Coffee Medicine

Coffee Medicine

Nestled behind the Yale athletic fields in a mostly residential part of Westville, there’s a corner garden called BLOOM, whose many growing things include a cozy little coffeeshop called Café Flora. Owned and operated by Jacob McElligott, the cafe, serving out of a dedicated space a few steps down Edgewood, has been leaving a trail of positive whispers, and on a brisk fall morning, I followed it.

Upon arrival, I was cautious. The service area was small and the espresso machine too, but my conversation with the barista, Josh, quickly opened me up. He was friendly and easygoing and helped guide me through the bake case. “The Three Cheese Monkey Bread is to die for,” he said over the sound of the milk frother. All of the baked goods are local, coming from the beloved Scratch Bakery in Milford and Wave Hill Breads in Norwalk. My Monkey Bread ($4.75), from the latter, was buttery yet light and utterly delectable.

I ordered a Single Espresso ($2.50) as a kickstart and an Oat Milk Latte ($4.00) to sip and savor. The temperature in the sun was warm, so I parked myself outside to wait and people-watch. Josh offered to light up the fire pit for me, and before I knew it, I was situated in a comfy chair with a beverage and a snack.

I wasn’t the only one feeling cozy at Flora. The steady stream of guests I observed were all on a first-name basis with the baristas, and a few even chatted with me about the beautiful weather and my prime seating arrangement. I could see why I’d heard about the little cafe.

And how was the espresso? Jacob gets his beans from Third Coast Coffee, and the creamy dark roast I experienced made for a mild and well-balanced shot. A commercial-grade machine with more power behind it would have amped up the crema, but I’d still call the result a success. The latte had a good balance of foam, and Josh even worked in some casual latte art. Overall, the drinks were better than I’ve had at many bigger, shinier coffee shops.

Both Josh and his counterpart treated the space as if it was their own and each visitor a personal guest. The sense of community on BLOOM’s corner was already palpable, and Flora is the perfect offshoot, to the point that I just might keep heading across town and settling in.

Café Flora
798 Edgewood Ave, New Haven (map)
Daily 6:30am-3pm except Thurs-Fri 6:30am-6pm
(203) 290-1001

Written and photographed by Anna Konya.

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