Spending this past weekend on a lake outside of Asheville, NC reminded me of an excellent coffee spot I visited last fall while I was in Asheville. I had experienced the beer scene in the city and loved it, but before leaving I was determined to find a good coffee spot to share with all my readers, just in case one of you should find yourself on a long weekend in this eclectic mountain town. I struck gold with High Five Coffee Bar. The spot was recommended on a local Asheville blog and was located just a few blocks from the Hill House B&B where I was staying.
|The Hill House B&B|
Atmosphere: High Five has a great space. There are large windows looking out onto Broadway St., which allowed for a nice view of the rainy and gray, yet romantic weather. The retro red espresso machine added a burst of contrasting color. The seating is plentiful and varied with high-top tables, cafe tables, patio options, and these wooden tables, propped up on elevated cushions (very hard to explain, but cozy none-the-less). The café was adorned with some tasteful art and soft music played in the background providing just enough sound to blur all of the individual conversations going on. This is definitely a great place for all occasions: reading, meeting, date, morning coffee break, afternoon happy hour, late night study session, and so on.
Coffee: H5 serves Counter Culture Coffee, which both makes sense and I appreciate since CC is based out of North Carolina. The cold brewed coffee was promoted on their menu so I asked what the big deal was. Along with a sample, the barista informed me that cold brew is made by letting the coffee steep overnight. In the morning the grounds are strained out and the coffee is chilled. This creates a drastically different taste than the traditional iced coffee preparation method, and the difference was clear. The cold brew coffee was smoother and naturally sweeter in comparison.
If you’re not in the mood for coffee, this is still a great place to visit as they have a rich menu of healthy smoothies blended “up-high” and “down-low” to go along with the name. The smoothies sounded delicious with ingredients such as flaxseed, almond butter, and soy milk. Other breakfast options included bagels and lox, granola, and the traditional pastries. Lunch begins around 10am with options such as a hummus plate. There was also a small selection of beers, comprised mostly of an Asheville selection.
Service: Even though the shop was really busy, the barista still took the time to go through the cold brew method with me and even provide a sample, while making drinks. The café, other than a slightly messy pastry case, was really well maintained despite the volume.
Location: Not exactly in downtown Asheville, but close enough which I think is preferable because this way one could access the coffee shop on foot or park nearby for free.
Legitimacy: On a Wednesday morning around 10am the place was packed out with atleast 25 people inside and a few on the patio outside. This is the only location (that I know of), they have a proud social media presence (follow them on Instagram @highfivecoffee for beautiful coffee photography), and they serve a quality brand. I could also tell that there is a loyal customer base here, most likely due to the personable staff.
|Grove Park Inn, Asheville|
+Vibe, Coffee and Food
- Being located so far away from me, cleanliness
:: by Jaclyn Overall