Bracing for the Tide

Brace yourself, the tide is coming. If you live in a populated area and have a short drive-way, there are waves of anxious candy-seekers headed your way on the 31st. So how can you prepare for the rush? A hefty stash of Halloween candy is a good start, and plenty of coffee to keep you energized is a must.

I began scouting potential locations to fuel up with strong coffee in NH, and after a tip from a friend, found my way to True Brew Barista in Concord. Tucked away in Bicentennial Square, it is slightly back and away from the bustle of Main Street.

Early in the day Bicentennial Square offers a place to relax and soak in some peace and quiet before Halloween night. A scattering of tables, a running water fountain, and a variety of rocks, trees, and flowers give you the chance to get into Zen mode before the big night. With masses of three-foot-nothing ghosts, ghouls, and zombies headed your way, you should try to enjoy a bit of calm ahead of time.

But before lounging in the Square, hop inside True Brew and grab a hot cup of coffee and a bakery sandwich. The variety of quality coffees True Brew offers is extensive, much like the variety of quality candies the children will demand of you on Halloween.

When I visited the other day, my eyes were immediately drawn to the French press and pour over coffees, as those require additional equipment and techniques beyond the typical coffee shop offerings. I quickly placed the order for a French press coffee, but then spotted the holiday themed lattes on the menu, including frosted pumpkin, ghostly pumpkin, and witch’s brew.

I couldn’t resist a good latte, and found myself ordering a second coffee before even receiving the first. Not to worry, I played it off as though I was ordering for two people. Embarrassment crisis averted.

And if you are judging me, I will have you know, I skipped my morning coffee that day in preparation for my visit. It was the most exhausting and sluggish morning this side of 2017, but it was well worth it to sip two great coffees all afternoon.

The French press had all of the great roasty bean flavors that I appreciate in quality coffee without any strong bite or bitter after taste. And somehow, the coffee seemed to stay hot far longer than usual. It was a cool fall day but that coffee held its heat tremendously, which helped me to feel less rushed to finish it, and gave me ample time to also sip through my latte.

Although, I didn’t actually require much time to gulp down the latte, as the smooth pumpkin flavor made it difficult to put down. I went with the ghostly pumpkin latte, a combination of white chocolate and pumpkin flavors. I was pleased to discover the latte was not over-the-top sweet, and hit on all the expected flavors equally.

With all that caffeine going down the hatch, I needed a bit of food to balance it out, and ordered the California Dreamin’ panini. The sandwich arrived toasty hot, with delicious melted cheddar, creamy avocado, and thick cut North Country Applewood smoked bacon.

It was surprisingly filling but didn’t sit heavy – a perfect lunch on a sunny fall day. I recommend swinging by True Brew and grabbing one of these sandwiches before shopping for Halloween candy. If you aren’t hungry while you’re shopping, you won’t be tempted to snack on it before the children come knocking.

If you follow these suggestions you’ll be ready to embrace the Halloween spirit and have the energy to hand out candy all Halloween. That way you don’t have to turn off the lights and TV all night, hoping the trick-or-treaters will think you aren’t home. As a former candy-crazed trick-or-treater myself, I can tell you the kids see right through that scheme.

So, go grab some coffee and food from True Brew, rather than being a Halloween Scrooge. You can find True Brew Barista at 3 Bicentennial Square in Concord.

As always, please email to share your ideas of any New Hampshire related food/drink/venue/organization that you think should be featured in our “Eat Drink Play” blog posts.

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