The only thing that gets me going in the morning is a strong, good ol’ cup-o-joe and a slice of bacon. I’ve developed a bit of a caffeine addiction since becoming a coffee connoisseur in my early sleepless nights of college. When I heard about a quaint coffee shop serving up quality, hot, caffeinated liquid in Jefferson, I knew I had to make a trip to see what all the buzz was about.
The owners, Reagan and Rich Osborne, originally from Colorado, settled in Jefferson after riding RAGBRAI (The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) and falling in love with rural Iowa. Wanting good coffee, they started roasting it in their basement, first for themselves, and then for friends. Soon, demand for their liquid gold became too big for their home operation and they opened up shop on the square.
A cozy atmosphere with plush couches and booths, books and coffee, the Greene Bean is the perfect place to have your monthly book club or hang out with friends. Greene Bean roasts their own beans imported from South America for the freshest flavor and highest quality. Original wood floors show the history of the building, while paintings and photographs by local artists decorating the walls give off a comfy, modern coffee house flair. It’s also the perfect place to buy freshly roasted coffee beans for your own enjoyment in the comfort of your kitchen. I decided to go with their best seller, the Breakfast Blend, to fuel my own addiction in the confines of my home.
Good news for non-caffeine-addicts: Greene Bean also offers treats you can take home to enjoy, like locally made grape jelly, honey, and chocolate from Chocolate Storybook in Des Moines. They pride themselves on creating products using local and healthy ingredients, like milk from the local dairy. The only delectable treat that isn’t made in Iowa, is a coffee cake that comes from the east coast that they just couldn’t pass up. Your waistline will thank them for using applesauce instead of sugar in the cake.
After a few minutes of perusing the menu and weighing my options, I could resist my caffeine withdrawals no longer, so I somewhat impatiently asked what their best-selling drink was that I could enjoy on the drive home. The next thing I knew, I was walking out of Greene Bean with a “creamy caramel.” It was very similar to a caramel latte, except better because instead of using a caramel syrup, they use a caramel sauce, much like what you use on top of ice cream. This creamy caramel sauce, expertly blended with espresso and steamed milk, gave me a boost of energy and calmed my raging sweet tooth.