Coffeehouse and Hot Cocoa Conversations: Hidden River Roasters
I work from home, and if I’m not careful, I begin typing during the early morning hours and neglect to change out of my pajamas or exercise clothes to shower. There are days when my husband and son walk through the front door to a woman with hair on her teeth (a phrase my mother used to say when one doesn’t brush their teeth.) sporting a mane that looks like a bird’s nest, or an armpit stench that only our dogs would enjoy.
Other days, when I’m editing photos, writing a story, or crafting a blog post, I sit and stare at my computer screen for hours. As someone who likes to go on adventures, and at times, be social (I’m an Ambivert.), I become anxious when my eyes glaze over by looking at pixelated images and words for too long without human interaction and a change in my surroundings.
To avoid poor hygiene and isolation, I recently asked the Almighty Google and my Vancouver, Washington, friends, and family for coffeehouse, coffee shop, and cafe recommendations that offer free wifi. I then created a list of places I can visit to work outside the home one or two days a week.
Working outside of the home will provide me the opportunity to be around others, and I believe enhance productivity and creativity. I am also supporting sustainable tourism by choosing to give local businesses my tourism dollar. And if I like the coffeehouse and the atmosphere, I will blog about it in a new series: Coffeehouse and Hot Cocoa Conversations.
Here’s the irony: I don’t drink coffee.
*a pin drops*
*the crowd gasps*
But did you know most coffeehouses have excellent hot chocolate—with whipped cream and hazelnut flavoring—like Hidden River Roasters in Camas, Washington? They are the first to be highlighted in my new blog series. Scroll down to read more about them.
Hidden River Roasters - Camas, Washington
When you first approach Hidden River Roasters, you step onto a large front porch attached to a historic home. Three families—Metzner, Pasa, and Baldwin—own the small house turned coffee shop in Camas, Washington. Their story started when one of the owners, Brandon, stumbled upon a hidden river after a long day at work. He said, “As I walked back to my truck it dawned on me that this was just one of my hidden rivers. I have places all around the world where I have been able to sit and get lost in thought as these hidden rivers wash away all my cares.”
Open the front door, and the aroma of fresh-roasted coffee and the twang of a Pacific Northwest artist playing overhead may transport you to a quiet oasis similar to a river’s edge. Oversized, eggshell-white subway tiles accent charcoal-gray and ebony design elements. Metal stools placed under a counter attached to the wall are painted in bright turquoise and might remind you of a blue-green color found in a candy shop at the beach. The hardwood floors have a slight echo as you walk and years of wear. Each scratch has a story behind it. Pull out a chair and add to the page.
When I visited the coffeehouse, I tapped away on my keyboard and drank my hazelnut hot cocoa for hours without feeling pressured to leave or make room for others. I would have gladly given up my seat to another, but the steady flow of patrons never surpassed the availability of the seating.
I sat across from a local woman, Lisa. We chatted in between bouts of work. Lisa frequents Hidden River Roasters once a week--sometimes for work, other times she quickly drops by for coffee. She said, “The coffee at Hidden River is different than most. It’s freshly roasted—right on site. The white chocolate mocha is my favorite. It doesn’t have a bitter bite and feels smooth on the tongue.”
To my right, a group of medical students discussed the hypothalamus. They sat at two small tables pushed together to make one. Medical books and notepads cluttered the space. A man near the students stared at his laptop and adjusted his earbuds. Lisa clicked her computer mouse, and said, “The atmosphere at Hidden River is relaxed and friendly. There’s such a sense of community.”
A visual story:
Inside the roasting shed with Aaron:
To Be Noted:
536 NE 5th AVE, Camas, WA 98607
Hidden River Roasters mainly sells coffee and other drinks. They do have muffins, a few sandwiches and salads, oatmeal, and other items for sale. They were sold out of salads when I visited. The coffeehouse does not double as a cafe; plan accordingly.
Parking is on a public road, but free.
You may want to book an entire day when visiting the quaint town of Camas. Local shops line the main strip. You can read more about Camas in my friend Elizabeth’s Wander with Wonder article: Quaint Camas Is Ideal For A Girlfriends Getaway.
Feel free to leave the name of your favorite Pacific Northwest coffee shop in the comments below. Thank you for stopping by! - Ingrid McQuivey
* Note: All photography is copyrighted and taken by me unless noted.