Dawn patrol and coffee. A beer in the cooler at the end of a day outside.
Cut open those who love outdoor adventure and you’ll find they’re fueled by coffee and beer.
Drips & Dregs captures the residual drops from the tap of local fermented beverages and the ground laden slurry from the bottom of the carafe. This is where we’ll inconsistently rate what we’ve tried based on these limited engagements with our favorite beverages.
Visiting New England Part 3: Portsmouth, NH
by: Colin True
Enough time in Massachusetts, time to head north to my old town of Portsmouth, NH.
After getting a killer burger at Earth Eagle Brewing (no drips while there, just food this time around) we needed a place to get some work done. And since working and writing in a coffee shop is one of my favorite things to do I was happy to find more options in Portsmouth for legit coffee than what I had experienced during most of our days in Mass. Salem was ok, but it still wasn’t top tier for the java obsessed.
It’s been 30 years since the first time I ever visited Portsmouth, which was the first place I lived that wasn’t in Pennsylvania. The last time I was here was over 6 years ago and in that time there has been a tragic turn of events for those looking for a top tier coffee joint. Because my all time favorite coffee shop (this ranking has been weighted heavily due to nostalgia) Breaking New Grounds closed their market square location in early January of 2018.
The full story of the meaning of what my pals and I called BNG is too long to talk about here. I may work that story into a future episode of THE ROCK FIGHT (which if you didn’t know is an outdoor podcast that aims for the head), but the short of it is that I was bummed when I heard about BNG closing when the news came out but now that I’m in Portsmouth in person...it’s just downright weird. Because there have definitely been more days when I set foot in Portsmouth and got a coffee at BNG than days that I did not.
So that’s why we ended up at Stroll for cappuccinos and a couple of hours of computer time.
Portsmouth is a top tier New England harbor town and fall is the best time of year to be
anywhere in New England so despite my disappointment that I could never swing into BNG, get a coffee and chocolate chip cookie with the smell of roasted beans hanging heavy in the air; I was excited to give Stroll a try. Plus check out picture I put on this post. That's from right outside their front door. That's a view that begs to be enjoyed with a cup of coffee.
I went with a cappuccino because I wanted the beverage to last a little while and I also pre-ordered a drip coffee so I could extend my use of Stroll’s free wifi beyond the time when employees start looking at you with that ‘are you ever going to leave?’ face.
I also ordered my cappuccino ‘for here’ because I was staying but also because coffee is always better out of a cup or mug. Anyone who says they prefer a disposable cup for their coffee should be banned from drinking coffee for a minimum of 10 years. I’m not even kidding. To go cups serve their purpose and have a place, but coffee is intended to be consumed from a ceramic vessel. Not strained through a tiny hole in a plastic lid.
So yeah, I was bummed when my ‘for here’ drink was delivered in a to-go cup. And even more bummed because Stroll makes a pretty good cappuccino that would have been even better if it had been served the way God intended it to be.
Should I have sent the drinks back and asked for them in ‘for here’ cups? Nah, it’s only coffee after all and the disposable cup the mistake showed up in still ends up in the trash.
As for their drip coffee? It was pretty good! I wish more places would take better care with their drip coffee. Espresso machines usually get all of the glory when a solid mug of drip coffee can usually hold its own with just about any froo froo espresso drink.
If I lived nearby and Stroll was my go to morning coffee place I’d probably get their drip on most days. Getting drip gets you more coffee and also gets you in and out of the shop faster than waiting for a fancy drink. And the drip at Stroll is worth coming back for.
So good score for Stroll. Though not getting either beverage in a mug definitely docked them a point. Maybe next time.
Stroll, Portsmouth, NH:
3 out of 4 mugs