Jon and I have only been together a year and a half. Not a super long amount of time, right? Well, that’s 78 times to “Netflix and Chill” IF we only hung out once a week… danger zone. When Jon and I started dating we wanted to set boundaries immediately. We have realized within the past year how influential going out for a simple cup of coffee around the city is instead of hanging out in my basement every week. Going out on a $10 coffee date has been so important to our spiritual health and purity (and just simply communicating better with each other). So coffee lovers, seriously dating couples, or none of the above, here are our favorite coffee spots near/in Cincinnati and why DATING should be, well, dating!
OUR PREFERRED DRINKS
Jon likes a good, solid dark roast. He doesn’t like any cream or sugar. I, on the other hand, prefer a latte with some syrup in it. I do like things a little weird sometimes (rose, lavender, mint, etc.). Look at Jon’s reviews if you just want a good cup of joe and look at mine if you like a little more flavor and pizzaz!
OUR TOUR COMPLETION SO FAR
Jon: This place is a small spot which reminds me of a shack from the outside but has a super cool cozy vibe inside. It contains super weird random items like in their bathroom. I remember they have a Ken Barbie doll and I always notice and appreciate those type of things because I am weird like that. The coffee here is good. I believe they serve Deeper Roots coffee (which never disappoints). The donuts here are KILLER! I’ve never tried this until I went here but I totally dunked my donut into my coffee and it was fantastic!
Brie: I adore this little place. I’ve been here a few times without Jon before (and a few times with him), so I already knew I would enjoy it. It is unbelievably cozy and they have ah-maaaazing donuts. I am a big fan of their pumpkin spice latte. This time, I tried the lavender latte. There wasn’t a whole lot of flavor and ended up tasting like a regular ol’ latte. It was still good, but when I want syrup, I want syrup. I recommend coming in the fall, they do fall lattes right.
Lydia’s on Ludlow- Clifton, OH
Jon: This was one of our movies dates we saw “A Ghost Story” at the Esquire theater. (Which was like a really bad movie that a college film student made.) The coffee here was pretty good. They didn’t really have a huge selection of blends or pour overs if you just wanted normal coffee like me. They just have a daily brew container and you get it out of that. This place a super cool cozy vibe inside and the perfect place to take your lady.
Brie: I have never had a rose latte before, but it changed me. This place is super cozy and has so many options (normal and not-so-normal). I am obsessed with the rose latte and can’t wait to go back again. If you like a good lavender latte, you have got to come here. If you don’t like floral flavors: don’t get it. If you do? This is about to be the best latte you could ever dream of.
Jon: Brie and I have been here together a few times. I normally try something different every time but they really know how to roast their coffee here. The last time we were here I got a pumpkin spice latte because it was in the fall and I remember trying Brie’s drink and immediately ordered one. I went super basic that day and I am proud to say I loved it. This place is cool if you want a casual conversation with a friend or a homework date.
Brie: Again, I’ve been here a few times without Jon. Every single time I go here I try and order something different and it never disappoints. But the best thing I’ve ever had? The pumpkin spice latte (can you tell I really like this drink?). Jon’s not a big fan of pumpkin spice (or flavoring in general), but he took one sip of mine and almost went to order a second one. They also have delicious caramels they serve with every latte! Check this place out if you are looking for a good atmosphere, good coffee, and a company all about philanthropy!
Jon: This is a super cool spot to check out! I can’t remember what I’ve ordered the past few times but I do remember the first time we went I got a cold brew coffee because it was a hot summer day and I definitely was not in the mood to have hot coffee churning in my belly while we walked outside in the heat. Very hip place and worth checking out.
Brie: Jon and I have been back so many times that I can’t remember what I ordered the first time (a good sign, though, right!?). My all-time favorite here is the iced lavender latte. This is a great place to go if you are looking for a hearty, good cup of coffee. While I love flavoring, I don’t like a ton of sugar or thick syrup in my coffee either. This was more on the lighter side and it is absolutely delicious. The shop is super cool and will instantly make you feel hip. I also love the area!
Jon: Not one of my favorite spots but the vibe inside does have a cool local feel. My experience here was forgettable. Definitely worth a try with the variety of drink choices that they have, but other than that, nothing too crazy.
Brie: This place may not be one of my favorites, but it is so super cute and cozy. Whether you are a coffee lover or you pretend to love coffee, this place has something for everyone. There is a wide variety of drinks from smoothies to drip coffee. It’s a good little hometown place with super cute pastries.
Jon: This place definitely wins for being the most hipster.It was super hip and I loved the vibe of the spot. I had two cups of coffee here (yes, in one sitting) and my first cup was their daily brew which was served in a really cool “BLOC” mug. When I went to go order another cup I wanted to order a pour over and the barista hooked me up with an awesome dark roast blend. What made me really love this place was their avocado toast. I am a big fan of a good piece of toast and this was honestly the best avocado toast I’ve ever had. Really cool spot to check out.
Brie: This honestly might be the hippest coffee shop I’ve ever been in. I had one of the best chai lattes I’ve ever had here. I didn’t actually drink the coffee, but if you love tea and you love chai, you should definitely check this place out. It’s also just a really cool atmosphere so, bonus!
*Closed temporarily to open new storefront!
Jon: I’ve been here once before but the area and the vibe of this shop is awesome! I went with their drip coffee here and had a very relaxing study session with Brianna when we went! I would definitely like to branch out and try one their lattes the next time we visit.
Brie: This place is special to me for a couple of reasons. It’s right by where my best friend and her husband live and I’ve had a few sweet friends work here. I’ve also never had a bad drink here. From pistachio to lavender to caramel lattes- everything I’ve tried here has been absolutely delicious (and usually iced for some reason). I love, love, love this place and I love, love, love Ft. Thomas.
Jon: This was our first date together and I distinctly remember Brianna talking about how awesome this place was and I was immediately curious and had to try it out. I always get a pour over when I go (usually the darkest roast). I believe they serve Deeper Roots beans and it’s absolutely amazing! This is my favorite spot because it’s right in OTR and you can grab dinner or lunch and then get a great cup of coffee.
Brie: This place is mega special to us because this is where we had our first date. It’s also just quality espresso and the place I have frequented the most on this list (besides Velocity). It’s got such an intimate vibe and is right plop in the middle of restaurant central Vine Street in Cincinnati. It’s a dream to grab a cup of coffee and walk up and down Vine Street or Washington Park. I’ve also had many different types of coffee here and it seriously never disappoints. Definitely check this place out.
Jet Age Records- Newport, KY
Jon: When Brianna first told me about this place I thought “oh this place will be cool” but once I walked in it blew me away. I love music and coffee so this place is right up my alley. They have a huge selection of vinyl records, CD’s, and concert posters too. No place to sit down and talk, but it has only been open for 8 months so I am sure the business is expecting to grow and add more to it. The music is always loud and I love hard rock especially Led Zeppelin, Rush, AC/DC (the list goes on). The coffee drink I had was a Cinnamon Toast Crunch latte and you better believe it was great! Definitely recommend to at least stop in and talk to the owner, Tom. Really cool spot!
Brie: Okay, okay, I could rant about this place for days. I was actually just walking down the street in Newport by myself looking for Carabello when I literally stopped into this place instead. I saw “Records” and I saw “Coffee” on the sign and I just decided to go on in. I had the best peppermint latte I’ve ever had in my life so of course, I had to bring Jon back with me a second time. The guys that work here are also super nice and friendly and they have a pretty great selection of CDs and vinyls. This isn’t really a place you would sit down and chill in, but it’s the greatest cup of coffee I have had on this tour. Check. It. Out.
Jon: The last time Brie and I went was on one of our movies dates at the Cinemark in Oakley to see “All The Money in the World” (good movie, by the way). We decided to get hot chocolate that day because it just sounded good on a snowy, winter day. It was life-changing how good this hot chocolate was. I gulped this down in less than 2 minutes because I loved it so much. The coffee also never disappoints. The first time we were here I got a pour over of the Lousantville blend and it was delicious because I drink my coffee sinfully dark and this blend is perfect for any dark roast lovers.
Brie: (This picture is actually from the Findlay location) So the coffee is great but honestly, the hot chocolate is what is really revolutionary. I’m not joking. Jon and I were at the movies and we were cold so we went to go get hot chocolate here because we loved the coffee. I put some peppermint syrup in mine and it was honestly the best hot chocolate I have ever had. If it’s a cold day and you are around Oakley, you HAVE to get this hot chocolate. Seriously. It’s out of this world.
Jon: We stopped in here after seeing “Loving Vincent” at the Esquire. They have many selections of coffee beverages to choose but when we stopped in I got a regular drip coffee which was good but out of all the coffee places we visited this one was my least favorite.
Brie: So this was a place I was really excited for because I had been once in middle school and had really liked it. When we went, however, I wasn’t as into it. It’s a super quirky environment which I love and they also have a chocolate-covered espresso bean dispenser which is amazing. But all in all, I wasn’t that impressed. Maybe it was just the drink I got?
Jon: Velocity is one of my first spots I went to when I first started getting into coffee. Mark, the owner, is a such a nice guy and I always prefer to order a French press or pour over here. Mark always hooks me up with a delicious dark roast blend. They proudly serve Carabello here and I have never had a bad experience. Every drink they have here is awesome!
Brie: As this is my hometown coffee shop, I have to rep it. Not only is the coffee phenomenal, but so are the people making it. It has such an amazing atmosphere and the best lavender mocha I’ve ever had. Every single drink I get there is beyond delicious. I have never left thinking “I wish I hadn’t got this.” Every drink is my favorite and it’s so hard to pick which one. If you go to any place on this list, go here. They have it all. Love me some Velocity.
Jon: I’ve only been here a couple of times. I’ve had it more when Brie and I are at events like City Flea or church events and weddings. Brilliant roasted coffee and I can always depend on them for a solid blend. You can always depend on this place for some quality coffee.
Brie: Oh how I love Coffee Emporium (what do I not love on this list, though?). There are so many good memories and good cups of coffee had here. This is a great place to sit and enjoy or walk around OTR with. It’s a Cincinnati classic for me. It has a little something for everyone and I could honestly drink their drip coffee black (it is so unbelievably good). Check this place out if you know what’s good for ya.
WHY COFFEE IS IMPORTANT TO US
We came up with this list about 9 months ago once we realized we were getting into a rut of just hanging out and watching movies at my house. I knew (as so did he) that if we were really serious about God’s promises for marriage and keeping our purity, we had to ensure that we weren’t going to just lie around all the time. We decided to come up with a massive list to encourage us to GO OUT but to also add so much more adventure and fun to our relationship. We both love coffee to begin with, so why not make it a challenge to visit all of the coffee shops around town?
HELP US EXPLORE SOME MORE!
We still have ten coffee shops left on our list, but we are always looking for more! Please oh please send us YOUR recommendations by sending me an e-mail here. We are so excited to continue our coffee tour this year! Check out the Coffee Tour highlight on my Insta for updates of where we go to next! Thanks for reading! x
– Jon + Brie
*All photos (except for Lydia’s on Ludlow) found on Google Images or company websites. Not taken by me.