Caffeine, Coffee, and Cravings


I know I’m feeling better when I start craving my morning cup of coffee. Whether you refer to it as liquid gold, morning motivation, or just regular old joe, I’m sure you have a favorite coffee house that you frequent, or perhaps a brand that you brew and enjoy at home. For me, Starbucks has always been my company of choice, but after spending some time in California and seeing the array of kitschy coffee houses I couldn’t help but want to explore more local options. So I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite haunts and preferred beverages.


I’ve been frequenting Starbucks for longer than I care to admit. At my local joint, I know most of the baristas by name…and even know the names of some who worked at the one near American University in Washington, DC. For as long as I’ve been going to Starbucks, my drink has always been a grande White Chocolate Mocha — with whipped cream, of course! This past summer, I started indulging in their iced coffee. But now that it is October, I’m all about the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Southdown Coffee

Southdown Coffee
I found this place through a follower on Instagram and after one visit I could tell it was just the type of establishment I wanted. Nestled in Huntington Village, New York, this small, quaint coffee house makes a mean cappuccino and offers freshly made breakfast sandwiches and baked goods. It has become a regular stop on the days I spend in my old hometown!

Hampton Coffee Company

Hampton Coffee Company
Their coffee wins my award for most delicious…as in, I’m glad there are no locations near me because I would be there every day kind of delicious. I first tried their coffee in August when I was out at the Hampton Classic Horse Show. It was a hot day on the show grounds and an iced latte sounded like the perfect cure. Luckily, Hampton Coffee had a mobile coffee truck at the event. If you head to the East End of Long Island you can find their stores. But for those who like to make their morning coffee in their pajamas, you can order from them online.

Golden Pear Cafe

Golden Pear Cafe
Another establishment I’ve found while trekking out to the Hampton’s is the Golden Pear Cafe. With both indoor and outdoor seating and a full breakfast menu, this is a great place to stop and grab your morning cup of joe. You may even see a celebrity walking down the streets of Southampton, Sag Harbor, East Hampton, or Bridgehampton, which is where they are located. I’ve ordered a cappuccino and an iced coffee from them (on separate occasions), and left feeling well-caffeinated. If you stop here, try their scrambled eggs and aged New York cheddar cheese on a freshly baked croissant. It’s one of my favorite items on their menu.

Dunkin' Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts
I was never a real fan of their coffee until recently…when they were giving away a medium dark roast coffee for free on National Coffee Day. I hadn’t had their coffee in a while, but I was surprised and pleased with how good it was. And since it was much cheaper than Starbucks and twice the size of my normal coffee, Dunkin’ Donuts has redeemed itself, in my opinion.

Where is your favorite place to get coffee? Do you prefer to make it at home or stop at a coffee house?



    1. Thanks for the suggestion, Jill! I’m adding that coffee to my list to try. I never used to crave coffee in the morning, but as I’ve gotten older I definitely need a cup to help get me started.

  1. This is so funny to read right now, as I’m brewing my Starbucks coffee, haha! You know, I’ve learned that there isn’t too many of us, Vanessa. A lot of people I talk to say that they don’t like Starbucks because it’s too strong. My answer is always then you’re not a real coffee drinker and then the debate begins, lol! However, I do agree that the coffee is strong and you either love it or you don’t. I worked at Dunkin Donuts my early years of college and I never really was a fan of their coffees, but their espresso, for some reason, I LOVED!

    I need to step out of my coffee zone and try some other coffee shops, especially in Williamburg, Brooklyn, where they didn’t allow a Starbucks to come through for years because they take pride in their small shop coffees! That is how Starbucks got started after all!

    This was such a great post; it was great getting to know you a little more 🙂

    Have an amazing day, beauty!



    1. I’m glad we share a love of Starbucks, Jalisa! It took me a while to get into coffee, but now that I have, I fear it owns me. Actually, this morning I tried an iced Pumpkin Spice Latte and it was soooo good. That’s very interesting about how Starbucks got started. I’ll have to try some coffee houses in Brooklyn — I love those small neighborhood places! Hope you have a great week!

  2. Yessss!! A good ole’ cup of coffee can do wonders every morning! I’ve been buying a coffee every morning before work between DD and Starbucks for a long time, however my bf and I recently moved in together and he started making it every morning for me! When he makes homemade coffee, he adds cinnamon to the grinds and it makes a huge difference and tastes so much better!!

    Loved the post girl! 🙂

    xo, Sarah

    1. Thanks, Sarah! Stopping at Starbucks is my morning ritual, but occasionally I will vary my routine and go to Dunkin’ Donuts. On days when I make coffee at home, frothing the milk and adding cinnamon makes me feel like my own barista. Thanks for visiting Living in Steil and I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

  3. coffee is definitely one of my weaknesses! hehe
    When I was pregnant, it was tough at the start to give up on coffee, but I soon found that I could still function without it haha.
    I’m back on coffee now and enjoy the local joints. Living in SF, there are a lot of trendy/hipster spots that make great coffee. I’ve become a bit “snobby” about coffee now. Hate to sound like that person, but a good cup sure makes a difference! haha

    1. I’m with you, Nancy! You can’t put a price on a good cup of coffee. LOL. I’m slightly jealous that you’re in SF with all those great coffee houses. I love SF and can’t wait to visit again. Thank you for visiting Living in Steil and I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

    1. I love having different places to get my coffee fix from. That way I never get bored with the same old cup of joe. My flats are Adrienne Vittadini and from DSW. I bought them last year, but they’re so comfy and I just love them.

    1. I love the iced White Chocolate Mocha, too. I only cutback and switched to iced coffees this summer to reduce my sugar intake…but of course, I cheated and ordered the iced WCM from time-to-time.

  4. A good cup of coffee is more than just a drink! I use a Nespresso machine at home and always go for something simple at cafes – a cappuccino or variations of black coffee (americano, allongé, café crème…)

    P.S. Love your shoes!


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