Mercer students looking for a new spot to get their coffee and spend time with friends should visit Taste and See, a coffee shop and art gallery on 546 Poplar St. here in Macon.
Customers of Taste and See enter a natural, homely atmosphere with an artistic vibe. Comfy sofas line the walls of a rustic exterior alongside wooden tables and chairs. In addition, artwork, such as hand-crafted jewelry, photography and paintings are depicted throughout the store and are available for purchase.
Given that it is an art gallery, Taste and See is spacious. There is space for customers to walk through and admire the work and décor. Kevin Reaves, a Mercer University alumnus and one of the owners of Taste and See, crafts many of the art pieces seen throughout the store.
Sofas placed in front of a stone fireplace allow for a more relaxed environment for students looking for a study environment or families wanting a place to meet and catch up. Taste and See utilizes wooden furniture, stunning artwork and natural lighting to create a cozy environment that reminds its customers of home.
Taste and See offers a variety of items on its menu, including customizable sandwiches, salads and bagels. Also on their menu are smoothies, milkshakes and tea, both hot and iced.
“It’s like brunch foods, and we have some desserts,” barista Jordan Shimek says. “We have like, breakfast sandwiches, lunch sandwiches, cheesecake, we usually have quiche, we always have muffins and scones, and we rotate through our pastries...” Shimek says. “We have cinnamon rolls that are very, very popular. They smell amazing.”
Taste and See promotes using high-quality, natural ingredients in everything they make. Desserts are made in-house by the general manager, and no artificial sweeteners or flavorings are in their syrups and sauces.
“A lot of our ingredients are local,” Shimek says. Taste and See coffee comes from Safehouse Coffee Roasters, based in Griffin.
Vendors in Macon drop off ingredients, such as honey, at Taste and See.
“I feel like the attention to detail with ingredients has a lot to do with the fact that the owners have a lot of food sensitivities,” Shimek says.
Their value in using natural ingredients is one of the ways Taste and See stands out from most coffee shops. A plethora of options include, but are not limited to, organic, gluten-free and vegetarian/vegan items.