Caffeine fiends have a ‘latte’ options in Arkansas
A cup of coffee can be a work of art when a barista sketches a delicate pattern of steamed milk on the surface of a latte. This aromatic image is created for caffeine-craving customers at the 42 stops on the Arkansas Main Street Coffee Trail.
Branching across much of the state, the trail was devised by Main Street Arkansas, part of the Division of Arkansas Heritage in the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism.
“We wanted to highlight the growing number of coffee shops in our downtown districts,” says Greg Phillips, director of Main Street Arkansas. “These small business owners have a passion for their work. They are always excited to showcase their product, and we love to share their talents with the public.”
To gain a spot on the coffee trail, a shop has to meet three criteria. It has to be located in a Main Street District, though not necessarily on Main Street. It has to be locally owned and/or operated. And coffee has to be one of its primary products. More members may be added, Phillips says.
The Main Street Coffee Trail aims to spotlight standout emporiums in communities as small as Calico Rock (population 1,500) and Eureka Springs (just above 2,000).
Judging from the Main Street Arkansas list, the epicenter of Natural State coffee consumption seems to be Eureka Springs. The Carroll County tourist town boasts five Coffee Trail members on the list of 42.
One of Eureka Springs’ spots slipped a pun into its name: Bean Me Up Coffee. Playful monikers elsewhere include Rise & Grind Coffee Co. in Searcy, Pour Jon’s in Siloam Springs and Paranoid Android Coffee in Little Rock.
A New Testament verse is embedded in HeBrews 11&1, a shop in Hope. The name alludes to Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Big Cuppa, in downtown Morrilton, is a Coffee Trail member in a historic setting. Co-owner Jaim Krutz says, “Our building is one of the oldest commercial structures off our main street, Broadway. We purchased it for the purpose of restoration and community connection. Main Street Arkansas describes part of its mission as ‘strengthening and preserving historic downtowns throughout the state.’
“That is a mission that Big Cuppa believes in and has fulfilled. Our hope was to inspire others to do the same, and it is working. Several other old buildings have been restored since we opened, and other businesses have been created.”
Like some other shops on the trail, Big Cuppa roasts its own coffee beans and displays one of its roasters. Its signature drink is the MoTown, “named after the affectionate name we have for Morrilton. It is a breve latte made with espresso, cinnamon, brown sugar and steamed cream.”
Krutz notes that Morrilton is also part of a winery trail and a brewery trail, “but not everyone enjoys wine or beer, so some visitors love being shown to the coffee shops in downtown locations.”
Coffee culture was so much simpler back when options at the downtown café where regulars gathered in the morning ended after “black,” “cream,” “sugar,” “cream and sugar” and “decaf.” But the Main Street Arkansas Coffee Trail makes the case that variety is the spice of life.
Espresso-ly for you!
Some of the stops on the Arkansas Main Street Coffee Trail
- Java Primo Coffee House Café & More
- Samantha’s Bakery & Café
- Blytheville Book Company
- Calico Rock
- Java Stop
- Printing Press Café
- A Cup of Joe Coffee Shop
- Eureka Springs
- Eureka Springs Coffee, Breakfast and Burgers
- Mud Street Café
- Nibbles Eatery
- Eureka Daily Roast
- HeBrews 11&1
- Shadrachs Coffee
- The Recovery Room Coffeehouse & Bistro
- The Ouachitas
- Big Cuppa
- Something Sweet
- True Grit Grounds
- Prairie Grove
- Magnolia Coffee House
- The Caffeinated Cow
- Siloam Springs
- Café on Broadway
- Pour Jon’s
- Alley Cats Coffee Bar