By Vince Guerrieri
Posted On: Jul 16, 2017
My feelings on coffee can be best summed up by my wife’s uncle when he was asked if a late-night cup would keep him from sleeping: “I don’t drink coffee to stay awake. I drink it to stay alive.”
There are plenty of places in Mahoning County get your caffeine buzz on, but the new Joe in the Yo coffee trail shows a sampling of the wares throughout the area. It’s a simple idea becoming more common in edible tourism: Get a passport, get it stamped at participating locations and turn it in for a reward, in this case, a coffee mug.
One of the main stops on the trail is Stone Fruit. With four locations in the area, it’s one of the places to stop to get your passport redeemed. We stopped at the Boardman location, right across from St. Elizabeth Hospital, where they take their coffee seriously – it’s a point of pride there that there’s no carafe on a warmer. At each seat at the bar is a brewing funnel. A filter is put in, grounds are scooped and water is poured through it (they told me coffee is only fresh for about 30 seconds after it’s made – and after drinking far too many cups from the bottom of the pot, I absolutely believe it).
Stone Fruit also has a drive-through location in Cornersburg (a neighborhood so named because it’s the corners of the city of Youngstown and three suburbs: Austintown, Boardman and Canfield) and locations in Columbiana and on the campus of Youngstown State University (closed until classes restart in the fall).
Also at YSU is Pressed, in an old home on Lincoln Avenue. It’s been a coffeehouse on and off since I was in college (which wasn’t in this century), but opened under its current ownership in 2015. It does a thriving business from the nearby college, and like many of the stops on the coffee trail, offers breakfast and lunch options (I heartily recommend the banana Nutella waffle).
Peaberry’s on Boardman-Canfield Road (U.S. Route 224) is locally known for its baked goods in addition to the coffee. I had a key lime tart, my wife had a lemon tart and my daughter had a Boston crème pie tart, and none of us were disappointed. It also has a menu of breakfast and sandwich options.
Many of the stops are in the Boardman/Canfield area, but Joe Maxx is in the heart of downtown, on East Federal Street almost at the town square – across the street from an old building being repurposed as a Doubletree Hotel, which is supposed to open around the end of the year. I had a mocha and a couple chocolate biscotti (in Youngstown, home of the cookie table, biscotti are easy to come by and almost always good). The new coffee trail gives you plenty of options that make coffee not just an addiction, but an event.