Have a Cup at Coffee Break Café

By Scott E.Kinney, Atlantic News Staff Writer

Atlantic News, Friday, April 27, 2007

[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News.]

HAMPTON -- There's something new brewing down on Hampton Beach.

The Coffee Break Café is offering beach visitors and locals alike a taste of specialty coffee to go along with their time spent along the oceanfront.

It was coffee in fact, which brought owners Lenny and Carol Paul to open the little shop on the beach.

"We would walk the beach in the winter," explained Lenny, "and we would always meet people looking for a good cup of coffee. You couldn't find one."

"We were trying to find a niche," added Carol. "I think we found it."

Since early April the two have been sharing their love of coffee with those who make their way through the door of the well-adorned café. The shop offers a variety of coffee drinks, Espresso, Lattes, Cappuccino, fresh roasted coffees, teas and Italian Soda all offered either hot, over ice or blended (i.e. frozen). Beans are provided by locally-owned Port City Roasters. There are also fresh-baked goods prepared on the premises that include scones, blueberry muffins and lemon squares.

The true beauty of the shop is the sheer lack of intimidation.

The Pauls are more than happy to share what they know and offer coffee newcomers the opportunity to try what they offer in a no-pressure environment. In short, you don't have to know what an espresso or a Vanilla Chai drink is before entering the café. There is even a "What the Heck is That" portion on the menu to help the coffee novice make an educated choice.

"If there is a way you want your drink, let us know," said Carol. "That's what espresso is — a custom made drink. The feedback is the most important to us."

From February when the couple signed the rental agreement until early April, the Pauls transformed the space from a "big empty room" into a place that is cozy, warm and perfect for enjoying your favorite blend or latté.

"We did everything ourselves," said Lenny, "the cabinets, the counters — this was just a big, empty room when we started."

Now the couple is beginning to enjoy the fruits of their labor by sharing good coffee with the beach community.

And for those still around when beach season is long gone, the Coffee Break Café will still be there offering a hot cup of Joe and a place to warm up and relax.

"We're not going to put plywood on the windows in September," said Carol.

"We didn't go through all this to close up six months from now," Lenny added.

For those who need access to the Internet, the Coffee Break Café will offering WiFi in the coming weeks.

As the business slogan says "Life is short … take a break." To find your coffee break visit the Coffee Break Café at 23 Ocean Boulevard, at the corner of "P" Street.