Have you ever left a restaurant after having coffee and want more coffee? Yeah, that was me after our visit to Pig & A Jelly Jar. You can’t exactly stay at a restaurant forever drinking coffee. Well, I guess you can but that would really piss off the server and every other customer trying to get in for a bite to eat. This is where coffee houses come in. They don’t judge you for sitting for a few hours drinking coffee and more coffee, especially the unique coffee shops!
Being that my trip to Salt Lake City was under 24 hours, I had to map out pretty quick where I wanted to go for coffee and food. The great thing about Salt Lake City is that there is a plethora of unique local options in just about everything. While big name joints are there, local entrepreneurs have stepped up and are creating some unique coffee shops and restaurants among many other industries.
I had a place in mind, but in trying to stay close to where Jacob had to office for the day, it was nearly a 30 min drive. Side note, traffic in SLC is NO JOKE. So staying within a five minute drive was critical. Not gonna lie, I use Google for just about everything. I have some secrets to finding the amazing places I encounter, but I’ll save that for another post. The bottom line is, the more unique the coffee shop is, the higher the chance you’ll find some creativity behind the counter. Enter The Clever Bean.
What Makes The Clever Bean Unique
First off, their menu is ridiculously simple. It’s so simple it stumped me when I went to order. I usually look for the specialty drinks; as in what the coffee shop makes that I can’t typically get anywhere else. Their menu is crazy simple. They have one size (16 oz) and all of their drinks include tax so the price you see on the menu is THAT price. Genius. They do have special offerings, but none of them were what I was looking for when it’s 30 degrees outside. Well, I guess the plus side of the special offerings is you don’t have to worry about it melting; they are all frozen or cold.
The Clever Bean’s Clever Menu
Okay so when you order, there are four steps:
- Choose your drink. Do you want a shot of espresso? A mocha? A latté? Think of this as choosing your style of drink.
- Choose how you want it. Hot? Iced? Pretty simple here.
- Choose your milk. Whole? Nonfat? Soy? Almond? There is a slight up-charge for some drinks to have soy or almond milk, but that’s standard anywhere you go.
- Choose your sweetener. There is limited flavor options, but I’m okay with that. One thing I’ve learned being a coffee blogger is that when coffee shops sweeten up the drinks it’s because they are hiding something. Usually they’re hiding the fact that their coffee is burnt. (typically because they are brewing it at too hot a temperature and same with the milk)
That’s it. Nothing fancy when you’re ordering. But for me, I was stumped. Maybe I was still in a food coma from the chicken and waffles from Pig or maybe I was just happy to be at a place where I could drink and hang out without feeling in a rush. So I ordered an almond milk latté. Let’s just say it was the first latté I had ever consumed that I didn’t use any sweetener. Their coffee was THAT good. And no, the almond milk was unsweetened. The barista finished off the top with the most, fluffy, dense cloud of almond milk foam I’ve ever seen. No fancy art, but the foam was out of this world and held up for a good 10 min through my first few sips. I ordered it to stay so it was served in a mug, which is always a plus!
First of all, when a coffee shop puts charging stations at every table with at least four plugs, you know they want you to hang out a while. They also had a stack of conversation starter cards which I thought was genius. What an amazing way to foster human interaction between customers! If you’ve ever watched Friends, you know Central Perk. This was kind of like that vibe or if you’re old enough to remember Cheers, this was it. Everyone that walked in was either greeted by name or by their coffee drink. Basically I felt as though the baristas (who I found out are the owners) knew me forever despite this being the first time I walked in. Yes, the two co-founders were working, cranking out coffee, delivering orders to tables and talking with every patron that walked in the door. If I could have hung out there all day, I would have. If I lived in Draper, there’s a good chance this would be my hang out.
Would I Go Back?
Absolutely! We plan on going back to Utah when it warms up so this is definitely on the list to visit again. Their menu was easy, the location is easy to find (right off the I-15) coffee was delish and the service was awesome. If your road trip takes you through Draper, UT, this is worth a detour. If you go, let us know what you got in the comments! And if you’re planning a road trip, make sure you check out my Pinterest for some other travel spot ideas!