Commentary by Alex Hodges, Campus Carrier Arts & Living Editor
February welcomed a new – and much needed, in my opinion – coffee shop. Lumina Coffee Company, opened by father-son duo Mike and Matt Shieffer, is a modern addition to the Roman bypass.
I first entered the shop in the early morning, about an hour after opening at 6 a.m. The head count yielded fewer than five, excluding myself. My first impression was a positive one. I was greeted, to my surprise, not by a dimly lit threshold filled with the aromas of roasted coffee, but by a modern, open space that offers an almost business-casual vibe and was completely void of the scent of coffee. I didn’t know it was possible to achieve such a feat.
I purchased a cappuccino with vanilla from a friendly face at the register and took a seat at one of the many small tables in the center of the room.
While waiting for my beverage, I took the time to observe my surroundings. The openness of the space provides a good environment for both the individual caffeine fiends and the social sippers. The lack in variety of color is made up for by the large windows that allow for the diffusion of natural light.
Seating is bountiful. There are tables throughout the room and one corner has some arm chairs and a couch coupled with, not ironically, a coffee table. Lining a wall that is filled with windows are some larger tables.
My cappuccino was brought to me within a couple of minutes. It was served in a matching cup and saucer. My first sip led me to believe that it was heavy on vanilla, but as I worked through it, I determined that the foam itself had gathered much of the flavor. As I reached the bottom of my cup, I had had a splendid experience. I went with a cappuccino for my first choice, as it is a staple espresso-based beverage at pretty much all coffee shops. Lumina’s did not disappoint.
Later in the day, about an hour before close at 10 p.m., I returned to Lumina to sample another beverage. This time I decided on an Ethiopia blend pour over. I had about a dozen different blends to choose from. I avoided Sumatra because it is the house blend, and after pondering some of my favorites, the earthy, fruity tones of Ethiopia seemed best suited for my evening.
Preparation took some time for this one, but it was well worth the wait. Ethiopia is always a solid choice for evening coffee consumption. A barista brought my pour over on a wooden tray with an empty glass cup. The pot had about three cups worth, which at about 8 ounces each, was a perfect dessert cof fee experience.
Overall, Lumina was a positive experience. It seems to me that they value quality and customer service more than anything. Prices are about average, and a drive-through service is available for on-the-go java. Its close proximity to Berry gives it additional points, as well. For a quality coffee experience, whether the aim is to get work done or to simply hang out and enjoy one of a variety of different options, Lumina is a good place for anyone.