There are certain requirements every coffee shop should meet. No two great places are the same, but for those who frequent them, there’s a certain ‘vibe check’ places need to clear …
There are certain requirements every coffee shop should meet. No two great places are the same, but for those who frequent them, there’s a certain ‘vibe check’ places need to clear before gaining that legendary status of a favorite coffeehouse. Most aspiring writers, artists, bookworms and general creatives I know have a favorite, and they certainly know what it is that keeps bringing them back.
I’m here to report that Legacy Coffee Co. in Milford, Del., does indeed pass the vibe check. Sitting in the front lobby, sun on my arm as I jot down notes for this very column, I am pleased to find my personal requirements are both met and exceeded. And considering my status as an insufferable coffee enthusiast, that’s a fairly high bar to clear.
Atmosphere is everything in a place like this. If you can’t be comfortable reading a book, drawing or writing a self-indulgent column in a coffee shop, what are you even doing there? A good cup of coffee is abundant for miles around, it’s the experience of spending time in a café that matters. Legacy is warm and peaceful, with just enough background noise to remind you of the charm of it’s patrons and employees. Soft, unobtrusive coffeehouse music drifts down from the modern angles of the building’s high ceilings, finding you either lounging on comfy black sofas in the main part of the lobby, or tucked in the sun-graced front section, away from all other foot traffic. This is where I’ve parked myself, two cups, pastry and my smartphone on a convenient table, plucking away at the digital keys and taking in the angular design of the décor. It’s cool toned gray and white takes in the sun really well, and makes it easy to just exist in the space.
And while I’m existing, a special shout out must be made to that ever-important factor of every coffee shop: the people in it. My barista (who asked to remain unnamed) was extremely nice and helpful, guiding me to what was popular and provided some pleasant chit chat. They were funny, too. “Don’t photograph my lattes. My latte art is real hit or miss… some days it’s just out of my hands.” Fine by me, the cappuccino I ended up with was gorgeous, and I was happy to take it down while regulars came and went, exchanging friendly pleasantries across the counter. It was nice atmosphere to take in.
The coffee itself wasn’t as much of a standout. That’s not as much of a requirement as you might think. I judge beans by how good they are black, and Legacy’s straight black coffee is simply passible. However, where they shine is their crafted drinks. My ‘chino was good, but what took me by surprise was their cortado. If you’re not familiar, think Spanish latte with less steamed milk and more espresso. It was recommended to me by a patron, and I’m seconding it whole-heartedly. I drank that thing so fast that I had to stop myself from ordering a third drink. “It’s Pastor Mark’s favorite. Making a cortado he approves of us sort of a right of passage for the staff.” It was the same Pastor Mark who urged me to try it in the first place, and I‘ll be going back for more.
Oh, did I forget to mention Legacy Coffee is in a church? A church next to a movie theatre, to be exact. UNITED Church’s lobby plays hosts to the shop, and all proceeds go towards UNITED’s community service efforts. For those of you who may be put off going into a religious building for their café experience, I’m here to tell you that, as a non-church-person, I visited coffee shops inside of several religious buildings, and when done right, they can be ideal for a coffee shop. UNITED and Legacy are no different, and I felt very assured by both the signage and staff that all are welcome to sit back, draw, vibe, or write columns while enjoying some well-crafted atmosphere and drinks. As stated above, it passes the vibe check.
Find Legacy Coffee Company at 985 N Dupont Blvd., Milford, Del. and at legacycoffeede.com.
Bay to the Beach: Byways is a regular column in which we explore interesting places and projects on the Delmarva Peninsula.