Coffee is the best thing to douse the sunrise with.  ~Terri Guillemets


Petoskey: Check.

Boyne City: Check.

Harbor Springs: Check… almost.

The Island Bean Company is a spot I had never been inside in all my years living only a few miles from Harbor Springs. When I googled coffee shops in Harbor, only two places came up. Maureen and I managed to get to Harbor and back on my lunch break, both sipping the Bean Co.’s daily special: a ‘mousse-a-chino’. It was a delicious blend of creamy mocha-cappuccino with a shot of chocolate something. I don’t even need to know what it is, it’s chocolate.

The other shop in Harbor, however, is in my bad graces. When we decided on the Bean Co., it was mainly due to my distaste caused by a previous experience at The Wooly Bugger.

I was with another friend of mine exploring Harbor Springs, a task that does not take long, considering Harbor consists of two main streets. After exploring a book store and the library we decided to stop for some coffee. A bell jingled cheerily on the door as we stepped in – but our joy was greeted with a claustrophobic reception. The shop was comparable to a shoebox in size; tables crunched against the windows, where a melancholy man stared apathetically at his laptop screen. A line of people, stacked together like refugees, piled against the three foot counter. Strange stuffed caterpillars and a collection of mugs teetered precariously next to the concentration line. Nevertheless, we joined the silent gathering to wait for our turn.

The little girl behind the counter was working double time to get the drinks out. Her pretty face would have been a fine asset for business first impressions, but instead of having her on the front lines a great Gaston of a man loomed behind the counter. He did not smile or ask for my order. He just stared at us with all the approachability of Hulk Hogan.

All I want is coffee, pal, I’m not here to threaten your natural habitat.

“I’d like a mocha please.” I asked nicely. Yes, nicely, despite the angry-bear expression on his face. He silently punched in the numbers and words came out of his face: “$3.25.” They hung there a second, and I envisioned a speech bubble around them like in the Archie cartoons. It took me a second to realize I was staring back a him as intelligently as he was at me.

“Oh! Here you go.” I handed over the money and he begrudgingly went to make my drink. When he moved away from the cash register to work the espresso machine, I noticed his apparel. No apron… no uniform… Then I noticed his shirt.

Listen guys, unless you’re an Elvis impersonator in your spare time, please don’t advertise what kind of lawn you are growing on your chest. What we ladies don’t know can’t hurt us. Ignorance is bliss. We get preached at day and night concerning modesty but for crying out loud, spare us the sight!

This gentleman certainly had no principles concerning what was appropriate either to the ladies OR to the FDA. He morosely made my mocha, meanwhile carrying his own wooly bugger between shirt collars.

For the first time in my life coffee didn’t sound so good.

Thus, since Maureen and I don’t want in any surprises in our mochas, we’ve decided to take our connoisseur-ing outside the jurisdiction of the Wooly Mammoth.

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