I love Mill Mountain Coffee and Tea (MMCT) in Daleville, VA. It's not a place to drink coffee, it's another universe.
Mike is the manager, stud muffin and barista extraordinaire. There's Olivia, who looks almost exactly like, but not quite, Imogene Heap. Her partner is Ryan. They are both so young and earnest, they make me blush. I liked growing out of that phase, actually, but it's delightful to see it in someone else. It's like a quiet path beside a stream and some ferns, with the sunlight streaming in through the trees. Together, they look like a Benetton ad. There are other baristas, the other Mike, who slings coffee and plays guitar, and the odd assortment who pass in the night.
Then there are the 'regulars' whom I will not describe, other than to say the majority did not grow up in the South, which is a breath of fresh air. There is a lot of reading accomplished there and every Wednesday night, a small crowd gathers to play Celtic and bluegrass, and a larger crowd gathers to listen and dance.
I was describing it to a friend in Australia, and found out her father played the saw. Startling. Must be a Scottish thing. So I am skipping out on moving to SW Roanoke. I have been to all the Mill Mtn. Coffee shops and this one is the best. Why mess up a beautiful relationship?
But I am ashamed to say that I have seen the baristas treated so rudely that it's unbelievable, in a nouveau riches sort of way. It IS just a Botetourt County thing, And I blush for the patrons who act that way.
Besides, service animals and children are well loved here.
It's the way the light streams into the windows on a Tuesday afternoon, and the way the lights twinkle at night. It's the light refracting off of the faces of the loved and loving. It's the breeze in the summer, and the startling cold of iced coffee. It's the poundage I don't gain with their food, but do with their desserts.
Well, well. But one will go on and on in a shop with coffee that strong with real cream.