A stereotype of a college student that we seem to hear all the time is that coffee runs through our bloodstream. Having coffee at all hours of the day to keep up with early classes to mid-day stressful group projects to cramming in the library at 3 am helps keeps us going like a machine. For me, it wasn’t until the winter of my sophomore year of college that I began to appreciate coffee.

Coming from a typical suburb in New Jersey only two minutes from the nearest shopping mall, my town was lacking not only in locally-owned coffee shops, but also locally-owned businesses in general. All I had ever tasted was the over-sugary, over-priced, and overrated drinks at Starbucks or the cheaper, mediocre caffeine fix at DD. Don’t get me wrong, if you need a caffeine fix, these two conveniently-located chains can do the job...but I longed to have a small coffee shop nearby where I could relax, study, and sip a coffee where baristas would know me and my order (and how to spell my name) as soon as they saw me walk through the door.

And then I met Cheshire Coffee.
wine, tea
Emma Weinberg

Cheshire Coffee is that cozy local coffee shop where I found myself studying and relaxing while sipping a coffee. Located in Hamden’s neighboring town of Cheshire, Cheshire Coffee is a hidden gem tucked behind a real estate agency office. Although it’s only a short 10 minute drive, it’s easy to miss when driving down Connecticut Route 10.

The shop is usually pretty full during the day. People of all ages--from Cheshire high school students getting their coffee fix after school, to Quinnipiac students looking for a good place to study, to moms taking a break from the kids, to middle aged men reading the newspaper--all seem to enjoy this place the same. The baristas are funny and full of spirit, and really know how to make a good cup of joe. Their espresso is no joke, either.

pizza, cake, beer, tea, coffee
Emma Weinberg

I had a chance to go recently to check out their holiday drinks with my photographer, Emma, who had never been. As soon as I walked in, not only was I greeted by the comforting perfume of their coffee beans, but also by a lit-up Christmas tree and decorations for the season. Their drinks were also in the holiday spirit--dressing up the typical latte into a gingerbread latte, mocha into a peppermint mocha, and chai into an eggnog chai.

coffee, tea
Emma Weinberg

It was very unlike me to be indecisive, but everything sounded right up my alley. Getting the barista’s input on the most popular holiday drink, I ordered the peppermint mocha and a chicken ciabatta panini (since I forgot to eat b/c #FINALS). Emma ordered a french toast chai, after the all-knowing barista assured her that it tasted like Cinnamon Toast Crunch. As usual, I was not disappointed, and Emma enjoyed her first time.

mocha, sweet, chocolate, espresso, cappuccino, cream, coffee, milk
Emma Weinberg

The peppermint mocha had the lightest touches of mint and chocolate, but just enough to make sure you taste hints of it in every sip. Half asleep and impatient, I chugged the smooth drink down in minutes. I treated the panini no differently. The bread was crispy, the chicken was perfectly grilled, the mozzarella cheese was melty, and the pesto made it THAT much better (I mean, who doesn’t love pesto?). I finished my first real meal of the day in a matter of minutes. 

bread, cheese, spinach
Emma Weinberg

Cheshire Coffee has become my cozy coffee shop when I’m away at school. Feeling a sense of belonging in a locally-owned coffee shop like Cheshire Coffee isn’t something you can get in a chain. Wake up and smell the coffee people, Starbucks and DD aren’t the only places you can get a caffeine fix. Explore what’s around you. Find what you like. Go and attack every day with it!

Hours of Operation

Monday-Saturday 6 am - 9 pm

Sunday 6:30 am - 9 pm


210 Old Towne RoadCheshire, CT 06410(203)271-3370

Cheshire, CT 06410