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Tuesday, July 22, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 84.0° F  Partly Cloudy
The Paper


Life before Starbucks
From the Isthmus archives, May 1, 1987

Credit:Brent Nicastro
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Jerry Minnich tours local coffeehouses in search of "Java Jive." At Sunprint Cafe & Gallery, upstairs at 638 State, he finds "a class place" where "you would want to meet that certain someone for afternoon coffee and small talk about Proust, Mahler or the American transcendentalists," and where Guatemalan, Viennese or Colombian coffee costs 70 cents a cup. At Steep & Brew, 544 State, he finds "a perfect place to have a good cup of coffee alone, read, and not have to talk to anyone." He declares Victor's Coffee & Tea, featuring eight tables facing the plate-glass windows at the corner of State and Gorham, "a great place for you to watch people." Other stops include Cafe Europa on King Street (where "you can easily imagine yourself as part of an Edward Hopper painting"), Williamson Street's Folkways Cafe (where you can "express your solidarity with the Sandinistas by ordering Nicaraguan coffee" at 75 cents per cup) and his personal favorite, the Eastwood Bakery & Coffee Shop. He reads magazines at a table by the window, while nursing a 50-cent mug of java that includes two free refills.

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