2366 W 11th St.
Cleveland, OH 44113
While the simple storefront at W. 11th St. & Kenilworth Ave. in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood might look simplistic — and while a curious foray onto the website of said business might take you back to the early age of the internet — Civilization Coffee is, in practice, and exceptional experience. The fresh smell of coffee grounds that greet you when you enter this restaurant. Yes, Tremont is a trendy area, but the artful simplicity of a neighborhood coffee shop is an art that has become lost in the era of uber-connectivity. And this shop seems to shy away from the gimmicks in favor of that one simple, comfortable experience.
The shop has a short list of drinks, preferring simple recipes and friendly, approachable atmosphere. What I tried:
- Chai Latte: A simple latter that people all over the country like, this combination of latte and chai tea is special. It’s the balance that makes it so good. Chai tends to have an extremely spicy kick to it if you add too much. This drink has just the perfect amount, but it’s so smooth. Unforgettable.
- Mocha: There are a few kinds of chocolate and espresso drinks, but again the theme here is how wonderfully smooth this drink will be. A lot of chocolate waiting for you in the bottom, but still not leaving you overwhelmed with the sweetness. That silky chocolate flavor really lingers.
- Bagels: These are delightful in their simplicity. Thick, just a tad on the doughy end and perfect if they’re toasted. Cream cheese is extra, and I recommend it even so, because the toasted bagel by itself is a bit dry.
The coffee shop has a feel that is not common even among neighborhood coffee shops in Ohio these days — the shop has been around for 15 years but the building it sits in has been for many decades more. It gives you a sense of real substance and character, like the business itself. Roasted beans make for a very pleasant aroma, and few local coffee houses roast right in their shop the way that this one does, which is to say you definitely walk away from this experience pleased you’ve been somewhere so charming.
Simplicity is key in Civilization, and it’s a very memorable experience. This is a shop you’ll want to try.
- The coffee drinks are very much worth a try and I would suggest making this a place you sit down for awhile.
- There is a nice, shaded outdoor porch that makes the shop perfect on a summer’s day.
- If you are partial to chocolate drinks, this place has a great one.