Morning Glass Coffee + Cafe changed my mind about coffee with foam. Instead of tacking on the usual “no whip, no foam” request to my order, I look forward to the fabled foam at this small Manoa coffee joint.

The light and creamy mixture of foam puts to shame the half-a-cup-of-fluff stuff you get at corporate coffee companies. That’s because Morning Glass baristas steep each cuppa joe inpidually and use those superior Stumptown beans that give it a quality rich taste.

Ironically, though, the owner of Morning Glass used to work for Starbucks back in the day. As in, before Starbucks became the huge coffee chain it is today. He even helped to open some on the mainland. But it’s back to basics of good and true coffee for this humbled coffee cafe, which no doubt keeps me coming back whenever I’m in need of a caffeine fix.

Morning Glass has gotten so popular that weekend mornings would scare away any newcomer. Several times, we pulled up to the small parking lot, only to turn the other way. Each time, a pack of customers poured out onto the sidewalk – waiting their turn to order or to get a seat inside. The shop is so small that it maybe fits six tables, maybe. Since I’m on the subject of downsides, the customer service seems to be lacking a bit. I’d presume a shot of espresso would fix that in no time.

I’ve found that showing up right after the breakfast or lunch rush is best. The crowd’s not nearly as overwhelming, plus, you can actually hang out and enjoy the cool, open-aired seating area.

In addition to awesome coffee, Morning Glass offers a menu not typical of the average coffee house. Scones, coffee cakes, quiches and hearty sandwiches make this place stand out from the rest. Oh, and the broad range of coffee lovers from across the island – Japanese tourists, college-aged hipsters, local bruddahs and me! There’s a cup of coffee to fit all walks of life.

MORNING GLASS COFFEE + CAFE

• 2955 E. Manoa Rd., Honolulu, HI 96822 • Opens Mon-Sat 7am-4pm, Sun 7am-1pm • 808-673-0065 • Free parking in lot or on street

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