Coffee Heaven
At the junction of Hwys. 199 & 46
Cave Junction, OR

…and the good angel gathered up all the coffee beans and blessed them, and they were gourmet. And she blessed the sod upon which the shop had arisen, and the place was heavenly. Yes, Coffee Heaven seems to be a pleasant little oasis in the blazing heat and rugged lifestyle in the town of Cave Junction, deep in the heart of mountainous southern Oregon,. A grace, period. Cave Junction is on the map mostly because of tourist cave-visiters, old SF hippies who fled the Haight-Ashbury when it became infested with druggies in the 70’s, some of the original survivalists and white supremicists, J 0ohnny-come-lately gold miners with fancy modern methods, artists, and out-of-work tree-choppers. Plus those born and raised there. Cave-men pad around between Cave Junction and Grant’s Pass, and it is not known whether they tow their women by the hair or club their enemies. There are burls to be bought and varmints to be shot; such is Cave Junction.

The coffee shop has a light, playful feel to it, partly because it is open-air. Polished wooden counters suggest a sense of care and permanency, however, which it has—it’s been around since 1992. There’s a hand-crafted, large wooden table under the shelter, and several shaded picnic tables out back. A wood swing and bench provide more outdoor seating, and their alcove is decorated by a mural and driftwood sculptures. The coffee house itself actually has a life-size angel sculpture on its roof, greeting the customers with a gentle smile. Reminded me a bit of the huge fly on the roof of a small building in the nearby town of O’Brien, except that angels are cleaner than flies. Could it be the cave men who place sculptures up on roofs in these parts?

Fare: The coffee shop bills itself as an “Espresso and Juice Bar”, and offers a large array of products (“gourmet beans” for sale) from house coffee ($1.50 and up, medium or dark) to huge bowls of ice cream ($3) to something called a “bee green” smoothie ($5.50), made of pineapple, mango, spinach, bee pollen, and hemp seeds (facts here are approximate…). Just think, right inside your body you can grow your own hemp and pollinate it, too, if you can stomach a bright green drink. Think I’d go for the ice cream—yum!—but I had already purchased a scone when I noticed it. The scone was OK, but the day was hot!

Service and Clientele: A single friendly woman took care of customers quite efficiently, calling several by name. She was isolated from the customers by being inside a room with a sliding window. Community events ranging from the occult to hoedowns were advertised on the filled-up bulletin boards, and a variety of customers included a long-skirted “hippie” woman counting $100 bills, a sassy hip woman with cowgirl boots and long woolen socks, 2 shaven-headed women apparently from a religious sect, an older man and wife straight out of American Gothic, and 2 guys in tie-dye who might have just crawled out of a cave with their sleeping bags, as unkempt as they were. Plus several less-colorful people, myself included.

Bathroom: Assuming the bathroom, not visible in the front room, would be around on the side or back, I opened up a supply storage room. I had to return to the front and wait inside to ask if they had one at all; I was told that they use the neighboring gas station’s bathroom (by contract with them). I reluctantly went over there (gas station restrooms usually are to be avoided if at all possible, due to sheer grossness at times), and found it well-supplied and clean enough to suit me. A sign would have been helpful.

Rating: 3+ (of 5 coffee beans) since it was really a little “spot of heaven” in the S Oregon mountains.

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