It’s no secret that we here at 101 Achievements love coffee. In fact, we met at a coffeeshop (and got engaged there, and probably would have gotten married there if it could seat more than 17 people). Over the years, we have loved exploring new coffeeshops together and hiding out in them for a few hours to work, write, or do crossword puzzles.
You can imagine how excited we were when we first heard about the Coffee Passport.
Basically, the Coffee Passport is a chance to check out different coffeeshops all around the city (and suburbs) of Pittsburgh. For $20, you buy a passport that is good for 6 months and gets you one specialty coffee drink at each of the 10 featured coffeeshops. Each passport features different shops, located all across Allegheny County. For example, the passport we bought (the Retro Passport) has coffeeshops in the North Side, Greenfield, the North Hills, Castle Shannon, and Friendship. Each coffeeshop has a different list of specialty drinks that qualify for the passport stamp.
We decided to kick off our Coffee Passport journey with a Sunday afternoon trip to Convive Coffee Roastery in the North Hills. They are located in McCandless Crossing (aka, the shopping center with the Trader Joe’s in it). Honestly, I go to this shopping area for brunch with my gym girlfriends quite regularly, and I don’t know how I didn’t know that Convive existed! It’s tucked away between some other shops, but easy to find once you know where to look.
A passport stamp could be cashed in for a regular coffee, espresso, or latte. So, basically, you could get up to a $4 value for your $2 stamp. Husband got a regular drip coffee, and I got a cappuccino (which our barista lovingly substituted for a latte when I said, “I know this probably sounds ridiculous, but what’s the difference between a latte and a cappuccino?”). We also got this amazing, huge chocolate chip cookie to split.
I did find out the difference between a latte and a cappuccino: a latte does not have as much (or any) frothy foamed milk on the top. I had taken an accidental 24-year-long hiatus from cappuccinos, and only recently rediscovered them the night before my 37th birthday when we were out at dinner in Moab, Utah.
13-year-old me was convinced she was going to be a beat poet, so she drank cappuccinos literally as often as they were an option, convinced they were the most amazing coffee drink in existence. And then for 24 years I was like, ‘god what a weird kid I was.’ Well. Thanks to my dedication to embracing change in 2019, I discovered that 13-year-old me was right about one thing. (And it wasn’t the part about me growing up to be a beat poet.)
Convive has a small but well-positioned set of tables in the coffeeshop, so we settled in for a few hours to read and write, just like we did in the old days! It was really a lovely afternoon, and both of our coffees were fantastic.
Convive also has a really cool thing called the Pay It Forward Wall. Here, you can buy a drink for someone to take in the future. It can be specific (like, if you know your friend will be stopping in there later that week, you could ‘buy an espresso for my friend Layla Grace*) or more generic (‘buy a coffee for a college student here studying for finals’). I loved reading all of the ‘coffees for the future’ that had been purchased and placed on the board!
I am so glad that we decided to cash our first Coffee Passport stamp in at Convive! The staff was excellent, the coffee was delicious, and the space was just adorable. And, they have fantastic hours: they’re open until 9pm Monday through Saturday and until 7pm on Sundays. If I find myself out in the North Hills with some time to kill after spin class or a trip to the gym, I will definitely stop back in!
* Please do not buy our dog an espresso; she is already anxious enough without being filled with caffeine.
If you are interested in buying your own coffee shop, learn about starting a coffee shop here!
We purchased our Coffee Passport independently and received no compensation for this post. You can purchase a Coffee Passport of your own via the Coffee Passport website, or at any participating coffeeshop.