March 29, 2010

Not your average joe

uncle tim's coffee 

**Update Nov. 2012- Blackbird Coffeehouse is no longer in business...just didn't want you to stumble upon this post and try to go there...although it has been replaced with another lovely spot - The Plaid Apron!**

When the weather is nice and spring is getting in full-gear, I feel more inspired to get out and exercise than usual. Granted, any exercise is more than what I usually participate in but whatever. ...surely y'all didn't think I was one of those 'exercise people' who lays awake at night contemplating my BMI? I'm more like the person who doesn't even know what BMI stands for and has to ask friends, "what is crossfit?" But I digress.

Recently, I was strolling along the route I had mapped out in a quaint local neighborhood when I came into a clearing and saw the cutest little coffee shop. What is better than walking one brisk mile (everything in moderation folks!)? Um, that would be caffeinated goodness! So I finished my loop and stopped in the shop to take a look around.

Maybe I should back up here and tell you about the first coffee shop I ever visited. Picture it: a small town in Tennessee, c. 1993 (I was eleven). Cafe Insomnia was adjacent to our local college campus and for some reason my mom took me there to get a cup of coffee. It wasn't for the birds and bees talk (got that when I was 7, thanks), so I can't be sure why exactly we would have gone, but it felt like a special treat. I didn't know what a coffee shop really was;  just that it seemed very cool and grown-up. I ordered an espresso (naturally) because I liked the tiny cup and saucer it came in. It was terrible and I drank it anyway.

A few years later, our town had another coffee shop called The Magic Bean. I was forbidden to go because my parents said "bad things happened there" and I'm still not really sure what they meant. Finally, a wonderful place called Poet's was opened on the town square and it provided me with gobs of great memories hanging out with friends, seeing & being seen, and drinking frosted lattes with sugar-free Irish Crème flavoring.


Anyway, I guess I've always been fond of coffee shops both for drinking coffee and congregating and when I saw the Blackbird Coffeehouse, it seemed like a great new spot for both. Tucked into the heart of Sequoyah Hills in Knoxville, this is the perfect place to meet a friend for a chat or just to grab a bite of breakfast. One thing that struck me about it is the calm and soothing atmosphere. I guess some places are more bustling, but I could see myself getting lots of work done while enjoying a warm treat.


Comfy couches and chairs abound as well as outdoor seating for these glorious weather days. You can get pretty much any variation of coffee you'd want and the prices were very reasonable. On Saturdays the menu includes a hot brunch which I didn’t try, but wish I had…biscuits and gravy, eggs and other a.m. staples. Something else I liked is the helpful chart to explain the make-up of standard coffee drinks.

  coffee-drink-diagramSimilar to this one,  you can see at a glance the coffee-to-cream/milk ratio and decide which tasty beverage is right for you. I had a café au lait and it was delicious.

Several local bakeries supply goodies including Cities Cupcakes and The Plum Baker (more on her in an upcoming post). There are also lots of cute little gifty things to browse including t-shirts with the coffeehouse logo on them. I love the blackbird perched on the rim of the coffee cup! I highly recommend this spot whether you are a coffee connoisseur or just love a neat place to sit and visit. Maybe you’ll see me there!

Do you have a sweet little place in your neighborhood where you are often spotted? I’d love to hear about it!