Spill the Beans-Coco and the Director

Welcome to the first of a series where you can follow me on a coffee tour of Charlotte and I will “spill the beans” on an inside look of each coffee shop I visit.  As a lover of good coffee, I admittedly do not frequent the corner Starbucks.  I prefer to support local coffee shops and, let’s be honest, the local spots are cozier and frankly serve a much higher quality, better-tasting cup of joe.  So this is an effort to spotlight those amazing local places that deserve the attention.  These posts are less about really deep intention and more about how to balance that intention with an occasional indulgence and time for yourself in a place that you love.  BUT, I see it as a way to also be intentional in supporting local shops in your hometown, wherever that may be.  In my travels I plan to have special editions where I can review coffee shops in other cities I visit so stay tuned for that in the future!

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my new favorite quote “A yawn is a silent scream for coffee”

Location:

Coco and the Director, 100 W. Trade St. Charlotte, NC 28202–technically in Fourth Ward but right at the main intersection of Charlotte at Trade and Tryon, located in the Marriott City Center.

There is an outdoor entrance right off the street or you can cut through the swanky hotel lobby if you are interested in taking a peek. Strolling through the lobby made me want to take a staycation here even though we are literally a mile away.  Since it’s so close, I walked here; yet another reason I love living near the city!

On the Menu:

I sipped on a Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Latte ($4.50)–Not too sweet so it was easy to sip and I don’t like super sweet drinks anyway.  Next time I would ask for “extra hot” as it was already just warm when it was served.

Other Options: Brewed Coffee $2 (12 oz.) or $3 (16 oz.), Cold-Brew, Pour Over, Aeropress, all the classic espresso drinks and a wide variety of tea.

Fun Extras:

  • Gourmet Sandwich of the Day and other small bites, beer, juice, etc. in a small refrigerated area.
  • Great decor but not overdone–I felt like Joanna Gaines could be there decorator. So much yes.
  • Local goods for sale that would make really cute gifts if you want something unique to Charlotte–really witty and unique greeting cards too!
  • A large home-theater-size screen above the main seating area where you can sit and watch in the stadium-seating and from the balcony area.  They were showing “Fixer Upper” when I was there so I think that’s a good sign.  They do throwback movie nights throughout the year too with free popcorn. So fun!
  • Chalkboard wall where you can collaborate with coworkers, get out some creativity, or leave fun notes for other visitors.
  • Outlets with built-in USB charging every few feet throughout the shop making it easy to work wherever you need for as long as you need.
  • Wine ‘N Color Wednesday–$5 glasses of wine and 1/2 off pastries, get a free week of coffee if your colored creation wins! Definitely doing this.
  • Other fun events with live music etc. throughout the year too

Vibe:

“Rustic vintage meets city sleek”-there was a really good mix of uptown bankers, runners stopping in on their jog through the city, college students studying, and those just hunkering down with a good book on a gloomy Tuesday. I was afraid I would feel out of place with it being Uptown and possibly a lot of “suits” surrounding me but that was not true at all, which was a great surprise.

Pros:

  • SO many seating options; stadium seating for cozy lounging, long tables for co-working space, little cafe tables for a coffee date, quick meeting, or reading the morning paper.
  • Relatively quiet; usually I have to put in headphones to focus but, even with a good amount of people, the noise was just a low hum due to the size of the space and distance between seating areas.  I was here from 2pm-4pm and even with the afternoon rush, it still felt pretty chill.
  • Good music mix; not too loud but a good mix of relaxed acoustic tunes and more popular hits–think Coldplay, Mumford, and all that jazz. Not actually jazz though…you know what I mean.
  • Central location; if you are within walking distance it is super easy to find and get to.  Good for those visiting Charlotte and staying in Uptown who want to visit a great local spot without driving out of the city.
  • Great customer service; baristas were very patient and considerate and were able to answer questions I had about the menu.
  • Great hours; 6am-10pm so caters to early risers and night owls.

Cons:

  • Cost; Because I am frugal, I would probably not get a latte but every so often and would stick with the cheaper brewed coffee.  It is definitely not the most expensive latte I have seen but not the cheapest either.  Even for the brewed coffee, I know other local spots that run a better deal.
  • If you are not in walking distance, it might present an issue with having to find parking.  So I would recommend this place for if you are looking for a nice stroll…even for someone living here, driving through Uptown makes me want to lash out at others…I wouldn’t want that for you friends.
  • If you are looking for a secluded, brick and mortar stop, this is not it.  With it’s central location and being in a bigger hotel, you are right in the middle of the city which to some may feel too chaotic and in the middle of it all. But again, it’s still pretty laid back inside so it’s an awesome contrast.
  • This is a minor con but they only serve coffee in to-go cups.  I feel weirdly amazing when I get to enjoy a latte in an actual mug, foam art and all.  Please tell me I am not alone in this.

This was my first visit to this awesome spot and I can already tell it will be a favorite go-to in the future!  Hope you get to pop in to Coco and the Director to check it out for yourself and, if you need a buddy to go with, you know where to find me 🙂

 

 

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