greenberry’s has kept up with the times. And as you can see here, they’re growing in stores. As long as they (and stores likes them) can maintain their integrity and charm, that’s ok. But there’s something to be said about the local business culture. I’m drawn to it. I don’t like to speak for everyone else, but I suspect many share that sentiment.
I look forward to coming back again. I love local. Lets do it again soon.