Wanna know a secret about me? I didn’t grow up in the Baltimore area. I moved to Baltimore when I was 18 and stayed in the area since then. I’ve lived all over the city, but the one neighborhood I swore to never move into again was Fed Hill. Here me out before getting at me: I enjoyed my time in Fed Hill… in my early 20s. I partied, stayed out late, got shwasted (lol), but I got older. I grew out of that phase. I now live happily and comfortably in a quiet neighborhood across the pond. No regrets with that move, but that doesn’t mean I miss all the really cool coffee shops, food places, and activities (non-alcohol related) that are in Fed Hill. And one of those really cool coffee shops is 3 Bean Coffee.
When you get to 3 Bean Coffee, you got two options for parking: you either pay at the parking lot in the front or drive around the neighborhood and park for free (just read the signs). If I’m just poppin in for a drink, I’ll just park around the corner and walk over. If I’m gonna do some work, I pay for a parking spot. And trust me, paying for parking in order to stay at 3 Bean Coffee for a while is worth it.
When you walk in, you’ll notice a combination of brick, wood, and white walls giving off an industrial and rustic vibe. Exposed wooden beams and pipes decorate the high ceiling. The light fixtures add a warm glow, making the coffee shop feel all cozy and comfy.
They even got cute plants that they take care of!
A farm door separates the sitting/study area and the ordering area.
Although you will want to set your stuff down and start hanging on those plushy chairs in the sitting room, you should probably grab your coffee and food first.
If you’ve ever been to 3 Bean, you’ll know that the staff there are freakin’ chill, nice, hospitable, and damn good at their job. So when you walk up to the counter, be ready to be greeted in a personable way.
Things to keep in mind while ordering:
You have non-dairy milk choices!
You can get soy milk or almond in your drink… or you can get really fancy and try the almond milk 3 Bean makes in house.
Their syrups are house made.
Honey, mocha, honey graham, lavender, and vanilla OH MY!
They have breakfast food… and they serve it all day.
That means bagels with cream cheese, quiche, croissants, parfaits (two types: honey flavored and vanilla flavored), muffins, pastries, danishes, and nova lox bagels just to name a few (actually I think I named everything but whateves).
Take advantage of their seasonal specials.
Currently, 3 Bean has their summer specials out. However, they’re gonna change it to the fall seasonal drinks in a week or two. See anything you like on that menu before? Better go while you got the chance!
Here are a couple of my favorites:
In Bloom: Never thought mixing sparkling water and Ethiopian espresso would work, but it does. The sparkling water makes this cold drink refreshing, and the bright flavors from the Ethiopian espresso makes this a pleasant drink to sip on a hot day. The lemon honey also adds a citrus kick to your taste buds.
Golden Milk: There is no coffee present in this delectable drink, but who needs caffeine when you’re loaded up on honey goodness?! The consistency is viscous, but don’t let that scare you. This delightful drink is a warm gold due to the turmeric, and turmeric is very good for your! I’ve only had this drink hot, and I thought it was delicious. I’ve been told it tastes better cold though. Below is a fresh batch of the golden milk. They just made a batch and placed the drink in the huge mason jars until use!
Coffee Granita (the brown one): This seasonal slushy type drink is made from breaking down the ice into fine icy grains. It’s pretty much an icy milkshake. The espresso makes the coffee granita taste like chocolate even though there is no chocolate.
Rosewater Lemonade Granita (the pink one): This other seasonal granita is really refreshing. If you ever smelled rosewater before, that is exactly what this drink tastes like with a lemonade taste to it… it basically tastes exactly as what it’s called.
One of the baristas mentioned they might do a cider granita for the fall… so keep your eyes peeled for that!
They make their own Nut bars!
These nut bars are made in house. They make two types: The cranberry nut bar and the chocolate nut bar. Both these gluten free nut bars are made with almonds, hazelnuts, peanut butter, flax seed, cinnamon, maple, and rolled oats. Differences? The cranberry nut bar is vegan. The chocolate nut bar isn’t vegan due to the non-vegan chocolate chips.
Not much an iced coffee person, but want your coffee cold? Nitro brew is the way to go!
Nitro brew coffee is extremely smooth and milky-like even though there is no milk in it. The coffee they use to make the nitro brew is always changing. For the picture below, they used of blend of Ethiopian and something else.
They offer single origin pour over coffee!
Below features the Finca Nuguo. This coffee won the U.S. Barista Championship for two years in a row. Conclusion? It must be damn good.
And lastly, don’t forget their traditional drinks.
Below is a picture of their dirty chai topped with cinnamon.
Don’t like coffee? They got tea.
After you’ve received the food and drink you’ve ordered, it’s time to head over to the sitting room!
For me, I come over to 3 Bean to work so having access to an outlet for my laptop is very important to me (wifi is important too, which they have). Luckily enough, outlets are available along the walls.
There is a long wooden communal table that stretches across a huge window, which faces a beautiful view of the inner harbor and lets natural light in. This long table can sit about six people.
They also have another communal table in case the one in front of the window is all occupied. I really like the lights that hang from the ceiling, especially this pipe chandelier. The warm light coming form the industrial bulbs gives off a study/work environment.
If you do plan on working or studying at 3 Bean, be aware that it can get loud and crowded depending on what time and what day you go.
If you don’t want to sit with a bunch of people and be buddy buddy with them, there are individual tables along one of the walls that you can combine together if needed. Those tables are just regular tables, not bar tables. Each table sits two people.
In the back corner, there is a comfy chocolate brown, leather couch with a wooden coffee table in front of it. Two velvet, plushy, large orange chairs add an accent and texture to that corner area.
Also, 3 Bean is great for not just working, but also just hanging out. You can go on a coffee date here, catch up with a friend, or bring your whole family to chill out. Kids can even doodle on this chalkboard door for fun.
So what is it about 3 Bean Coffee that makes me roll out of bed and carry my ass all the way to this charming coffee shop at the edge of Federal Hill?
They take their coffee seriously.
It’s pretty much an art to them.
3 Bean has trained baristas on staff. Before becoming a barista, each of them must attend multiple classes hosted by Counter Culture Coffee… which is the coffee they serve at 3 Bean. After obtaining the basic skills and knowledge from the classes, the baristas can finally get their hands dirty and show off their awesome skills. The cool thing about 3 Bean is that they push their baristas to continue their education and take more training to become better at their art.
If you enjoy the coffee here, you can buy Counter Culture Coffee beans at 3 Bean and make your cup of joe at home.
Keep in mind that sometimes 3 Bean hosts events. The first time I ever went to 3 Bean was when they threw an Latte Art Throwdown (blog post if you’re interested). So if you really want to go to some cool events at 3 Bean, you should probably follow their Instagram (follow right here) to be in the know!
So I hope I did a good job showing off how awesome 3 Bean is with all the cool, awesome pics I took (lol). In all seriousness though, I love 3 Bean. The staff there is just fantastic. I always have such a great experience whenever I talk to them and joke around with them. And their coffee is on point… all the time.
Let me know what you think of 3 Bean if you end up going for the first time!