Artifact coffee a cool, calm Brody alternative

By NEHAL AGGARWAL | November 3, 2016


COURTESY OF NEHAL AGGARWAL A delicious and Instagram-worthy Japanese cold brew is one of the many options at Artifact Coffee.

Even when I’m not too intimidated by Brody’s whitewashed walls to study there, I usually end up not even being able to because it’s always packed.

In a school that’s full of nerds, you can go any given night of the week and you’re guaranteed that it will be chock-full of stressed out, caffeinated students until two in the morning. That’s why I often resorted to studying in coffee shops either around Charles Village or downtown during my sophomore year.

It might not be the best setting to do a problem set in, but it’s definitely a good setting to catch up on reading or to write a paper.

Baltimore has many coffee shops to offer — from The Bun Shop to Ceremony Coffee Roasters to Koffee Therapy Cafe to Common Ground to Spro Coffee — but my favorite by far is definitely Artifact Coffee.

Artifact is a small cafe located inside the Union Mills establishment in Woodberry on the outskirts of Hampden. Though some may call it hipster, Artifact has everything a cafe-goer could want: good music, interesting interior decor and delicious coffee.

Artifact has largely kept to its mill-based interior and has decorated accordingly around it. You can still see the rafters on the ceiling, and the walls are built from the kind of stones that you imagine medieval castles being made out of. Almost everything in the space is made of wood — the rafters on the ceiling, the tables, the benches.

There is a long wooden bar on the left as soon as you walk in. On that bar, next to coffee creamers and sugar packets, is an antique Remington typewriter. It’s stationed next to cookbooks and an assortment of magazines and reading material.

On the right side of the entrance is the ordering counter. It looks like one in a standard cafe with espresso machines and glass shelves full of tarts and pastries.

Beyond the counter is a wall that is covered in shelves that are filled with Woodberry’s famous Snake Oil hot sauce. You may be familiar with it because CharMar actually started selling it last spring. Hidden in the center of the shelf is a record player that’s always churning out tunes from The Beatles, The Who, The Kinks and many other classics.

Adjacent to the wall, there’s a table with built in outlets, which is an optimal location to sit and do some work. There are also smaller tables peppered around the space, if that is your preference.

Additionally, Artifact has the best food and coffee. Their Japanese cold brew is fantastic, as are their City Ham mini-biscuits. There’s no need to wait in line to order because one of their incredible staff members will bring a menu, your foods and your check to you.

If you decide that you want to visit Artifact as more than just a place to work, then check out their website where they consistently post cool events that they host from week to week.

The next time you find yourself agonizing over the lack of space in Brody, just save yourself the hassle and make the short trip to Artifact Coffee. If you fall in love with it, I have good news for you.

Rumor has it that Artifact Coffee will be opening a new branch soon in Homewood’s very own Nine East 33rd.

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