Mountain Java – Loud, Rainy, Quiet, Dry…

wilkinsI’ve always enjoyed the rain. Since I was young and can remember – I have always liked it when the skies gray over and it opens up.

There’s something about the gray sky that makes me feel safe. I like knowing that I have a warm home to go back to. I like that the smell of everything is different. I like that people shuffle around quicker and windows are rolled up. I like the sound of rain on the roofs. I like the clunk of my windshield wipers as I drive without the radio. I like how a good cup of coffee seems to be even warmer in my hands.

Mostly, though, I like not being rained on. I try to find a place to hole up and watch it rain – and so…

I had a client meeting near Merrimon, and I wound up setting up shop in Mountain Java, way down on Merrimon Avenue. The table was a little small (actually, I’m a little big and my laptop is a little giant,) but it was warm and dry and cozy inside. I ordered a cup of the house blend (a large, as is my norm) and the gal behind the counter charged me for a medium and let me know that ordering a medium in-house would get me refills. Already off to a great start. Because, as I’ve mentioned, I’m cheap and I drink a lot of coffee. It was, as I recall, $2.08. Not shabby.

The coffee was good. Fresh and hot and strong. Nothing too out-of-the-ordinary, but that’s cool. It was mellow and roasty – not herbal or fruity. A good, solid cup of coffee with refills – excellent (insert Monty Burns rubbing hands here…)

The decor is simple, the chairs unpadded (which is fine, because I have such a big, soft ass) and the lighting was nice and neutral. Big windows allowed for a great view of Merrimon and the cars whizzing by in the rain, throwing off rooster tails of vapor. Folks came and went, seemingly quite happy with their choices of coffee and related beverages – and with the food, which smelled great. I didn’t partake, but they seem to have some good grub. One day, I’ll break bad and actually PAY for food. That’d be weird, huh?

My one complaint (and it’s pretty minor) is that it’s a little loud – but then again, headphones. I popped in the earbuds and was whisked away to a magical land of marital arsonists, floating yellow eyeballs and insane landlords by David Yow, David Wm. Simms, Mr. Washam & Mr. Bradford. It’s amazing how “quiet” it got. But – if you’re looking to do a lot of phone calling or quiet meditation, you might want to look elsewhere.

Surfin’ was easy – no hoops to jump through, 5mbps down. The upload was a little bit draggy at .36mbps, so uploading a zillion png files to my server was a little on the tedious side, but – you get what you pay for, right? I’ve come to expect very little in the way of upload speed. If you’re doing a lot of development, you probably want to stay at your home base. My home base is dripping with children and tomfoolery, so I have to adjust my expectation and workflow accordingly when I’m living out my absurd gypsy artist fantasies.

There was plenty of juice – at least on the periphery of the room. Every table, it seemed, had a dedicated plug (the one by the bathroom actually had 4 outlets,) and it was all within easy reach. Nice.

The meeting came and went, and I took off, but I found myself back a couple of days later – it’s just a good place to hang and work and drink coffee. The second time I was in, I actually hung out for a good 4 hours. The seating is well away from the bar, so I didn’t feel like the staff was eyeballing me, waiting for me to take my cheap creepiness elsewhere. Sweet! I rate this place pretty high on the campability scale.

This was a great place to get in out of the rain, listen to loud music while enjoying hot coffee and “working.*” I was so pleased, so pleased, so pleased.

Here’s my grades, because I’m such a freaking expert and you WILL LISTEN TO EVERY DAMNED WORD I HAVE TO SAY:

  • Coffee: B+
  • Atmosphere: B
  • Internet: B-
  • Electrical: B+
  • Campability: B+

Website: Can’t find one – Mountain Java people: Call me, we’ll work something out.


Find it on the Map: Google Map Here

Interesting Tidbit: Ike’s Intercontinental Deli used to be in the shopping center behind this place. I have fond memories of Ike’s. They had the most amazing sandwiches, and I still remember the smell of the place. I’ll have to find out if the spirit of incredible sandwich artistry has hovered around like a gauzy apparition in this area – perhaps guiding the hands of the staff at Mountain Java. I’ll let you know. Maybe I should start a new blog about sandwiches. That’d be sweet. Although I can’t really eat bread now. Damn this old age.

* I LOVE my job, and I take it very seriously. Sometimes, I can’t believe how blessed I am to have folks pay me to sit around in coffee shops and play on my laptop. Thank you, clients. Thank you, God.
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