This month I visited a small coffee shop called Klekolo World Coffee located in downtown Middletown, CT. Middletown is a fairly small town that has a wonderful Main Street district filled with various restaurants ranging from high-end Italian, an Irish pub, and even a fantastic Ramen joint! It is located fairly centrally in the state and abuts right up to the Connecticut River making it feel much less landlocked.
In this small, no-frills coffee shop there were a handful of small tables and lounge chairs scattered throughout with room to squeeze in live music. I chose a small high top table next to the window to sip my coffee and read my book. The cool rainy afternoon made a perfect backdrop for my morning. I paired my coffee with a clementine and a vegan cookie from a local restaurant and bakery, ION. My plain and simple latte I ordered reminded me vividly of those I ordered while on my extended trip to Greece. The espresso was strong, dark, and robust. It had a very earthy flavor to it, which is something I remember about the coffee I had while in Greece.
This got me thinking, how did the owner of this little shop come up with the name Klekolo? It must be a significant word if it was chosen to define such a meeting place. So I decided to do a little bit of digging. According to Gina Athena Ulysse of Huffington Post: Hollie, the owner of Klekolo, “settled on the Minyanka word, klekolo (clay-ko-lo), which means “a system of rules to live by for peace and harmony” because she wanted to create a place where anyone could come for a cup of coffee and would be treated the same way.” Turns out that Minyanka is one of the national languages in Mali, a country in West Africa. Klekolo offers many different varieties of coffee from around the world, exposing this small town community “to coffee from all over the world at an affordable price (Gina Athena Ulysse, huffingtonpost.com). This is something that I really admire since I am a big traveler. Any way that I can experience different cultures is always something I am interested in!
Something I noticed while lounging there was that everyone who walked in knew each other, which was pretty fascinating to observe. It was humbling to be sitting there surrounded by a community that seems to have been established long ago. It really was a beautiful thing to watch and listen to. Their interactions were so raw and authentic, which was refreshing since so much of our world is seen through an Instagram filter. Everyone was either talking to each other or simply reading one of the used books from the community bookcase—no one was on their cell phone, tablet, or laptop. Their conversations would shift from laughing and telling stories about their week to tell jokes, and then as if someone toggled the controls they would discuss topics much more real and even morbid. The overall atmosphere was one that would draw you back again and again.
I would definitely recommend stopping in Klekolo World Coffee! They are so unique and down to earth! I’m so excited to begin posting on here and I hope you enjoyed my first find! I’ve got so many mini adventures planned this summer and I can’t wait to share them all with you along the way.
Until next time,