Try coconut or almond milk in your latte, mocha or smoothie

Are you looking for an alternative to dairy milk or soy milk in your latte or smoothies?

The newspapers just reported that Starbucks is testing coconut milk as a non-dairy creamer in a few of their stores.  They don’t want to give almond milk a try because of customers that might have nut allergies, so most Starbucks stores just offer soy milk as a dairy milk alternative.

coconutmilk by Trader Joes

@BeansBelfry, we offer COCONUT MILK every day.  A vegan, gluten free, soy free choice, with a distinct flavor profile that sets it apart from other “milk” options. Use it in coffee, smoothies, with oatmeal, or just as is.  It’s delicious!

@BeansBelfry also uses ALMOND MILK as an alternative to our SOY MILK and dairy milk.  The creamy almond milk by Blue Diamondtexture and hint of almonds is a great stand-in for dairy milk and has half the calories.

Don’t be shy.  Ask for either coconut or almond milk, it’s a treat even if you are not lactose intolerant.  Of course we also have SOY MILK on hand.

We love to please our customers and anticipate their needs.

Let us know how we are doing.

Your friends at Beans in the Belfry.

Read More

Kidney – Beans

Kidney – Beans

by Jim Politis

Three guesses: What do kidneys, The Islamic Republic of Iran and Beans in the Belfry all have in common?

Yeah you got it, as you read in the Brunswick Citizen, the answer is Sigrid Fry-Revere author of The Kidney Sellers: A Journey of Discovery in Iran.

Ms. Fry-Revere was nice enough to tell the Citizen that “Much of the book was written sitting in Beans in the Belfry in Brunswick” (Is there another one?) and we couldn’t be more pleased.

Sigrid (we’re presuming on  “coffee friendship” to first name her) has written about something, availability of organs for transplant, that seems a million miles away from our favorite Café and Meeting Place (and authors writing room) – – -unless you need one.

laptops hum on the farm table

laptops hum on the farm table

We thank her for raising our consciousness of the issue and plan to get a copy of the book and keep it in the café somewhere where you can take a look at it. Perhaps we can get it autographed!

We’ll also suggest to the Brunswick Library that they get a few copies and – – – we have it on good authority that Sigrid wouldn’t even mind if a lot of people bought their own copy!

If you would like to hear more about it she will be at the Harry F Byrd School of business of Shenandoah University, Winchester, Virginia  on April 22, 5:00 in Stimson Auditorium.

We don’t ask what people are doing when they come in with their laptops (or I pads or tablets, or smart phones or even dub phones) although some folks tell us anyway.

For example there is, Mr. J. who brings in his work for a government agency (NOT NSA!) and combines work with socializing, a snack and even, on rare occasions, a quick nap. Well, that’s what comfortable chairs are for, isn’t it?

You can’t miss students frantically cramming- – – we take that back- – – no one ever seems frantic at Beans, really they don’t (just don’t look behind the Barista station ;~).

We are very proud to have given Sigrid a good place to work and we’ll do the same thing for you no matter whether your subject is Plasma-physics or the really tough six-times- table

Read More

Taste newly released 2013 Chardonnay by Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard Winery

April 5

Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard Winery 

has just released its 2013 Chardonnay on April 5 and we are happy to be offering a glass of this new achievement in vinting.  We Chardonnay_bottleopened the first bottle last night during our live music with Max Honn and friends.  An amazing hue of light straw yellow greets your visual senses followed by aromas of oak, green apple, tropical fruit, and lemon and and tastes of butter, vanilla, nuts on the palate.   This medium-bodied wine has great mouthfeel and exhibits great balance between fruit and oak.  The oak does not overpower the fruit and the entire experience is harmonious.   Please come in for a celebration of 2013 in wine making.  The 2013 SMV is bound to win a number of awards in competitions this year –  we’ll keep you posted!

If  you prefer red, we are still serving the 2011 harvest of Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard Winery’s Cabernet COMUS. In Greek mythology, Comus is the god of revelry and merriment.  The 2011 Comus is a splendid Bordeaux blend with a bright garnet hue. Rich medium bodied wine, well balanced with flavors of plums, blackcurrant, minerals, and hints of spice that combine harmoniously with medium toast French oak. The wine finishes strong with suggestion of earthy and roast coffee notes.  Comus was a Double Gold winner in the International Eastern Wine Comus bottleCompetition in 2009.

In 2013 it received  eight awards such as

Best in Show: 2013 Maryland Winemaster’s Choice Awards
Best of Class: 
Bordeaux Style Red Blend – 2013 International Eastern Wine Competition
Gold Medalist: 
2013 Maryland Winemaster’s Choice Awards
Gold Medalist: 
2013 International Eastern Wine Competition
Silver Medalist: 
2013 Maryland Governor’s Cup Competition
Silver Medalist: 
2013 Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition
Silver Medalist: 
2013 U.S. National Wine Competition
Silver Medalist: 
13th Annual Finger Lakes International Wine Competition

While the vineyard still looks like a barren place right now, SMV Winery expects buds breaking out on the vines end of the month to early May and will celebrate with a Budbreaking Event on May 3 and 4.


Read More

Secret affectionlattees admirers

O.K., I know you’ve never “Seen it all” and you always want to be “Open to a new experience” Yea and guys need to listen to “Their softer side. And –had enough clichés?

Coffee Cup Necktie

Coffee Cup Necktie

I got a gift but not just a gift, a gift from a secret admirer and not just a secret admirer but TWO secret admirers who are “Loyal java affectionlattees” (sic).

It’s a really neat coffee cup necktie and how did they find out that blue is my favorite color?

And they say I’m a “Coffee connoisseur”! WOW! I mean blow me away!

Uhhm!  That is to say- – We appreciate this very kind mark of the esteem of our loyal subjects / the distinguished gentlemen / the emissary from . . . /The representatives of. . . /Y’all / Hey dudes

How do I address these guys and, yes, I think it is guys since my lady admirers use perfumed stationary.(Don’t tell Hanna)

I don’t know who they are but you have to be something of a sleuth when running- (or even “walking”) a coffee shop. So I’ll figure it out.

The envelope has postage stamps but it couldn’t have come through the mail – no zip numbers! (Just call me Sherlock)

It is sent to “The most eclectic coffee house and meeting place on the East Coast. . ., well they got that right!

They use the coffee drinkers rating system

necktie envelopeSee for yourself, Four coffee pots and a West Virginia Tornado. Eat your heart out Starbucks! 

For the benefit of those unfortunates who exist in the bleak, shadowy, demi world of the uncaffeinated, the scale goes like this


Coffee House Rating System

1 coffee pot – instant coffee made with hot (?) water from the tap.

2 coffee pots- brewed and in a cup (only slightly chipped and recently washed)

3 coffee pots- shade grown beans artisanal roast

4 coffee pots – gourmet coffee freshly prepared and served as you like it with organic lightener, choice of 7 sweeteners plus finishing spices.

4 coffee pots AND a W.Va twister- Beans in the Belfry (The Ritz only dreams of this level!)

Next clue: Clearly they have excellent taste in neckwear and know that I am discerning about what I wear.

Oh, ENOUGH! All this thinking is wearing me out! I’m going to have a cup of coffee and a one of Mel’s Molasses cookies. (She just made them and you have GOT to try one! Admire my new tie and I’ll get you a sample.

You can check out the clues including the tie in the attached photo or better yet come in for Brunch. I’ll have the tie on this Sunday and perhaps next week too if my wife doesn’t make a sash of it or one of the girls doesn’t expropriate it for a fashion emergency.

Did I ever tell you the story of Yvonne’s leggings?


Read More

Beans’ 10th Rail Road Day

View from the Belfry

Beans’ 10th Rail Road DayDSC_5972

By JIMDSC_5966

Well Rail Road Day is over and I don’t know about anyone else but our

10th R.RDSC_6012 Day was dynamic, exhilarating and exhausting.



Partly due to perfect weather, partly due to great city planning but mostly due to the many friends we’ve made since we opened our doors in October 2004 we served more coffee, more cake and more Paninis in two days than we have in any weekend in our history.


True confession: we didn’t even have Paninis in 2004!


I remember standing out front on West Potomac reassuring the curious (and the hungry) that we were serving food not saving souls. DSC_6006



Some souls have probably been saved at Beans in ten years but it was more likely our friend Rev. Phil or one of the other clergymen and clergywomen who did the saving,



I believe they come to us to “keep body and soul together”.


Having said that Beans has hosted numerous first dates, Valentine Brunches, bridal showers, two weddings, wedding receptions (you see where this is going?) baby showers, kids birthday parties, anniversary celebrations but no wakes yet.



Seems like Mother’s Day Brunch should fit in there somewhere!DSC_5987

The café honors the Rail Road and  the Western Maryland Traditions of Brunswick and never more so than on the first weekend in October



A favorite tradition which seems to be pretty universal is goofing o- – uh that is to say –Applied Sociological Analysis of the Indigenous Population while Maintaining Semi-recumbent Body Alignment.  Brunswickians of all ages refine their technique at our sidewalk tables.



Since our big civic celebration shares October with Halloween the café was decked out with pumpkins, ghosts and witches rather than hearts and flowers.



This weekend our young clients and some not so young, were fascinated by the “Flaming Skull” which Melanie personally wrested from an evil witch and brought to the cafe.                                                                                                                                      



There are tales of the terrible, scary battle between the heroic, beautiful, young founder of DSC_5981Beans and the hideous and ancient sorceress who created the dreadful artifact but because of the magic spell the story can only be told one night a year, Halloween!

If you ask her she might tell you the story this year on the 31st.


I can tell you one thing right now though. If you dare stick your hand in the skull DSC_5982flame Santa will be extra good to you this year- but only if you really do believe in him!




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A less fearsome tradition of Brunswick is the Collage Ice. (No, not college, Collage) and it, unlike the story of the flaming skull, is available 364 days a year. (Beans is closed on Christmas.)  Our baristas can make one for you.DSC_6025




  Hanna our charming and talented Events Coordinator, Tea Hostess, Chef Supreme, Head Flower Arranger, Fine Linen Custodian and Mel’s Mom hasDSC_6030 arranged (she won’t tell me in which capacity) for an honored European custom to be instituted at 122 W. Potomac Street.





If you sit at a table outside long enough, everyone you know will pass by. If you are DSC_6038unmarried (and want to change that) the “Special Person” will come and sit down with you if you just wait (and drink our coffee).DSC_6035



Don’t ask me how she does it. I don’t know. I think it’s an “Old Country” thing they do over there.

I know it works though, ‘cause she told me so!






Read More