Bean scene gets a double shot

A spoonful of sugar makes the March coffee go down, but if youre in the mood for something more than a cup of Green Mountain French Vanilla, Uncommon Grounds and Muddy Waters are worthwhile destinations.

Patrons may recognize Muddy Waters, located by the corner of Main and Church streets, for its unique drinks and its classic interior.

Covered floor to ceiling in rustic-looking wood and folksy artwork, the shops aesthetics give it a cabin-style feel.

People come for the good coffee, good service and good vibes, server John Pantone said.

Muddy Waters regularly serves four varieties of free trade coffee imported from New York, with their French Roast being most popular – although the servers agree that their espresso is the best item on the menu.

With its fair trade coffee, jazz and reggae playlist, and an interior reminiscent of Bilbo Baggins living room, Muddy Waters is the place to go for a casual caffeine break.

Right in the heart of Church Street, Uncommon Grounds offers a wide range of freshly roasted coffees that could place it in its own league.

At any given time, the shop has coffees available from 12 to 15 different countries including Costa Rica, Yemen and a number of African, South American and Central American companies.

The coffeehouse buys different types of coffee depending on what is available, so they sometimes serve fair trade, sometimes organic and, recently, many Rainforest Alliance certified brews, said barista Matt White.

The different origins make for different tastes as weather, soil condition and the season can create variations in the coffee beans flavor, he said.

Its amazing how a single bean, without being blended, can create such an intensely flavorful espresso, White said.

And while the shops variety of exotic coffee flavors are what keep customers coming back, White said they have a new item in the works.

Were going to be doing cold brewed ice coffee, he said. Were going to be kegging it, so well have iced coffee on draft.

Like many of Burlingtons hidden gems, both Muddy Waters and Uncommon Grounds offer something a little off the beaten path.

There is the ambiance, the music, the artwork, the service, the conversation, the cookiesand, of course, the coffee.

And at the end of the dayor more likely, the startit is the difference between Sodexo coffee and a freshly brewed cup of artisan espresso that really matters.