Coffee is life. Just kidding. Water is, of course, but for those of us who take coffee seriously, it's important to get the day started with a great cup of java. I am not that hard core about my coffee. That's not to say that I'm not picky about the particulars, but the most important thing about any hot drink is the temperature (120 degrees). If that makes me a coffee snob, then I'm a snob. Now I have lived in Fredericksburg since I was 13 and why did I never step into "Java Ranch" until about a year ago? Who knows? Now it's part of my daily routine, and it's made each morning just a little more pleasant.
So what makes Java Ranch remarkable when compared to the other coffee spots? Honestly, there are a lot of great coffee places in this town, which I visit on the regular. They all have their charm and delicious coffee too; however, what gets me going back to Java over and over again are the people. Not only the people who work there, the sweetest most talented baristas in town, but also the local regulars. Of course, there's also the person just passing by, the tourist / visitor, and they are always pleasant to visit with. Once they identify me as a local extrovert (can't help it, born that way!), questions begin about eateries and Fred food. I'm telling you, if any of social media platforms had a store front, Java Ranch would be that store! "I mean really!" as my good friend Lauren says.
You will understand why this place is called Java Ranch as soon you walk in. The walls alone tell a story, and make for some great photo ops for all you bloggers out there. A few steps into the doorway and that heavenly aroma of coffee hits you and you're hooked. There's no turning back at this point because you will just look awkward if you do. For me personally this is the moment that I am welcomed by whomever is behind the counter, making me feel like Norm from the show "Cheers". I won't lie, it feels pretty great. The staff is always happy and you'll never find a person with a bored expression just moping around. Sometimes you will find the owner in the kitchen prepping for the day and knocking out some delicious treats. It's mighty nice to strike up a conversation with him or one of the employees as you wait in line. Don't be discouraged; it moves quickly. It's definitely worth the wait. Find a nice corner to sit in, relax, get some work done while you enjoy your drink and pastry. Those croissant sandwiches are a fabulous witch's brew! Zowie!
Consider yourself a local when you're at Java Ranch. Rub elbows, strike up a conversation, take it all in. Later, stop in for lunch or for a few beer to take with you as you explore Main Street. And please don't be that person who can't make a simple cup of coffee at home, but leaves negative reviews because he can't wait for perfection. You're in Fredericksburg now, slow your roll, and take it easy. Tip (well) and let them know that Chef Leo sent you.