Not Just Coffee, Charlotte, NC
2000 South Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28203
Let's switch things up a bit here. As opposed to me talking about how I ended up in Charlotte and then talking about the coffee shop's backstory, let's just cut to the chase. The coffee chase. Why? Because I've got a really exciting coffee to discuss.
The holy mole.
This dreamy concoction is made up of espresso, steamed milk, mole bitters and Carolina reaper infused honey syrup. The two pretty garnishes on the top are black chocolate powder and paprika.
Our barista advised us to drink it parallel to the sprinkled lines and take note of how the scent and smells impacted the notes that we picked up in the beverage. Sipping it from both sides made me feel like I drinking an entirely different drink. First it was smoky and spicy with the paprika and then it became a little bit peppery and sweet with the chocolate powder. This was the first time I'd had SUCH a unique coffee that kind of felt like art.
Now you're curious, right? I'll take a step back and introduce you to the location and the broader story about Not Just Coffee.
This particular location is somewhat new, having opened in June of 2017. It's a short term lease in the Atherton Mall (the Atherton Market takes places just next door), but it's been turned into a pretty site. Can you tell that I went at Christmas time? :D (a little behind on the blogging these days...)
Miracle and James Yoder began Not Just Coffee in 2011. The original location was on 7th Street, but since 2011 Not Just Coffee has expanded into five other locations. The Yoder's believe in bringing quality coffee to the consumer through wicked smart baristas who have a passion for spreading their coffee knowledge. NJC partners with Counter Culture Coffee, a brand making waves in the responsible coffee realm, and Homeland Creamery, a North Carolina sustainable farm with happy cows!
NJC has the whole gambit. The options range from what I like to refer to as 'slow coffee' -- you know, pour-overs and such -- to 'fast coffee' such as the classic latte and cappuccino. Throw in some cold-brew and tea and all the options are covered. Oh, but there's more. NJC makes a mean Chai, three mean Chais to be exact. They've got options so you can go as spicy or a sweet as you want.
I'm betting that you're also curious about the food options. And friends, I have to tell you...don't come here very hungry. Sure you can grab a cookie or a pop-tart, but there's nothing here to really satiate an appetite. NJC second location at Packert expanded NJC from coffee to some food with the introduction of toast options (yes, they have avocado toast), but none of those are at the Atherton location. NJC opened their newest location in Dilworth in Nov 2017 and it's got it all: it hosts cocktails, beer and wine, coffee and espresso, and a full food menu.
Despite this still being somewhat of pop-up area, it lacks nothing in charm. Light wood, trendy barstools, brick walls, concrete stained flowers. And we can't forget the succulents. Gorgeous ceramic pots adorn the walls and some are even for sale. My husband has to talk me out of buying one.
There are a couple 2-3 person tables near the front of this open space and two German style picnic tables in the back. As pictured above, there are also about ten bench seats along the bar of the coffee stand. This location isn't where you'd meet a friend for brunch, but it's a great spot to grab a coffee and peruse the Atherton Mall. Of note, on Saturdays from 9 - 2, local Piedmont area growers/farmers come and sell their good at the Atherton Farmer's Market next door to NJC.
Oh yeah, and if you're curious what brought me to Charlotte... It's this hunky hubby of mine. Long distance marriages has its hidden benefits. When I drive to a big city to pick my hubby up at the airport, we get to do a little exploring. I'm fortunate that he goes along with it... most of the time :)