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Canadian Mystery Lover
hi Cleo I'm an avid mystery lover and you're books are one of 13 series on my shelves at home (maybe I should find another series that's a scary number lol) I don't drink coffee other then Iced in the summer. I didn't grow up with it though My mom while loving coffee gets sick while drinking it and didn't have it around much. I discovered that I like Medium blends dark and extra dark are way to strong for me. I'm thinking of getting myself a coffee machine and maybe some of those flavoured coffee syrups. Any advice for a newbie coffee drinker? I have an authors wall of fame of sorts in my home library with their pics and autographs. If I emailed you my snail mail addy would you be able to send me one of you so I can add it to my wall? thanks for taking time to answer and write these fun books. Rochelle in Vancouver Canada (P.S. my friends call me Chelle)
Cleo here. Hi Chelle in the great country of Canada! (If you're a fan of the series, we're definitely friends, so I hope it's okay to call you Chelle.) LOL on the 13th series. (I've found that 13 can be a lucky number, too!) Per the coffee...I like medium blends as well as dark, so more power to your preferences. As you know, medium blends have more caffeine, so I epsecially enjoy them in the morning. As far as a coffee machine, I don't have a fancy espresso machine in my home for two reasons: I can easily get espressos at nearby coffeehouses in NYC and I can't do them better. And the truth is that very few home espresso machines can produce the heat and pressure necessary to give you an excellent espresso experience in your own kitchen. I mostly enjoy drip or French press brews at home for that reason. If I want something stronger and really want an espresso but don't want to venture out, or I want to prepare a coffee latte or another coffee cocktail, I'll start with an espresso made on my stovetop with a Moka pot. I'm putting a photo here for you to see what I mean. These pots were invented in Italy in the 1930s by a man named Alfonso Bialetti. They're inexpensive and come in small and large sizes. If you want more info on buying an espresso machine CoffeeGeek.com recently posted a good article. here's the link. GUIDE TO BUYING AN ESPRESSO MACHINE. But, frankly, if you don't care for the taste of dark roast coffees, I'd venture to guess that espresso or coffee made in a Moka pot isn't going to float your boat. I'd stick with a good fresh medium roast in a drip machine or French press. I think syrups would be fun to try in your iced coffee. Put some coffee and flavored syrup in your blender and take it for a spin with some ice cubes and milk. To keep the coffee from getting too diluted by the ice, brew it double or triple strength, or make ice cubes out of the coffee itself. Try vanilla or chocolate to start and venture into other flavors if you dare! (I noticed raspberry and chocolate frozen lattes are big in NYC this summer.) Coffee syrups are available at many sites on the Internet. Amazon even sells them, just do a search on coffee syrup to find a flavor you like... Also...I am flattered in the x-treme that you'd want my pic and autograph. At this point in time, I don't have a press kit or photos to send out. For now, this Website is how I'll be keeping in touch with you and other readers--and any other curious visitors who might find the time to stop by for a virtual cuppa. I hope that's okay. If there's an author tour in my future, I'll be sure to let you know via this Website and my newsletter, and perhaps we can meet in person some day. Until then, come on back anytime to the virtual Village Blend! And thanks, Chelle, for your support of the series and the lovely things you said. It means the world to me.
Decaffers given reprieve
I was happy that decaf drinkers were given a reprieve in "Decaffeinated Corpse". I love coffee. I love mysteries. I've indulged in both since my early teens. Unfortunately due to health reasons I have to limit my caffeine intake significantly. Clare's inclusion of the decaffeinated bean allowed me to again feel welcome at the Village Blend."Why bother?" Because these mysteries and characters are fun and why give up more than I have to? Marie from Pennsylvania
Cleo here. Sending this shout-out to homegirl "Marie" from my home state of Pennsylvania. Decaf drinkers unite! No need to boycott the caffeinated series now. Clare's stocking decaf for all. I love your "why bother" line. LOL. I should hire you to write the series advertising copy! Thanks for your support of the series, Marie. Come on back again anytime to visit the Blend. Cheers!
I had been anxiously awaiting this one, since I read all of the previous coffeehouse books last year. The ending was a suprise. Last year's book, was great as my late husband was a native of the Hamptons, so I could relate. These are great plane books(as I travel each week) They keep your interest, and have some humor. I just adore your Madame character. Thank you for the great read and receipes. Cathe in Birmingham
Cleo here. Hi, Cathe in Birmingham! Wow, sounds like you travel a lot! I'm glad Clare, Matt, Madame and the gang can keep your company during your travels. I'm also happy to hear that you enjoyed the book set in the Hamptons (Murder Most Frothy), especially with your late husband's origins there. It's a beautiful place and inspiring for a writer--full of so much history and story. If you've never seen the movie Pollock, directed by and starring Ed Harris, I think you might enjoy it. Some of it is set in the Hamptons of the 1940s and early 50s when painter Jackson Pollack first went there (Springs, outside of East Hampton) with his wife to work. Far from a glamorous life, Pollack toiled in an unheated studio, stoking a pot-bellied stove in the freezing cold winter. The film shows how difficult a time he had emotionally. He was a tortured alcoholic for years, and if it weren't for his wife Lee Krasner, it's doubtful he would have become the world-famous abstract expressionist painter that he did. I actually met one of the two screenwriters of Pollock. She herself had a father who was an artist, so I'm sure this was a project close to her heart. Thanks for posting, Cathe, stop by the virtual Village Blend anytime! Safe travels now! (And I love Madame, too!)
Just Another Day In Tompkins Square Park, East Village,NYC
Hi Cleo: NYC'S East Village is just the place for a close encounter of the romantic kind. There I was minding my own business, walking through the park, on my way, to buy some Kona Whole Bean at Porto Rico coffee purveyors, which is at the corner of 8th Street & Second Avenue. All of a sudden, this fellow asks me how to get to Rivington Street. I, having lived in the Village for many years, gave him accurate directions. He had been in from Seattle, and of course was enthralled with "The Village". He was tall, blond but seemed a bit strange. Usually my "weird guy radar" goes off immediately and I politely but firmly end the conversation. This time I did not. After answering more questions about where to go and what to do, I realized that he was a bit more interested in continuing the conversation than I was. So after about 15 minutes, I said "Have a great day". He then mustered up his courage and asked me if I would consider a coffee date later that evening. Being 30 years his senior and happily married, I declined. I walked away and thought to myself isn't life in the East Village great. Where else could one have one's coffee and drink it too----only in New York City. Love Saves The Day! JCM/NYC
Cleo here. Replying to JCM in NYC! Listen up, girlfriend, Demi and Madonna both hooked up with younger men. It's tres chic! So being happily married is your ONLY good excuse for not meeting that big, blond Seattle man for a hot cuppa. As for your trip to Porto Rico, site visitors can click on the words to learn more about that wonderful shop, which has been selling coffee for a century (the late culinary fiction writer Laurie Colwin once famously wrote about buying beans there). And here's another link to tell everyone more about the Kona coffee you bought. Cheers, JCM! Loved your post. Thanks for stopping by the virtual Village Blend, come on back now, y'hear!
Can't wait for the next book!
I've read all your book and really loved them. I love coffee....and your books are just fun to read.
Cleo here. You are sweet in the X-treme for taking the time to make me smile. And I'm very glad you find the books fun to read. That's my aim--to entertain. (They're fun to write, too.) Thanks for visiting the virtual Village Blend!
Hello from Tammy in Northern VA
Cleo, I go to the Malice Domestic convention, and realized how many cozies are out other than Diane Mott Davidson. That's how I found you. I've been drinking coffee for 3 years. Mostly I enjoy frappacinos (I can't make them with my espresso machine) and the occasional macchiato or chocolatey latte. Your books are great. They set the stage of a Starbucks from 100 years ago, that same cozy feel the larger ones have (I don't have a homespun coffeeshop I frequent). Descriptions of your store and accessories are very vivid, a real treat! Showing the coffee making process is a blast. I am attempting my first novel, a cozy mystery. Authors like you and your friend Alice Kimberly have opened my eyes to different ideas of what to write. You inspire me, and I will keep reading your art until you quit! I hope one day to get your book signed. Thank you for the inspiration and enjoyment you give thousands (millions!) of fans.
Cleo here. Hi, Tammy in Northern VA! You made my day. I'm thrilled that I can inspire another writer, even a little. It's great that you're writing a cozy, too. I think Agatha's genre is a wonderful sandbox (that's how I think of it). It's Agatha Christie's house, we're all just visiting! If I could presume to give you one piece of writing advice, it would be this: put yourself in your book as much as possible. Who you are, how you see the world, your "voice," is the most valuable gift you can give your readers. The very best of luck to you, and thanks a million for your wonderful post! Be sure to drop in again and let us know how the book is going!
Hello from MN!
Hi, Cleo. I discovered your Coffeehouse Mysteries in a display at B&N. Bought the first & started to read it, then ran back to buy the rest before I was finished! I also just ordered & received all the Haunted Bookshop Mysteries, only to find out that those are you too! Haven't started them yet, but am really looking forward to them. I love books, coffee & tea. I am lucky enough to have a few coffee shops nearby, mostly independents, that are great fun. I never drank coffee until it was all that was available when I did a college internship at a Federal Prison. Started off with lots of creamer & sugar, but lost the sugar bit long ago. However, I blame my Mother for giving me the half and half habit ("the calcium is good for your bones, dear"). She drank two pots of regular coffee a day! If you ever come to Northern MN, we have lots of lovely places to enjoy a great cup of coffee. There is even a couple of local places that roast coffee on site. Keep up the good work! HJ in MN
Cleo here. Hi HJ in MN! You ran back to the store to buy the other books!Wow. How cool is that? I'm grinning from ear to ear--and simultaneously hoping that you don't start reading the rest of the series and go back to the store one more time (to demand a refund)! But I'll keep my fingers crossed that you like all the books. It's very cool that you discovered the Haunted Bookshop series as well. Those are little gems, I can tell you. They're written from some magical place--I swear the ghost of Jack Shepard feels so real it's spooky (pun intended!). Love the mother half-and-half story. I was always a half-and-halfer. When I first met my husband, he was putting milk in his coffee. I turned him onto 1/2 and 1/2 and now he's a fanatic. Don't even TRY to give the man milk in his coffee. I would love to visit your local coffeehouses, and if I'm in your neck of the woods, I'll check them out. You are most welcome to post about any of your faves and post links to their Websites too. I'm hoping that over time, I can create a page with coffeehouses around the country that series readers recommend. Thanks for posting and reading the books, of course! Come on back now, y'hear!
Congrats! But where's my muffin?
I just logged on for the first time, and had to post a congratulatory note, though I'm rushing out the door. Have to make the grueling but requisite 15-minute abs class at NY Health & Racquet Club. Requisite, because this morning, as every morning, I indulged in a savory and fattening muffin from East Village coffee house, CIAO FOR NOW! Where else can you get a mango/strawberry muffin or cherry/banana scone, for under two bucks?! Until the Village Blend enters the physical world, you'll find me there. -Kerry in the East Village
Cleo here. Hey, there, Ab Man in the East Village! I found a Website that talks about your favorite coffeehouse Ciao for Now. (Site visitors can click on the words to see the page and photos.) That mango/strawberry muffin sounds WILD. Definitely something to check out on my next trip to EV!! Thanks for posting, Kerry. Come on back anytime to the virtual Village Blend!
Love the new book!
I just finished your latest and it is GREAT. The web site is one of the best I've seen for authors! I teach high school and try to limit myself to one latte a day (sometimes the need wins out and I have two). I am definitely in favor of a book/coffee house tour! I also donated my copies of the first 3 Coffee House Mysteries to our local library-- they were excited and your series has been added to the "Up and Coming Series" shelf. I can't wait for the next installment of Clare. Candice Phillips
Cleo here. Hi, Candice! Thank you SO much for your kind words. I'm really happy you like the Website, too. It's never easy to get things off the ground--lots of second guessing--and you never really know if people will like something until you get it out there. So it's gratifying to hear your words. Very cool that you teach high school--a challenge if ever there was one. Keeping up with teens is never easy. I can see why you'd need that second latte! I applaud you (and all teachers) who are out there in the trenches, providing guidance to the world's future. It's great that you donated the first three CM books to the library, where more cozy mystery readers can discover them. Thanks for posting and stopping by the virtual Village Blend. Come on back!
Love coffee and anything related to it
Love to drink it, think about it, smell it, so reading about it is a natural. Love this series, also love the Haunted Bookshop series -- not surprised that is you, too. Love New York, too -- wish you really did have a coffee house here. I live in NY, and I even collect clothes with coffee cups and tea cups on them
Cleo here. Hey, there, NY neighbor! I am thrilled that you like the Coffeehouse series--being such a fan of the bean, you would know whether the coffee talk is worthy. Great news also that you're reading my Alice Kimberly Haunted Bookshop series. That one is also a lot of fun to write. Thanks for posting and visiting the site. Come on back now, y'hear!
LOVE Your Books
I'm reading Decaffeinated Corpse right now and have read all your other books. I love them and having the recipes included is awesome! I've been a coffee drinker since High School and reader...what better combination! Since reading your books I have decided I am going to order myself some Jamaica Blue beans for a birthday gift to myself!
Cleo here. Hey, there! Happy birthday! I was a coffee drinker young, too. Started in high school at my mother's suggestion--because I had the hardest time waking up in the mornings. The bean got me through countless all-nighters in college and still fuels many a marathon writing session. You are super sweet to say such nice things about the books. Thanks for stopping by and posting, too. Come on back again, anytime, and have a great birthday!
P.S. Although they're not currently featuring Jamaica Blue Mountain, I can tell you that the Counter Culture Coffee folks have some spectacular coffees for sale that you would probably enjoy just as much as JBM (and you'd be able to afford more beans for the money, too). I myself have ordered from Counter Culture Coffee (BLEND: Magnolia Blend and AFRICAN COFFEE: Ethiopian Yirgacheffe) and have really enjoyed their beans. When they sent the Yirgacheffe, they even included an info sheet about the farm where it came from. Fun!
Just finished Decaffeinated Corpse
Just finished Decaffeinated Corpse and posted a review here: CLICK HERE TO READ COZY LIBRARY'S REVIEW OF DECAFFEINATED CORPSE I didn't start drinking coffee until I was 35. My breakfast drink was Tab, and at business meetings, I was constantly razzed about it. I decided to try coffee (mainly to stop the razzing) and, for me, it was an acquired taste. My usual? McDonald's decaf with one cream (54 cents for a "senior" cup -- can't beat that price!). I also like McDonald's iced coffee with vanilla. I detest sugar in coffee! At a "real" coffeehouse, I always order the decaf house blend and top it off with a muffin, usually chocolate or orange.
Cleo here. Hi, Cozy Library Lady! Your Tab story made me laugh out loud. It reminded me that my boyfriend in college couldn't stand coffee. He drank orange soda to wake up for early lectures. At night he drank cocoa and sometimes tea. Suffice it to say, I am married now but not to him. I was always a coffee freak, and I swore after college (where I drank countless cups of complete crap to pull all-nighters) that I would never, ever drink muddy swill again. And, so far, with the help of excellent coffeehouses I've kept my promise to myself (and since I don't drink much alcohol or smoke ciggys, I figure I can afford to splurge on the java). It all worked out in the end since my love of the bean now has an outlet in fiction (unfortunately the nice man who does our taxes still won't let me deduct my coffee bills. Go figure). Thank you for posting and for reviewing Decaffeinated Corpse. I'm so glad you liked it!
I have all your CoffeeHouse Mysteries and really enjoyed them -- thanks for many hours of enjoyable reading, and please keep them coming! Pat/Bethlehem, PA
Cleo here. Hi, Pat! You made my day! I love Bethlehem, by the way. I grew up in Western, PA, and after moving to NYC, I've driven back across the Keystone state countless times to visit my family. The famous "star" of Bethlehem, PA, was always amazing to see during the holiday months. I appreciate your support of the series and am so happy you posted to tell me about it! Come on back again anytime to visit the virtual coffeehouse.
Cleo here! I have replies for everyone who posted in the last week, just scroll down and you'll see them. And to the NY grad student, who asked about what local coffeehouses inspired me, I gave you a quick answer now, but your question inspired me to do a bigger future post on the Home Page with photos to give fans some visual aids on Clare's neighborhood. Great question! Stay tuned! I'll post a Village tour in the next month or so.
Keep those comments and questions coming!
I'm addicted to coffee and the books!!!
I love the books and the adventures that occur. To have two of my favorite things together is just heavenly. Thanks for the great reading!!! Keep up the great job and I look forward to the next book/adventure that comes.
Cleo here. Hey, there, thanks for posting, and I love that you used the word "adventures" because that really nails how I think of Clare. She's someone who's life has been ultra responsible for years while she was raising Joy and her husband was off having adventures all over the world. Now, finally, it's Clare's turn to have adventures! And I'm very glad you're enjoying them! --Cleo Coyle
Love your Books! They are the best.
I have all your CoffeeHouse Mysteries that are out now, and I love them. Can't wait for the next one. Keep them coming.
Cleo here. I'll keep writing, if you keep reading! Thanks for posting and stopping by my "virtual" coffeehouse! --Cleo Coyle
Love your books!!
I just received your latest book today. I absolutely love coffee and mysteries. To have them both at one time is wonderful. Keep the books coming! Lisa in Katy TX
Cleo here. Hello Lisa from the great state of Texas! I love your state. My sister once lived in Houston and my husband and I are great fans of Robert E. Howard, a Texas son who wrote all of his amazing fantasy stories in Cross Plains. Thanks for posting and stopping by. It's fans like you who make the hard work worth it. --Cleo Coyle
2008 can't come soon enough!
I just finished "Decaffeinated Corpse" and I am ready for "French Pressed" - I can't get enough of Clare Cosi and the mysteries that surround her.
Cleo here. Well bless you for keeping me and my husband in coffee beans! I'm writing French Pressed now and having a great time of it. Clare is once again in "hot water" (groan)-- sorry but with these titles, coffee puns are par for the course (gee, that's a golf reference, isn't it? And I don't even play golf). Anyway, thanks sincerely for posting and reading the CM books! --Cleo Coyle
Just wanted to say I love the books, and it has actually inspired me to work harder at my own job where I deal with food and beverages(probably cos she is so passionate about coffee and her store). Cant wait for the next outing with Clare and the gang.
Cleo here. I know in today's snarky, cynical culture that "sappy" isn't hip, but let me just say that your post LITERALLY brought tears to my eyes. (As sappy as that sounds, it's nonetheless true.) I know how hard it is to make a living these days, pay bills, keep relationships from blowing up in your face, withstand the onslaught of freakishly bad-mannered bosses. So it means the world to me that Clare and her stories can inspire you even a little bit. And I can tell you that Clare is not a stretch. I've met men and women in the food and bev industry who've inspired me to draw her just the way she is--caring passionately about the job she does because she knows it's her way of connecting to people and the community around her. Making that connection the best it can possibly be (even if it's just pulling a perfect espresso or making sure the cafe tables are clean for the next customer) is what matters most to her. Thanks SO much for posting and reading the books. Stop by the "virtual" coffeehouse here anytime! --Cleo Coyle
Coffee before exercise
I always have a cup or two of coffee before I meet my trainer to lift weights (actually I have coffee every day anyway!). My trainer thinks that is not so good but I see from you post on Exercise and coffee that caffeine decreased muscle soreness. HA. Thanks Cleo for sharing that tidbit. Can't wait to tell my trainer! Gracie
An old boyfriend of mine who was a serious marathon runner (and a high school gym teacher), had NO problem with drinking coffee! So there you go! Java continues to rule. --Cleo Coyle
Loved Decaffeinated Corpse!
Hi Cleo, Although I absolutely hate coffee, I LOVE you books! I'm a book-a-holic and when I found your 1st book I thought it sounded interesting. I loved it and have anxiously awaited every book since then, I read "Decaffeinated Corpse" this afternoon and it was great! Do you do book tours and if you do, will you be coming through North Carolina anytime? I would love to have one of your books autographed. One of my hobbies is collecting autographed mysteries books.
Hi North Carolina! I love your state. It's so beautiful! If the Coffeehouse Mystery books continue to do well, a book tour is not out of the question. My pipe dream is to do a book-signing and coffee tasting with B&N cafes, local independent coffeehouses, and any other bookstores that think it's a bright idea. I'll cross my fingers that enough fans come on board to make that possible. Then we can all get together and have a moveable coffee feast (and for fans who hate coffee, I'll be sure to have pastries and tea on hand, too!). If you subscribe to my newsletter, I'll let you know when and if that takes place. Maybe in 2008 or 2009. Lots to look forward to! Thanks for posting and thanks in the extreme for reading the series. You made my day!
Ms. Coyle...Village Blend Inspiration?
I just wanted to thank you for "blending" two of my favorite things...reading mysteries and drinking coffee! I am currently a grad student in the New York City and spend a lot of time doing work while getting my favorite caffeine fix. I was wondering if you based the idea for the "Village Blend" on any specific coffeehouse in New York City. Thanks and keep up the great work!
Cleo here. Hi New York grad student! You have asked a great question. So great that you have inpsired me to write a longer post for the home page with photos to show fans of the series Clare's village. I'll answer you briefly now but stay tuned for a longer version in the next month or so. When I lived in the East Village, it was in a building on 7th Street between Avenues A and B. Right below me was Bread and Roses, a little bakery that also sold coffee. It was great living above a place like that, very cozy. It's not there any longer but right next door the "horseshoe" bar (or at least that's what we called it) still is - it was used in the movie Rent, even though they called it Life Cafe in the movie and even though Life Cafe is on the other side of Tompkins Square park. Anyway! I've hung out at various Village cafes over the years. The Peacock Cafe at 24 Greenwich Ave. is now a sushi restaurant (sadly), and the Lantern cafe (I believe it was on MacDougal) is now a wine bar. But Cafe Reggio gives you a sense of just how old a cafe can be in the Village. It was started in 1927 and it's full of atmosphere, although I wouldn't say it's what I had in mind for the fictional Village Blend. A cafe that's more in keeping with the Village Blend's atmosphere and philosophy is a newer one. It's called Joe the Art of Coffee and it's located on Waverly (they also have a storefront near Union Square). It's a small place, much smaller than the fictional Blend, but the people who run it are just as passionate as Clare Cosi. There are other coffeehouses in or near the Village that I'll write about in the future. Lots of great places to sit down with a hot Joe (or cup of same). Thanks for posting your great question and thanks in the extreme for reading the books!
Hello from a fan
Just wanted to say that I truly love the series and look forward to more!
You made my day! Thank you!
The paperback question
Okay, although I am more than thrilled that the coffeehouse mystery series isn't going anywhere anytime soon do we really need to make that switch to hardcover. Don't get me wrong, I will reluctantly make that hardcover purchase but the paperback prices are definitely easier on the wallet, especially when your husband has put you on a bookbuying budget...lol -Heather the Jersey girl
Cleo here. Oy. I know what you mean about hardcover prices, but never fear. There will be 2 Coffeehouse Mystery books out in 2008 - a paperback releasing early in the year as Coffeehouse Mystery #6 French Pressed, and a hardcover releasing later in the year as Coffeehouse Mystery #7 (the price on the hardback will be reasonable), but you can always borrow the book from the library or wait for its subsequent PB release a year later. Believe me, I know how tough it is to be on a budget, but...it's very hard to earn a living as a full-time pro writer. Moving into hardcover helps the profit margin. It takes extraordinary numbers to get "rich" as a writer, so I don't expect to be giving Dan Brown or J.K. Rowling anything to worry about anytime soon. I would like to keep earning my living though! So while I feel for your budget, I also feel for mine! Little known fact: paying the electricity bill actually prevents laptop screens from going black. LOL Thanks in the X-treme for reading my books now and in the future (whether paper or hardback, I'll take it!) Thanks also for posting, neighbor. Come on back now y'here!
Hello from Appleton WI
My daughter works at a bookstore...and she knows I LOVE coffee...and mysteries...so.. she gave me for Christmas one year... your first coffee house mystery...which I just enjoyed soooo much. I have purchased each one since..such fun reads. Yesterday..July 3...I bought the new one..and am most eager to read it... especially since seeing something about.. handcuffs. I was hoping more would develop between Clare and Mike !! Recently I discovered a delightful place to visit...the Aspen Coffee and Tea Co.. here in town. A really fun place...to have lunch...read...and enjoy....coffee !
Hi Appleton, WI! You sound like one adorable mom--not unlike Clare--and I'm extremely happy that you found the series. A big shout-out to your daughter who works in the bookstore and noticed the books! It's people like your daughter who have helped the series blossom in sales. The series started below the public's radar but booksellers like her started reading them and quietly recommending them to customers. Many thanks to her for that and to you for posting. If I'm ever in your neck of the woods, I'm going to stop by Aspen Coffee and Tea Co to get a cuppa for myself. To steal a phrase from Philip Marlowe "Coffee is my business" -- so it's no surprise that I'm always happy to hear about a cool coffeehouse! --Cleo Coyle