by Charles A. Monagan
Sep 29, 2011
10:14 AM
On Connecticut

Get the Best Jolt


As you may be aware if you're caffeine dependent like most of us, it's National Coffee Day! And although many of you tend to stop at the most convenient chain places, there are some awesome coffee houses in the state that not only offer all variety of the precious drink but also have great baked items, as well as live music and other community events.

Just from our Best of Connecticut, there are these three winners --

Coffee Bars
Bean & Leaf
New London, (860) 701-0000 (

Hippies make the best coffee, don’t you think? They’re so virtuous, all “organic” this and “sustainable” that. The Bean & Leaf is peacenik central, but not without a sense of humor: “Unattended children will be given espresso and a free kitten” reads a sign. There’s live music, a poetry night, board games and superb java—try the cold-brew iced coffee for a righteous jolt.

Jojo’s Coffee
Hartford, (860) 524-1488, and New Haven, (203) 785-8888 (

How fresh are Jojo’s coffee beans? “So fresh, we have to slap them,” according to owners Bill Sze and Cathy Wei. Now that’s what we like to hear. We also like that Jojo’s roasts its beans lighter than the prevailing fashion—all the better to maximize the flavors and aromas the pair gathers from around the globe. If you’re looking for a coffee shop that smells like, well, coffee, as opposed to a crazed “Southern Amaretto-Banana-Cinnamon-Hazelnut-Snickerdoodle” amalgamation, this is the place for you.

Molten Java Coffee Roasters
Bethel, (203) 739-0313 (

Owner Wendy Cahill roasts high-quality free-trade beans one pound at a time at this kitschy coffeehouse. Plan your visit right and you can get beans that are still warm. Signature varieties include Barnum Blend (named for native son P.T. Barnum) and Mad Hatter (honoring neighboring Danbury). Lattes, espresso, cappuccino, soups, wraps, burritos and vegan chili are also offered. Regulars drop by for the board games, Wi-Fi, live music and open mic night on Thursday.

No doubt, you know of other wothy places across the state—feel free to share them with us!

We're also fans of Blue State Coffee, which has locations in New Haven and offers environmentally sustainable, fairly traded coffee while donating 2 percent of their sales to local non-profit organizations as voted on by their customers. Caffeine with a conscience, you might say.

Anyway, wherever you are around the state, we always encourage you to skip the chains and try a local place—not only are you better helping local business, you usually get better service and a more welcoming environment to enjoy your drink. Enjoy!

Get the Best Jolt

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