Bean There, Done That

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by Nicole Watts
Leaves N Beans
4800 N Prospect Road
Peoria Heights
Leaves N Beans is the kind of place where should go if you don’t want to run the risk of the coffee distracting from your conversation. They offer mediocre coffee that is usually a bit weak for my taste. Their lattes are “not awful”, but tend to be burnt and too sweet if syrups are added.
We went on a Wednesday at 3:30 and waited 15 minutes for our drinks due to them being understaffed. The outside patio is comfortable, but can be loud as it is located at the far end of The Heights. The interior is cramped and musty.

Thirty-Thirty Coffee Company*****
734 Main St
Thirty-Thirty is spacious and good for working and socializing. They do have a private room available if you need a quiet space. They have an extensive coffee menu, ranging from custom lattes and cappuccinos to basic drip coffee.
They roast their own beans, so their attention to the flavor of their coffee is no surprise. My latte was almost too pretty to drink. The foam was perfectly frothed. It is strong without being bitter and leaves no aftertaste.
Their pour-over is perfect with the depth of flavor being the focus of every cup.
Of the coffee shops we checked out, this was the favorite for all around best coffee and best coffee shop aesthetics.
400 E Washington St
East Peoria
Eysal’s feels like the coffee shop equivalent of Cheers, with the owner, Fred greeting the morning regulars by name. If you want to hang out in a coffee shop with bottomless coffee and an environment good for working, this is your place. The crowd seems to be more down to earth and fewer of the artsy/hipster crowd.
Their latte was a little foamy but otherwise perfect, the temperature was good. The flavor of the espresso was strong, without an aftertaste.
Jason Vogel, an Eysal’s regular, loves the monthly coffee membership that allows him to circumvent the line and refill his mug as often as he wants.
Job Abraria says, “The coffee is always solid here. The brew is always medium to strong with a hearty flavor.”
Eysal’s is a great coffee shop for the 30+ set who don’t want to deal with the youngsters and their coffee shop angst.
Midnight Espresso
3641 N Meadowbrook Road
Peoria, IL 61604
Nestled in behind the car wash and U-haul at the corner of War Memorial and University, is a cozy modern espresso bar that serves coffee made with beans from local roaster, Thirty Thirty Coffee Company. The do a nice pour over and their lattes are pretty with a rich flavor. The flavor is not one that I particularly care for, I felt like there was a bit of an aftertaste to the coffee, but it wasn’t the worst latte in town.
They don’t offer drip coffee and it is not overly convenient as a work location. It can get very loud very quickly with only a few people talking. But if you want to meet for a decent pour over in a hipster coffee shop, this is your place.