Friday, March 25, 2011

Lean Bean Coffee

Lean Bean Coffee
>>1207 Sherman Ave., Coeur d'Alene
(208) 765-2636
>>1820 Northwest Blvd., Coeur d'Alene
(208) 676-2326

(Review by Jesi Gaboury, Images from Lean Bean Facebook Page)

“You wanna go where everybody knows your name.” For me this exists in the most innocent and unlikely of places, the parking lot of the store that I will always lovingly refer to as the Sherman IGA (now Petersons Family Foods or whatever...). A hot pink super-sized coffee stand sits unobtrusively between the '70s style grocery store and the only liquor store downtown has to offer. This is the Lean Bean.

Although I can't quite pinpoint when the “Great Coffee Stand Boom of Northern Idaho” hit, the abundance of these types of establishments make your non-fat vanilla latte accessible from the comfort of your car and often exist on your route to work. Unfortunately, the nature of these types of businesses sometimes include high volumes of customers, and in many cases the quality suffers.

After finding myself employed at various coffee shops throughout my early 20's, I consider myself a bit of a snob when it comes to my coffee. In the spirit of supporting local commerce, I prefer not to visit the strip mall, cookie cutter, super giant coffee haus which shall remain nameless. I am absolutely unwilling to sacrifice the deliciousness of my beverage for the convenience of a drive through stand! Enter “The Bean”...

Instead of a typical review, I'll just run you through a typical visit for me, an enthusiastic regular of 3+ years.

My eyes are still adjusting to the sunshine as pull into the IGA parking lot, the minivan in front of me is adorned with soccer mom-esqe stickerage. I consider jumping out of my car and stealing whatever it is she ordered because I am tired and grumpy, but the magnificent glow of her break lights fire up as she putters away to drop the kiddos at school.

I am greeted at the window by Kendall, who has been working at the Lean Bean off and on since she was just a sassy little teenager. I no longer have to outline the specifics of my usual order for the veteran staff but for the benefit of the reader it is a 16 oz iced quad soy latte with ½ the normal amount of caramel sauce. (told you I was picky).

I'm famished also, so I decide to add the infamous Cali Bagel (Your choice of bagel flavor, cream cheese, tomato, avocado, and black pepper) with bacon (.50 extra), on a whole wheat bagel. About 3 minutes later, after enjoying some delightful chatter with the staff, I am handed my green re-usable BPA-free plastic thermo cup now full of delicious drink and a small paper bag containing a fantastic smelling sandwich. Not bad for just under $8.

Sarah Berger trains her employees rigorously to ensure that they're well-versed in the espresso arts and it really shows. The coffee is always great. The food choices are mostly sandwich based, but manage to be inventive and yummy. Choices range from healthy to super sinful and with several varieties of bagel flavors as well as croissants for bread options, their breakfasts and lunches are a great deal.

The second location opened earlier this year and is situated on busy Northwest Blvd and is equally as rad as the original.

All in all, I recommend, I love, and I'll see you there!


Anonymous said...

Jesi, keep reviewing. I heart you!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Jesi, We are so very fortunate to be able to call you a "regular", our friend, and such an amazing supporter. Our slogan was taylor-made for you because YOU are kind of a BIG DEAL! We love you Jesi:). -The Lean Bean crew

Anonymous said...

Love the Lean Bean! Coffee is yummy and the workers are by far the best in North Idaho!

Anonymous said...

No joke!!!! This place is like heaven in a cup served by an angel:) & the cali w/ bacon is sublime!!! I only get to visit when I am in town & wish sooooooooo much that a Lean Bean would open down the street from home 2 1/2 hours away:( , because there is no where I can find my coffee snob needs met (don't get me stared on the lack of quality at the douche bro's & they are every where AHHH!!!) ... but until then I will visit LB whenever I am near CDA or passing through. Lean Bean go global!!! or at least state wide:)

Unknown said...

We were regulars at the Lean Bean for the past few months while staying in CDA. Now that we're back in Canada, I can't find a good cup of coffee any more. Lean Bean, you're coffee can't be beat!

monty said...

lean bean, what a great crew I have going there for little while now. they are the best. great coffee, great food. when I pull up to the window they all know what I get and they get it right out. Lean bean team you all rock keep up the great job and keep on rockin. thank you monty

Anonymous said...

you know what... Idaho yay but Washington... OH YAYEEE!!!! GO WA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I need Lean Bean's quality everywhere so i can be happy!!!

Anonymous said...

I like there coffee but the owner is very rude!