Coffeehouses have a long and useful history, aside from offering a place to sip a hot beverage. They have been, and still are, community centers, meeting places and havens for political exchange and revolutionary ideas. Coffee itself warms and awakens humankind, and the beans have served as currency. Wars and weather play havoc with coffee prices, but rarely is expense a reason for a true coffee lover to give up the daily cup.
Harold's Coffee Lounge is yet another bright spot to the revitalization of Old Northwood, but it's also punk, funk and cool - and a throwback to the days before the coffee moguls and fast food chains over-roasted, over-hyped and over-sold themselves to the point where all their coffee tastes the same. What's special about Harold's is what it isn't. No fancy food menu or multi-syllable coffee drinks. It is simply a gathering place and a place for good simple coffee in equal measure. You can come here for a sip and a snack while you catch up on emails, listen to music and poetry, or just enjoy a cup and conversation with friends.
The decor is living-room comfortable: mismatched tables, chairs and couches, magazines, newspapers and "alternative" publications scattered around, and in the back, a collection of multi-story cold-drip coffee pots, a setup that looks like a mad scientist is at work, but it's the latest in coffee "technology" involving ice, water and coffee grounds.
Coffee drinks here are simple: plain coffee, espresso, latte, cappucino, macchiato and cafe Americano, hot or iced. No ventis, skinnys, halves or other convoluted labels for their drinks. Several types of teas, soft drinks and a small pastry menu, with biscotti, cookies, buns, crossaints and brownies. Prices are gentle ($1.60 to $3.80 for drinks and $1.50 to $3.25 for pastries). And that's it. Shocking, but true.
Before communication was speedily enabled by computer technology, before even the mass printing of newspapers, there was the coffeehouse as the place for the exchange of information. Here's to hoping that Harold's can bring back the tradition of face-to-face conversation over a cup of whatever makes your day.
Harold's Coffee Lounge, 514 Northwood Rd., West Palm Beach, FL. Phone (561) 833-6366. Hours: Monday through Wednesday 7:30 a.m. to -5 p.m., Thursday and Friday 7:30 a.m.to 10 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Sunday. Website: www.haroldscoffee.com
We’ve all said and thought, “I’m tired of overpaying for mediocre coffee produced by a monopoly company.” Aiming to target the small coffeehouse lovers with heartfelt marketing schemes and faux sentiment, one cannot help but yearn for a genuine mom and pop coffee shop. Often seen in smaller towns and hip cities, coffee houses are widely desired and successful; but what about in South Florida? Harold’s is the obvious solution to those momentous cravings for a good cup of Joe and some private chit chat with a buddy in a cozy corner. If you haven’t been to the charming, privately owned coffee shop that is known as Harold’s then you haven’t been to a truly great local coffee house. Harold’s is the obvious solution to those yearning for an honest place to cozy up with a cup of coffee. Harold’s quiet coolness emanates in the recently rejuvenated historic neighborhood of Northwood. Inside, aromatically toasted coffee fuses with humid Florida nights, sparking a deep desire to taste with all senses what is meaningful and cultural. Harold’s doesn’t just offer a haven for the coffee counterculture types; it is also a refuge for nostalgic movie fans and aficionados of authentic diversified music. Nearly every Thursday and Saturday, one can enjoy live traditional music or the showing of a campy independent film. Harold’s is what the notorious conglomerate wishes it could be: a place where naturally hip barista masters dance to smooth beats and brew the best cup of Joe you’ve ever had. Located at 514 Northwood Road Harold’s Coffee Lounge is open Monday-Friday from 7:30am until 5pm and on Saturday from 10am-4pm. Enjoy a simply perfect coffee creation at Harold’s and mention be sure to mention that you read about them on palmbeachlwp.com to receive 20% off your first visit.
New to the scene,Harold’s: A Coffee Lounge was built for the boho Northwood Village. The modern, funky coffee lounge has quickly become a rallying point for local artisans, retailers and shoppers, serving some of the best iced coffee in the state, if not the country. Using the ice drip process, the iced coffee coming from Harold’s is smooth and lush with no hint of that acrid bitterness you find in the iced coffee in just about every other coffee house the country over. The technique is simple, though looks complicated with a contraption straight out of a mad scientist’s laboratory, where ice-cold water is poured over a relatively coarse ground and steeped for 14 hours. The resulting concentrate is then mixed with milk and served over ice for a morning pick-me-up that will have even the most avid iced-coffee hater [me] become a reformed man [me]. As an added bonus, Harold’s uses a free, direct trade bean from Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea in Chicago, so that cup of coffee is not only delicious but socially responsible. Harold’s also serves iced tea made in the same ice drip fashion (though with a six-hour steeping time), and French pastries from Le Petit Pain of Lantana.
On Wednesday evenings, Harold’s presents movies in the back patio, while on Friday evenings the patio acts as a stage for live music, giving people an outlet to enjoy great coffee outside of the typical morning routine. On April 15, Harold’s will host a nationally recognized poetry contest of local and national artists. And for the art buff, the décor, art from local artists, is for sale and will change every two to three months.
Coffee snobs looking for an artsy hang and Intelligentsia-brand beans, this is your spot. This eclectic coffeehouse plays the perfect host for painting exhibits and photographer meetups, and it's great for just hanging out. It's also on top of the latest coffee trends. Special-order a siphon brew for a miniperformance that results in a beautifully mild cup of coffee. Go minimalist with a pour-over java. Or stick to a demi cup of espresso. Get a coffee education while you're here: The well-informed staffers will tell you how a French press affects flavor, why Ethiopia produces coveted beans, and how to sharpen your palate to detect notes of floral, caramel, or toast in your roast. Stay till dinnertime — baked goods and minibites will tide you over.
- Article taken from the Broward/Palm Beach New Times
"Suck my beans, Starbucks. West Palm Beach's latest ode to caffeinated beverages is anything but another corporate purveyor of designer coffee. Harold's Coffee Lounge (514 Northwood Road; 561-833-6366) pours a nice cuppa amid local art, occasional live music, free WiFi, and pastries from the estimable Le Petit Pain. And no ventis."
IN THE MEDIA
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"We,ve all said and thought, I'm tired of overpaying for mediocre coffee produced by a monopoly company.
Aiming to target the small coffeehouse lovers with heartfelt marketing schemes and faux sentiment, one cannot help but yearn for a genuine mom and pop coffee shop. Often seen in smaller towns and hip cities, coffee houses are widely desired and successful; but what about in South Florida?
Harold's is the obvious solution to those momentous cravings for a good cup of Joe and some private chit chat with a buddy in a cozy corner. If you haven't been to the charming, privately owned coffee shop that is known as Harold's then you haven't been to a truly great local coffee house.
VIDEO: Interview of owner, Keith Palayge, by YouTube channel Northwood Village TV.