Uncovering The Hidden Coffee Gems

It’s no secret that I love coffee. It’s a love story that I began to tell here, but like most love stories, there are many layers. My caffeine addiction spans far and wide across many varieties and blends. I don’t discriminate from Starbucks to Dunkin’ to a $1 McCafe. However, like my eating adventures, I’ve started a journey to seek out the local businesses that I can support with every latte, macchiato, and dark roast I consume.


In Albany, there is one coffee shop that stands above the rest. Stacks Espresso Bar has two locations, on Broadway and Lark Street, each offering a distinctive atmosphere and selection of brewed beverages including teas and coffee. Although many will say spending $5 on a latte is a poor financial decision, I feel a lot better about it when I’m supporting a local business like Stacks.


Not too far from Stacks is 3Fish Coffee. I was nervous to try 3Fish Coffee because I wasn’t quite sure what to expect; a coffee shop connected to a bike store isn’t so typical. But on a crisp fall afternoon I found their outside patio, an iced coffee, and avocado toast to be exactly what I wanted (and needed) from a coffee shop. I haven’t been back to 3Fish in a while, but if you’re looking for a quick stop around Washington Park, check this place out.


I first discovered The Happy Cappuccino on Jay Street in Schenectady when I was a Freshman in college. Home for a break and looking for a place that wasn’t someones house to hang out and catch up with friends, I googled “Coffee Shops” and the Happy Cappuccino came up. Since then I’ve frequented the shop many times, developing a devotion to the Jay Street location. Although I live close to Crossgates Mall, I would drive 25 minutes to Schenectady for an iced happy cappy any day.


Superior Merchandise Company in Troy is a bright, lively coffee shop with you guessed it… merchandise. Selling everything from notebooks to knitwear to hard cider, Superior Merchandise is one of my favorite new finds in the Collar City. While I may be mildly obsessed with their current special, the gingerbread latte, it’s their outdoor space that truly captured my heart.

A few blocks away from Superior Merchandise is Little Pecks. Connected to the wine bar, Lucas Confectionery, and the fine dining restaurant, Pecks Arcade, Little Pecks is a small cafe with big possibilities. With plenty of outlets and seating available, Little Pecks is the perfect spot to sit down, plug in, and get work done.


We’re busy people, and sometimes we just need to get our caffeine fix through a drive through. Don’t get me wrong, I love being able to pay with an app. But finding, supporting, and loving local coffee places is great too. It’s not about how often you go or how much you spend, it’s about supporting them any way you can. So give any of these local spots a chance, spread the word, and let me know what you think!


P.S. don’t forget to follow along on Instagram


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